Monday, December 13, 2010

IVY LEAGUE INCEST: THE BEGINNING OF A SLIDE DOWN A NEW SLIPPERY SLOPE?

And you thought incest was just for rock stars and hayseeds!

Nope, nowadays Ivy League academics with national reputations are getting into the act -- namely, Columbia University political science professor David Epstein.  From the December 10, 2010 edition of the Columbia University student newspaper, the Spectator (link mine):

Political science professor David Epstein, 46, was charged Thursday with having a sexual relationship with his daughter, 24.
He was arrested Wednesday morning and charged with one count of incest in the third degree at an arraignment hearing on Thursday. According to police, the relationship appears to have been consensual.
Epstein declined to comment when reached on his cell phone Thursday evening.
His wife, Sharyn O’Halloran, chair of the executive committee of the University Senate and a tenured professor, also declined to comment when reached by phone.

As recently as 2009, Epstein was a contributor to the leftist blog The Huffington Post (which, to its credit, reported the story). His most notable opinion piece (pictured on the right, click to enlarge) was "Palin Proves Voters Were Right in 2008", written two days after then-Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's July 4 press conference announcing she would resign. Wrote Epstein:

Palin has done what weak, self-centered people do when the going gets tough -- they quit and blame someone else.

Remember that quote, folks. It will be interesting to see if Epstein fights to maintain his position at Columbia, and what his excuses will be for sex with his own offspring.  Grab some popcorn -- and a barf bag.

Much has been made of his bashing of Palin in conservative media, but that's par for the course among admitted, committed leftists.  My concerns about l'affaire Epstein have more to do with the responses among people like the contributors and daily surfers of HuffPo and the culturally influential people of Northeastern academia.  They have been challenged to address a scandal that they never would have imagined could happen to someone like Epstein (and, by extension, them), and it seems that too many for comfort will tip in favor of apathy -- that because the father-daughter lovers were "consenting adults" (as far as we know), it's salacious rubbernecking at something that's really not a big deal.  "Nothing to see here, move along."




As noted by The American Spectator's Robert Stacy McCain on December 10, "some commenters at the [Columbia Spectator] Web site are mystified as to why it's illegal: "Wait, why is consensual incest a crime? It might not be appealing to everyone, but if they're adults and they consent, who cares what they do?"  One clueless senior said the following upon learning of the arrest:

"Raahi Sheth, CC ’11, an economics and political science major—who had an Epstein (sic) as a major adviser—said he was surprised to hear of the allegations, since Epstein has always been helpful. 

“He’d always been fairly jovial,” he said. “He seemed to be a very nice guy.”

Here was my reaction, posted on McCain's AmSpec blog December 11 (edited to include links, italics, and blockquotes):


Hear ye, all you people who rend your garments and begin boycott blogs whenever someone speaks aloud the blasphemy that rulings against laws prohibiting same-sex marriage will ultimately lead to the legalization of polygamy and/or incest.  Within this sordid event lies (upon serious analysis) the evidence proving your outrage reactionary and shallow. 

The attitude toward laws prohibiting incest expressed by the "consenting adults" crowd within the Columbia community are the blueprint for an off-ramp of the Rubicon Bridge expressway designed by David Boies, Theodore Olson, and anti-Proposition 8 activists who believe same-sex marriage is a right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.  The bedrock of their Federal case for having the California Constitution's sole definition of marriage as one man-one woman struck down is to have unelected jurists determine whether there are sufficient reasons to prohibit additional forms of marriage.  On that particular docket is their support of same-sex marriage within two parties, but their position as advocates of such unions sets the table for future challenges to the idea that marriage ought to be limited to just two individuals, be they straight, gay, or bisexual.  In short:  If their California victory currently being appealed should be confirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court, all future challenges to America's longstanding marital norms won't be based on the question "Why expand marriage rights?" but "Why should marriage rights NOT be extended?"

