Monday, December 29, 2008
Rosenblat had claimed on Oprah's show that he and his wife Roma had met at the fence of a Nazi prison camp associated with Buchenwald. He said that years later he met her again on a blind date and recognized her as the girl who had passed him food during those dark days of the Holocaust.
The problem is that, while Rosenblat had indeed been at the camp, the romance never took place. Now his book deal is being cancelled, although the film version still has the green light.
Oprah's credibility is once again in a million little pieces. Someone get that woman a copy of "Who's Next."
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Now, maybe Lennon would have been OK with the promo, and maybe he wouldn't, but I wonder why it even exists. The laptop computer hadn't yet been invented when Lennon was murdered, so it's not exactly an issue that can be closely identified with Lennon or his legacy.
Not one of Yoko's smarter moves.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
And why on the Flying Spaghetti Monster's green earth did Obama choose him for his inaugural invocation??
Pandering for the love of "evangelical", gay-hating, Prop. 8-loving voters?
Say it ain't so, Bare. You won, remember?
Yes, you did.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Giuliani: "He served as a community organizer . . . what?"
Palin: "I guess being goverrrnerrr is sorrrt of like being a community orrrganizerrr . . ."
"So, Senator McCain: You just had your ass handed to you by Senator Obama. What do you think made the difference?"
McCain: "He had a strong organization in every large communi- . . . hang on a minute!"
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Now, even though almost everyone wants their kids to be college educated, the political rhetoric--at least from the Right--denigrates such intellectuals as "elites".
David Brooks writes in the New York Times, "What had been a disdain for liberal intellectuals slipped into a disdain for the educated class as a whole."
This "class warfare" as practiced by McCain and Palin on the campaign trail is shameful and dangerous. The gatherings at their political events are taking on the flavor (and the mind) of the mob. There are even unanswered shouts of "Kill him!" when Obama is discussed. McCain was even booed by his own audience when he grudgingly said something decent about his opponent.
I'm concerned that some ignorant gun-totin' yahoo will think he can impress Sarah Palin in the same way John Hinckley tried to impress Jodie Foster. It doesn't take much to rouse the rabble; throw in sexual attraction, and you have a recipe for assassination.
Look, potential dirtbag: if you kill Obama, Sarah Palin still won't fuck you. Don't be a pawn. Get some therapy and medication, sell your guns, and give the money to the poor/your family/same thing.
It's time for the adults to once again take the reins. The rest of you: grow up, read a book (other than the Bible), have some humility, take some responsibility, and be peaceful.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
This is an example of the tendency to attribute to others one's own bad behavior. An NPR story reported that the Wisconsin Advertising Project analyzed last week's TV campaign ads from both candidates. About a third of Obama's ads were termed negative, while nearly all of McCain's ads took the low road.
The difference between the negative ads was striking. Obama's made a case for his policies, and stated a preference not to continue the failed policies of the last eight years. McCain's featured a fretful woman with a trembling, fearful voice.
Sarah Palin even had the nerve to state that we don't really know anything about Obama. This from the woman who fell off the turnip truck a few weeks ago.
The rhetoric from McCain and his supporters is pretty vicious, and I don't relish the thought of it intensifying, but I'm afraid that's what the next few weeks will look like.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I still don't understand how the incompetent President Bush and the shameless Rudy Giuliani get credit for being the heroes of 9/11. The tragedies of that day should scream "Behold My Biggest Fuck-Up", not "I Can Protect You".
I also don't understand how McCain getting shot down and imprisoned makes him a war hero who knows how to win wars and lead a nation. If anything, it shows how to be useless and wasteful, having trashed a total of five aircraft before being locked up by the North Vietnamese.
Don't we have any right-wing, war-mongering heroes who know how to WIN?
Monday, August 25, 2008
A group of at least four people with the usual credentials of white supremacy have been arrested in connected with a "Vantage Point" plot to kill the presumptive Democratic nominee.
Some douchebag and his pals, sporting the predictable Nazi accoutrements, have dusted off that old favorite hymn and decided that they can't abide having a president who isn't as stupid as they are.