For people who insist that's a wild, dystopic projection, consider this: The 2008 California Supreme Court opinion striking down the 2000 voter initiative cementing traditional marriage into the California family code (In re Marriage Cases) was carefully designed to mirror its previous 1948 decision striking down anti-miscegenation laws (Perez v. Sharp). Had someone declared 62 years ago that establishing a right for blacks and whites to marry would eventually lead to marriage of two men or two women, that person would have been called insane.  After all, sodomy was a crime -- who was going to allow two homosexuals to get married as if they were two members of the opposite sex?  Neither the affirming nor dissenting opinions in Perez even address sodomy law.  But twenty-one years later in 1969, the state legislature decriminalized sodomy under the "consenting adults" banner. That opened the door that has, to date, been busted down twice; in 2008 and in 2010.

So, here we are now in 2010, and some of the same crowd who undoubtedly snickered when Saturday Night Live joked in 2008 about New York Times reporters imagining Todd Palin was "doing those daughters" are in all seriousness making statements such as this one, posted in the Spectator comments section [bold mine]:

"[L]egally speaking, I do have my doubts about why the law should see this as any different from any relationship between consenting adults,There used to be an adherence to natural law in the West that saw all such relations i.e. same sex relations, incest, bestiality, as the same legal category. We abandoned that some time ago, and are we better for having done so? I don't know, but those people that see this as deplorable need to show why it is any different from the other categories of behavior that used to be prohibited under a concept of natural law like gay sex."

The prosecution rests.

On a side note regarding Epstein's wife, Professor O'Halloran (who apparently is not the mother of the daughter in question), this is what the Spectator said about their relationship in its 2008 Valentine's Day article, "Married Profs Bring Love To Work" (bold mine):

“Our complementary skills lead to a great partnership,” she said. This collaboration is present in their home as well, where, according to O’Halloran, an economist, they “split household chores along comparative advantage and our marginal rates of productivity are maximized at every turn.”

Hubba hubba, Ms. O'Halloran knows the language of love. I thought Cheers' stodgy scholar Lilith Sternin was a fictional character.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

SICK AND TIRED OF ALL THOSE NEGATIVE CAMPAIGN ADS, MATT LAUER? WELL, GROW UP!

I don't believe in psychic phenomena or synchronicity, but it's very -- for lack of a more fitting description -- spooky.  The folks at Reason.com (whom we know don't believe in that stuff) and I posted eerily similar thoughts around the very same time: Thursday morning, October 28, 2010. The topic: The annual mournful whining from mainstream media figures about how negative political campaigns have gotten.

The freaky stuff will make itself apparent later.  First, you will read what I wrote in response to an article for the NBC Bay Area (i.e., television station KNTV San Jose) website by reporter Tom Sinkovitz.  The report, titled "Looks Like They Are Staying Negative, Folks," was fleshing out an incident in a joint appearance at an annual  state-sponsored "women's conference" by California Governor Schwarzenegger and gubernatorial candidates Jerry Brown (D) and Meg Whitman (R).  Conducting a thirty-minute interview with the three of them was NBC's Matt Lauer, host of Today. In the accompanying video clip, you can see Lauer concluding the interview by making an attempt to shape the remaining days of the campaign by trying to shame Whitman and Brown into making a pledge "to end the negativity."







(A brief aside: Notice that only Whitman is pictured in the title frame for this video, and not Brown.) 

Matt -- presuming he, y'know, watches NBC News -- was aware at that moment that Brown has opened up a lead in most polls that either is close to or exceeds error margins, and that Whitman must take drastic measures in order to close the gap.  As any astute observer knows, that means going (more) negative.  It stretches the bounds of credulity to think that Lauer (who, remember, is NOT a California resident) was unaware that Brown has nothing to lose by agreeing to this supposedly spontaneous request, and that he was ever-so-cordially requesting that Whitman fall on her $160 million sword rather than fight to the last moment.

My reaction, posted on the NBC Bay Area site (which was addressed to the piece's author, Tom Sinkovitz):

Oh, you're so disappointed, Tom - politicians aren't going to play nicey-nice. How old are you, 12?


Listen up, kiddies: Negative political tactics weren't invented during this campaign, since the invention of TV, or even in the past two centuries. Thomas Jefferson made remarks about John Adams that would be interpreted nowadays as "homophobic." Grover Cleveland was elected despite the rumors about his having an illegitimate child - John Edwards wasn't the first guy accused of it.  You all sound like a mother wincing every time her halfback son gets put on the ground when he carries the ball. It's part of the game, Mom, so get used to it!


What's most ridiculous about such hollow calls for civility in campaigning is that it ignores three realities: 1. Negative campaigning works, 2. Every winning candidate who has a viable opponent has done it and will continue to do it (even YOUR favorite pol),  and 3. Voters are NOT now nor have ever been sufficiently informed by political advertising in the first place! 


What negative ads do is fill in the blank spots left by the sunny, smiling self-profiles that are like video of a cheeseburger with little resemblance to what you actually unwrap at a franchise joint. In the midst of his ads with teachers lauding his leadership, how many people knew Brown conceded his educational experiments as Oakland mayor [were] a failure before Whitman's negative ad?  How many people knew of Whitman's history with Goldman Sachs before Brown's negative ad? Are those things you would have rather NOT known about either candidate before making a choice? 


It's not the candidates' job not to offend your fragile sensibilities, it's your job to discover the truth neither side wants to admit, and to cast aside nonsense that has nothing to do with their ability to govern (such as that housekeeper compost Gloria Allred cooked up). It's not fun wading in the muck to get the facts, but you would think people would want to now more than ever. Grow up!

OK, now the spooky part.  I wrote that part about Thomas Jefferson's attack on the manliness of John Adams before I was aware of the video below, which it seems was being posted on YouTube at about the same moment.  It is Reason.tv's magnificent skewering of bemoaners of the tone of political ads, such as Lauer.  Don't drink any beverages as you watch -- you will laugh so hard you will launch it on your screen halfway through, and the rest of it will be all blurry.



Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"DESTINY" VS. "DYNASTY": ARE NBC NEWS PEOPLE AS DUMB AS THEY THINK SARAH PALIN IS?

In July 2010, when a tempest in a teapot resulted from Sarah Palin having accidentally coined the word "refudiate" (a fusion of the words "repudiate" and "refute"),  I noted here at REACTOR that the same leftist partisans promoting the "refudiate" kerfuffle as proof positive Palin was an idiot had previously been hoist with their own petard in January 2010, when they suggested that Palin had invented the word "mandation."  

To recap: The Professional Palinphobes, who grit their teeth with disgust while watching her every move in the hope of documenting and inflating her every infinitesimal error, watched Palin in her role as Fox News contributor sharing her thoughts on President Obama's first State of The Union address. In an interview conducted by Sean Hannity, she warned about the ill-effects of "mandation of health care," i.e., passing a law saying that purchasing health insurance was mandatory. The Sarah-haters, having never heard the word "mandation" before, leapt to the conclusion that since they first heard it from Palin, it couldn't possibly have been in the English language. 
Left-leaning quasi-journalists like bloggers Shannyn Moore of her blog Just a Girl From Homer, Media Matters contributor Oliver Willis, and Mediaite.com's Colby Hall sprung into action. A commenter on Moore's blog wrote: "'Mandation' is not found anywhere in the dictionary. I taught U.S. History and ... government [] for 33 years [and] I can say that if [Palin] had been a student in one of my government classes, she would have failed the course." Willis -- whose blog is falsely subtitled "Like Kryptonite to Stupid" -- wrote "America’s Idiot and Fox News front woman Sarah Palin has made up a new word." Of the word "mandation," Hall of Mediaite.com initially wrote, "No, that’s not a real word."

In fact, "mandation" IS a real word, though rarely used in common conversation, and is not in abridged dictionaries. When searched online, it shows up in the titles of several policy papers in which professors and professional researchers lay out the benefits and consequences of newly-proposed government regulations. So, to all those people who figured Palin's use of "mandation" confirmed their opinion she is somewhat illiterate, it proved exactly the opposite! It seems she was doing her homework, and (perhaps) found the fancy word in the process. Meanwhile, her sworn enemies were so ignorant, they thought if she said something THEY didn't understand, that SHE must have been wrong. Surprise!