"Blah, blah, kill the black guy, blah blah..."
And then what?
Grow up, dickheads.
I wouldn't be surprised if there were a "draft Hillary" movement that emerged at the convention, and that by counting the properly discarded votes from the two rule-breaking states, ended up stealing the nomination.
All of these hurt feelings have arisen over the fact that Obama beat Clinton, yet did not show the appropriate deference to her or the ex-President by accommodating their sense of self-importance.
At the Democratic convention tonight, Caroline Kennedy introduced a tribute to her uncle Ted with a short film by Ken Burns on the public life of the senior Senator from Massachusetts. Senator Kennedy then delivered a short, rousing speech with a good deal of oratorical strength, remarkable considering his on-going and critical health problems.
Now that's a legacy worth celebrating. It's too soon to be concerned with the Clintons' place in history. Right now, their legacies rest primarily in having been elected. All Obama needs to do is to be the nominee. All the Clintons need to do is to assume the position.
Learn from Senator Kennedy, Hillary, and know when to give up the idea of becoming President and focus on your important work in the Senate. Don't take your cues from Ralph Nader.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Don't get me wrong: Senator Biden has intelligence, diligence, and a grasp of world affairs informed by his many years in the Senate grinding away on the day-to-day business of the American people. He's not the most exciting person in the room, but he is likely to be the best informed.
In short, he's everything Obama isn't.
While the media were congratulating themselves on ferreting out the answer to the needlessly obscure question of the week, the pundits were offering up reasons why Biden is an excellent choice to be Vice President.
But here's why he's not:
- Obama's campaign is about Change; Biden is anything but. There's nothing exciting or different about Biden, and if the voter views Washington insider status as part of the problem, the VP choice will do more harm than good.
- Obama is a young man with energy and charm; Biden is another "white-haired, wrinkly old dude" who has more in common with Obama's opponent than with his own running mate. This choice seriously undercuts any arguments about how McCain is too old and out of touch.
- Obama's relative lack of experience will be even more pronounced with an (excuse me, Joe) elder statesman on the ticket. He will look like a kid compared to the more senior Senator. It's an upside-down pairing; the question that comes to mind is "Why isn't Joe Biden the candidate, and Obama his running mate?"
- This choice will do nothing to appease Hillary supporters, as might have a choice for Kathleen Sibelius. At least she would have made history as the first female in the number two slot, the way perhaps paved by Clinton's example. Now what do HRC's fans have to grab onto? I foresee much more drama at the Denver convention than I was expecting, and wouldn't be surprised to see a "draft Hillary" movement get some real momentum. Might she pull a Lieberman? Time will tell.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
As Suskind reports, Tahir Jalil Habbush, the head of Iraqi Intelligence, secretly communicated with the White House and No. 10 about the lack of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq, and that Saddam Hussein was putting on a front to keep Iran at bay.
Even though Habbush was officially among the most wanted men in Iraq, the US had him moved out of harm's way to Jordan and paid him $5 million for his trouble.
But when everyone else in the world found out about the lack of WMD later in 2003, the Bush administration tasked the CIA with creating a back-dated, handwritten letter from Habbush to Saddam stating that hijacker Mohammed Atta had trained in Iraq, and that al-Qaeda was helping Saddam buy Nigerian yellowcake for his nuclear program. And whaddya know, such a letter appeared as a Christmas present for the White House.
So, exactly how many smoking guns does it take to impeach, convict, and imprison the key players of this criminal administration?
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Bernie was reportedly on a new medication that lowered his immune system, so he got pneumonia, for which he was hospitalized.
Hospitals being what they are, he picked up a second strain of pneumonia while under their care, and died of the complications of the overwhelming attacks on his system.
This whole model of "let's nearly kill you so that we can kill the bug, then somehow revive you" seems rather lacking. Especially when the "nearly" becomes "actually".
The medical system failed Bernie Mac, as it has failed others less famous but just as loved.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Politico reports that Senator Clinton has been comparing her fight for the Florida and Michigan delegates to struggles for civil rights.
Because those two states flouted the rules of the Democratic party and held their primaries early (rules agreed to by both Clinton and Obama), those states have been penalized by having their votes discarded.
But Clinton sees it (or says she sees it, perhaps because she "won" both contests) not as a penalty but as a disenfranchisement, a deprivation of the right to vote:
"This work to extend the franchise to all of our citizens is a core mission of the modern Democratic party," Clinton said. "From signing the Voting Rights Act and fighting racial discrimination at the ballot box to lowering the voting age so those old enough to fight and die in war would have the right to choose their commander in chief, to fighting for multilingual ballots so you can make your voice heard no matter what language you speak."
Having thus included racial minorities and the war dead into her argument, she adds heroes of the past, namely:
"The abolitionists and all who fought to end slavery and ensure freedom came with the full right of citizenship. The tenacious women and a few brave men who gathered at the Seneca Falls convention back in 1848 to demand the right to vote."
Finally, she threatened that Michigan and Florida would likely vote Republican in the fall because of ill will towards the mean people who wouldn't let those states' voters get away with breaking their own rules.
Now, I'm sorry if Florida and Michigan are miffed, but it's their own fault. They did not have their voting rights taken away. Their situation is not comparable to slavery. And the junior Senator from New York would not be fighting for their "rights" if she did not stand to gain most of the delegates.
This is not disenfranchisement; it's disingenuous.
The 53-year-old Hutt can shorten his prison term by one month for every million bucks he pays back, but it doesn't seem likely that he will scrape up enough for a Get Out Of Jail Free card before he loses his looks.
After all, sail barges don't come cheap.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
How can the squeaky-clean "Hannah Montana" star be both a cute pop star and a sexual young woman? Is there a precedent for such a dual identity?
This is the photo that garnered all the controversy. It's a lot of bare skin, but no more than one can see at the beach. Okay, so this isn't the beach; it looks like she's arising after a night of love-making.
But it is artistic and beautiful. It's a lovely photo of a lovely subject. And to deny the eroticism of young women is to try to wish away a biological fact.
Now, here's where I have a problem:
In this shot and others like it, which one may see in the behind-the-scenes video, Miley is draped across Billy Ray Cyrus. They look less like father and daughter, and more like lovers in what the magazine calls a "relaxed family event." Then why don't I see her mom? Or would that make it look like a threesome?
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Now, I understand a police officer's need to protect himself, especially if he suspects someone is armed. But when someone hears the police yell "GET ON THE GROUND NOW!" and "HANDS WHERE I CAN SEE THEM!" at the same time, what he hears is "GHEATNODNSTWHHEEGRRIOCUANNDSNTOHWEM!!"
And apparently, the police are trained to empty their clips into someone, rather than take a shot or two to disarm, then reëvaluate the situation. One of them fired 11 shots. Another an impressive 31 shots.
When the detectives were acquitted of all charges, they praised their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. "This is the start of my life back," said the one who shot only 8 times.
Tell that to Bell.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
...therefore I am President!"
Hillary Clinton--Yale Law School graduate, Senator of New York for over 7 years, First Lady of the United States for 8 years, and First Lady of Arkansas for 12 years before that--called Barack Obama--son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from America--elitist and out of touch.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Hu's writings are critical of the Red Chinese, who apparently don't like being taken to task for, say, torturing two people who had complained about their homes being seized illegally.
But they'll get away with it, like they've gotten away with Tibet and the forthcoming Olympic games. They own American debt, they make products for the American market, they have spies on American soil, and they have prominent American politicians in their pocket.
Most Favoured Nation, indeed.
They will always succeed because they have the stomach for brutality.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
French inventor Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville produced phonautograms made by connecting a funnel to a stylus, which traced a series of squiggly lines onto a cylinder of paper covered in lampblack.
Scott had wanted to study the patterns of lines, not to play back the recordings. But because of the invention of software designed to play fragile records without touching them, we now can hear the earliest recording of a human voice, made on 9 April 1860.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Fearing the very thing Wilders referenced, domain registrar Network Solutions blocked all access to the site before the clip was posted.