Of course, the mainstream media (or, as Palin has re-dubbed them, the lamestream media) was not interested in highlighting how Palin had schooled her enemies on "mandation," but made space to incorporate "refudiate" into news reports about the Ground Zero Mosque controversy.  Rarely do nationally-televised or printed MSM journalists miss a chance to ridicule Palin for the most dubious of reasons, especially if she's making a pertinent point; it reinforces the narrative that it is dangerous to take her seriously.

It is that which I thought was afoot when I saw this tweet from NBC News' Luke Russert on Monday morning (October 25, 2010) regarding Palin's backing of Alaska GOP Senate nominee Joe Miller. Miller is facing an independent run by Lisa Murkowski, the GOP incumbent he defeated in the Republican primary. She also is the daughter of Frank Murkowski, the Alaska Governor that Palin defeated in a 2006 primary (click to enlarge):

Palin takes shot at Murkowski "family destiny": 
http://tinyurl.com/23cgu6k
http://twitter.com/RussertXM_NBC/status/28716921420
"Family destiny?" REALLY?

"Oh, brother," I thought -- could Sarah Palin possibly have confused the words "destiny" and "dynasty"?  That's an egregious grammatical error, much worse than merging the words "repudiate" and "refute," which, while not synonyms, are actions commonly performed consecutively; one can repudiate a false charge, and then refute it.  On the other hand, there's no way to mix up "destiny" and "dynasty" -- middle school-level vocabulary words -- unless...

  1. You have no idea what either word means, 
  2. You don't know how either is properly pronounced, 
  3. You don't know how to sound out words phonetically, and 
  4. You can't break words down syllable by syllable. 

It was difficult for me to believe, but I clicked on the link, assuming that Russert had caught Palin in the act, and that she was in for more guffaws from the genii that put Barack Obama into office (heh).  The link brought me to NBC News' First Read, which you can see below (click to enlarge):



I was waiting for the whammy showing that Palin had confused "destiny" and "dynasty."  I read, and kept reading.  And reading. Finally, Russert brought down the hammer (click to enlarge):

Palin then takes a swing at the Murkowski family, saying,
"Joe Miller will fight for the people of Alaska, and this great country. 
Public service should be an honor not a family dynasty." 

Wait a minute...it doesn't say "destiny," it says "dynasty"! What the French?


I went to the most trusted repository of Palin information on the Internet -- Conservatives4Palin.com -- to see what was really up.  Sure enough, one of the editors had already posted Sarah's appeal for Miller, and it was properly spelled (click to enlarge):




My first instinct after this was to accuse Luke Russert of deliberately making believe that Palin had gaffed. I tweeted this, cc'ing Newsbusters' and Palin's own Twitter accounts:



I wanted to get a screencap of the First Read page before it vanished, because sometimes that happens to inaccurate news reports.  I opened another browser, pasted the tinyurl link, and guess what? The headlines had changed! "Destiny" had become "dynasty" in the sixteen minutes in-between my accessing that story the first and second times. 





So, it seems that after Russert wrote this report, and it was uploaded to the NBC News site, it was finally reviewed and proofread. As Palin might say, that's backasswards! Even worse, it shows that neither Luke Russert nor his editors can be depended on to tell the difference between words as dissimilar as "destiny" and "dynasty" -- and, it appears, neither can his MSNBC colleague Norah O'Donnell, who retweeted it within minutes...



 ...that is, unless, she didn't bother to read the story either.

It wouldn't be surprising if that was the case with the lovely Norah.  She is chief among the MSMers who believe the worst about Palin first, and checks the facts later. Prime example: January 2009, when she said in a jovial three-way conversation with a Democrat strategist and fellow Sarah-sliming MSNBCer Lawrence  O'Donnell that Palin had called Barack Obama "a terrorist" during the 2008 campaign. Remember that?

Palin's point about the dangers of installing dynasties may have been made in an indirect fashion through young Luke's megagaffe. As we can see from his performance yesterday morning, he's been deemed ready for the big time by the asleep-at-the-switch suits at NBC News despite the fact he's still swimming in the shoes of his late, legendary father, Meet The Press host Tim Russert.  While he still has time to learn, let's be serious about the here and now: If he was Luke Smith, Luke Jones, or Luke Doe, he would never see the business end of an NBC News camera.