So, because certain Muslims are likely to boil over into foaming-at-the-mouth demonstrations of their reptilian appetite for fire and blood, an act of intellectual violence was committed against Wilders in favor of a Lloyd-Georgian act of appeasement towards that ignoble product of the Dark Ages.
Islam looks into the mirror and blames the mirror for what it sees.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Meanwhile, on the other end of the scale, we have the state of Black Cinema. The New York Daily News reports, "Tyler Perry's 'Meet The Browns' is a bit of a letdown". No kiddin'?
What is it about the fetish of black comedians donning the guise of fat women? Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence, and Tyler Perry have all done so in the past few years. Clowns.
If it's not such hilarious fare, then it's gritty urban violent hip-hop gang-banger movies or "be somebody" competition films where there's a showdown dance-off, drum-off, skate-off or the like.
Can we have a movie made by a black director and/or black stars that isn't primarily about Blackness? Forest Whitaker can't do everything...
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Getty Images now owns the footage, which has been used in a Hillary Clinton campaign ad (known as the "red phone" ad, even though the phone Hillary answers is white):
Casey, who turns 18 on April 18, was surprised to see herself on TV when she watched a spoof of the ad on "The Daily Show."
Too bad for Hillary that Casey is not only an Obama supporter, but also worked actively for the Obama campaign in Washington State, where she served as a precinct captain.
Irony: not only delicious, but potentially star-making.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
- He doesn't wear an American flag lapel pin. This criticism comes from Jack Kingston (Ninny, GA), who wasn't wearing a lapel pin, either, when he appeared on Dan Abrams' show on MSNBC.
- His middle name is the same as that of the late Iraqi dictator...and millions of other people.
- He's secretly a Muslim (which he isn't, and which isn't illegal in this country anyway).
- The pastor of his church (whom Obama does not control) has some good things to say about Louis Farrakhan (whom Obama denounces).
Not to be outdone, Bush held a press conference and was pretty much all over the map. He harped on the now-discredited-by-members-of-his-own-party notion that the Democratic-controlled Congress is not budging on their denial of immunity to the telecoms who aided Bush in his illegal wiretaps of American citizens, thereby hastening the next 9/11-style cataclysm. He was also surprised to hear that some analysts believe the price of gasoline could hit $4 a gallon in the next few months (it's about $3.17 here now).
Oh, and Nader picked some loser to be his VP.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Voters: "Not yet, but I'm leaning pretty far towards someone."
H: "I hope it's me!"
V: "I'm kind of surprised you even want to go, after what happened last year."
H: "I'll tell you a secret: I let that tailhound take me to the junior prom just so I could meet you."
V: "I kinda got that impression. He was dancing with every hot girl there, and left you by yourself. Why didn't you get mad?"
H: "I didn't want to look like a shrew. I wanted to make sure I had a date for the senior prom."
V: "Well, it's that time again."
H: "Yep. It's MY turn now. This will be OUR year."
V: "Hold on; I didn't say I was taking you."
H: "Oh, sure, you have to say that to be polite to the other girl, but you will. You know you will."
V: "The other girl is very attractive."
H: "But can she dance? I have experience as a dancer."
V: "Yeah, I've seen you dance. But I like her style better."
H: "She has no substance. She's an airhead."
V: "That's not fair. She's an excellent student, and is great at public speaking."
H: "Oh, she stole that material from another girl's paper."
V: "Actually, she and her girlfriend worked on that paper together."
H: "Whatever. Let's look at this dispassionately."
V: "But I want to feel passionate about my prom date."
H: "What do you want? You want me to fake a sweet Southern accent? 'Cause I can do it."
V: "Now you're getting shrill."
H: "My-my feelings are hurt. Must...not...cry...unless you find vulnerability attractive."
V: "Why do you want to be my date so bad?"
H: "Because this is our senior year. It's now or never!"
V: "What if it's never?"
H: "You know what? I might just have to talk to your parents. They always liked me. They'll MAKE you take me."
V: "Way to win me over, Hill. Besides, they've seen how much I like the other girl, and will pretty much support whatever makes me happy."
H: "PICK ME, GODDAMMIT! I'LL MAKE YOU HAPPY! I CAN SING! LET ME SING FOR YOU!"