Harsh? Yes, uncomfortably so. True, nevertheless? You betcha.



Wednesday, October 20, 2010

WHAT I WISH MARCO RUBIO HAD TIME TO SAY TO DEBATE QUESTION OF WHETHER HE'S "ANTI-LATINO"

The following is my comment in the HotAir.com thread "Debate moderator to Rubio: How’s it feel to be anti-Latino?" authored by Ed Morrissey.  Here is the video of a question put to conservative Republican Marco Rubio, the former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives and current candidate for U.S. Senate,  as posted originally at Townhall.com/Tipsheet:




Let’s examine that question:


Mr. Rubio, you are running on what many commentators have described as one of the most anti-Latino platforms around. You support the Arizona immigration law, you oppose the DREAM act, you oppose a pathway to citizenship, ah, you support English as an official language. All those issues are issues that appeal to the most conservative elements of the Republican party, to the Tea Party, and has made you a darling of the Tea Party movement across the country and gotten you enormous support from the Tea Party. How can Florida voters feel comfortable that you are not beholden to interests from without the state, and the Tea Party, the most conservative elements of the Tea Party?



When a person asks a long, specifically detailed question like this, it’s like a DNA test confirming their lack of critical thinking skills as well as their acceptance of leftist propaganda about what is “good” for subdivided ethnic groups.

Rubio seemed ready for it, and gave a great answer. However, as a right-of-center black man, I wish he could have had time to politely — but forcefully — blast the question as prejudicial and bigoted, and dare the moderator to logically defend it.


For example: “Many commentators” call Rubio’s platform “anti-Latino.” What makes it so, praytell? Because he supports SB 1070, which has negatively impacted law-abiding Latinos how, exactly? He opposes the DREAM act, which helps native-born and naturalized Latinos how, exactly? He supposedly opposes a “pathway to citizenship” when his parents were legal Latino immigrants? How, exactly? He supports English as an official language, which hurts Latinos how, exactly?

Notice how the seamlessly the question turns from one accusing Rubio of self-hatred and extremism into one that also brings in the accusation of carpetbagging: He’s “a darling of the Tea Party movement across the country,” and thus, Florida voters aren’t supposed to feel comfortable that he’s not “beholden” to out-of-state interests? (Wow, that’s refreshing — usually it’s Northerners who are bitching and moaning about Republicans being beholden to the Deep South!) Dude acts as if he hasn’t checked the polls and noticed that Rubio is in the lead in Florida, which is a pretty good indicator that Sunshine Staters don’t see the Tea Party agenda as being “from without.”


The moderator — or, whoever wrote that question — designed it to have so many objectionable premises that Rubio wouldn’t be able to address them all. With the time Rubio was given, he did better than I ever could have expected.

Friday, October 15, 2010

AMERICA'S LEADING BLACK WOMEN'S MAGAZINE LIES TO ITS READERS ABOUT O'REILLY TIFF ON THE VIEW

If you care anything about the ladies of ABC's The View or watch Fox News Channel, you've heard about it, and probably seen at least a little of it: The verbal donnybrook on the October 14, 2010 edition in which View co-hostesses Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar walked off the set after cable news superstar pundit Bill O'Reilly -- there to plug his newest bestseller, Pinheads & Patriots: Where You Stand in The Age of Obama -- made the remark that "Muslims killed us on 9/11."

How much you understand about what actually occurred on the program depends largely on where you get your news.  If you watch Fox News, you got the whole story.  If you saw the video on The View's official ABC website, ditto.  If you got from someplace else, maybe you have had some details withheld from you.

For instance, this is what you got if you read about it on the website for Essence magazine, America's leading lifestyle magazine aimed at black women, published by a company owned by Time, Inc.



It's official: "The View" co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar are not to be messed with. Goldberg and Behar let their feet do the talking during a heated discussion with FOX News host Bill O'Reilly on Thursday's show.