- You're my obsession
- You're my obsession
- Who do you want me to be
- To make you sleep with me?
H: "But what will I do for the prom?"
V: "I hear Ralph needs a date."
H: "Ralph ALWAYS needs a date."
V: "Don't be bitter, Hill. Maybe the prom isn't your thing. Can't you just content yourself with Student Council?"
H: "I guess I'll have to, no thanks to YOU!"
V: "You have to go now. I have to get ready."
H: "You'll be sorry you ever chose her."
V: "Maybe, maybe not. But it's MY decision, isn't it?"
H: (mutters) "Not if I can help it."
V: "What's that?"
H: (brightly) "Nothing! See you around, big boy."
Sunday, February 24, 2008
There are other ways to voice one's opinions without running for president. Even John Kerry learned to leave the political stage after his loss in 2004 without having to be hit on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper too many times.
Forget winning, I don't think there's a way for him to even spoil the 2008 election for the Democrats. It's an utterly meaningless decision from which no good can come.
Don't go away mad, Ralph; just go away.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Because Florida and Michigan moved up their primaries, the Democratic National Committee stripped those states of their delegates. Both Clinton and Obama accepted that decision; Obama wasn't even listed on the Michigan ballot. As a result, the campaign strategies of the two candidates were altered.
Now that Clinton is in a fight for her political future, she wants to go back on her word and have the results of those primaries counted, since she "won" them. She's trying to play it as an unfair disenfranchisement of the voters, but the tactic is transparently grasping.
If Clinton wins the nomination because of this, she will have destroyed the Democratic party. Already, her husband's legacy as President has been greatly diminished by his intemperate behavior on the campaign trail. She now risks political fratricide by forcing this Florida/Michigan issue on her supporters and colleagues. It is selfish and unstatesmanlike.
She can yet head off disaster by immediately reiterating her support for the DNC sanctions, but I don't see it happening. This is her moment in history, and she sees it slipping away from her, like anxious Orpheus.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Predictably, the Republicans weren't happy about this, and played their favorite card: fear.
Lamar Smith (R, TX) said that "...the Democratic majority cares more about...the personnel decisions of the White House than they do about promoting national security."
The "national security" issue Smith referred to is the update to FISA; you know, the one that lets the White House and the telecoms off the hook for their warrantless wiretapping.
The Republicans are in effect saying, "Don't worry about THOSE violations of law; hurry up and green light these OTHER violations of law."
They want unlimited power for the Executive (unless it's a Democrat, I'm guessing), and a free ride for Big Business. Not a surprise, really, from the party of the President who thinks of the Constitution as "just a piece of paper".
Friday, February 08, 2008
The baffled and baffling Archbishop of Canterbury is proposing that Islamic sharia law be recognized as equal to British law, and that people could choose which to be governed by.
I didn't realize that Britain had gone so far down on its knees as to actually fellate Muslims as they pour out of the Chunnel into Old Blighty.
Cane-wielding Calvinists invigilating over inattentive worshipers is one thing, but frowsy Stone Age freaks flaying women for having the effrontery to be gang-raped is quite another.
There are plenty of Muslim nations around the world where this kind of thing would be welcome. Why move to Britain just to turn it into a ghetto? Is it the climate? The food?
As an atheist, I'd be glad to see all religion out of the picture, especially of the "more-batshit-than-thou" variety.
How do you say "fuck right off" in Arabic?
Monday, January 14, 2008
Now, a quarter-century later, Jackson mines his past with Thriller 25: part retrospective, part remake. He has enlisted the help of some people called Akon, Will.I.Am, and Fergie--apparently a guy nearly named for a city in Ohio, an Internet junkie named Bill, and the Duchess of York.
There's a new song on Thriller 25, a remake of "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'", which is pretty terrible (it wasn't a very good song to begin with).
It would be pointless to reflect on whether Jackson's music has matured over the years, since he himself has not. It's hard to believe that this odd character once had the world in thrall.
He was great in the Jackson 5, though.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11.
So, vote for me and I will keep you as safe and protected as I did on..oh, what was that date...?