While promoting his book, "Pinheads And Patriots: Where You Stand in the Age of Obama," O'Reilly declared that "Muslims killed us on 9/11." In her best "Oh-no-you-didn't" voice, Goldberg snapped back, "Oh my God, that is such b******t! When Behar tried to get a word in, O'Reilly shut her down with this gentlemanly phrase: "Listen to me because you'll learn something," both women walked off the set, clearly outraged. O'Reilly later apologized, and Behar and Goldberg returned.


Funny, resident conservative Elizabeth Hasselback (sic) had nothing to say.

This is the video clip embedded on Essence.com accompanying their version of the events.  It was posted by "StopBeck," the YouTube arm of StopBeck.com, an astroturf website dedicated to harassing/threatening sponsors of Glenn Beck's Fox News program. It is 2 minutes and 45 seconds of the conversation, which clocks in at over five minutes.  Watch closely:



Essence asked its readers: "What do you think? Did Whoopi and Joy overreact or was their walk-off justified?" You know I couldn't pass that up. But before you read my response, look at the unedited clip from the official View website at http://TheView.ABC.go.com:




My comment, posted via my Facebook account:
Essence.com's account of the incident is not only inaccurate, it's deliberately and maliciously dishonest.

The synopsis written underneath the YouTube clip you've embedded (an edited version from an anti-Glenn Beck website [connected to] Democrat strategists, not the official http://TheView.ABC.go.com clip of the ENTIRE incident) has no resemblance to what actually happened.  You did NOT make reference to the fact that Barbara Walters - the show's co-creator and Executive Producer - criticized Behar and Goldberg's actions as they were still headed backstage, and you flat out lied about and smeared Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who made her own statement after the walkout.  

Here's why my conclusion is indisputable:

1. You wrote: "When Behar tried to get a word in, O'Reilly shut her down with this gentlemanly phrase: 'Listen to me because you'll learn something,' both women walked off the set, clearly outraged." Absolute nonsense! The truth is this: O'Reilly made his snide "gentlemanly" remark at 0:42 of the clip, before he explained his opinion that there was a wide gulf between Obama and "the folks," and thus BHO's plummeting approval numbers.  It was not until the 2:30 mark -- one minute and forty-eight seconds later -- that Behar stood up and said "I don't want to sit here any more!" and walked away, followed by Whoopi.

2. As the edited YouTube clip above ends, Behar and Goldberg are walking off the set, but Barbara Walters can be clearly be heard saying "I want to say something!" As can be seen on the official http://TheView.ABC.go.com excerpt, as the applause for those supporting Joy & Whoopi subsided, Walters said the following: "I want to say something to all of you!  You have just seen what should NOT happen!  We should be able to have discussions without washing our hands, and screaming, and walking offstage!  I love my colleagues, that should not have happened!"

3. To the remark "Funny, resident conservative Elizabeth (sic) Hasselback (sic) had nothing to say," here's the truth, which can be seen in the http://TheView.ABC.go.com video: After Barbara Walters expressed to O'Reilly "in a calmer voice" that it was "extremists" that carried out the terrorist attacks and that he had "demeaned an entire religion" with his statement "Muslims killed us on 9/11,"  this is what Hasselbeck said: "Do you think the problem though, Bill, is that if we go back in time, early in this administration, the President himself said we weren't allowed to use the word 'terrorist' early on ... he started saying "radical Islamists,' 'radical Muslims' so then there was then a closer association with what happened, and the religion?  I think if he would have just let us say 'terrorists' because there are terrorists across all religions and all faiths, then this wouldn't even be a problem!" She got a fair amount of applause for saying that, although it is factually inaccurate. My comment is long enough without explaining why, so I won't go into it.

The Huffington Post and Gawker -- among other popular websites run by left-leaning people -- regularly delete comments without explicit or profane content for the "crime" of disagreeing with the editors' agenda. Hopefully, Essence.com will let my comment stand, showing that it has the courage to allow dissent, and also admit when it is dead wrong.
 As of this moment, this comment is still on the Essence.com page, to its credit.

It occurred to me that Elisabeth Hasselbeck was prejudged the same way that Shirley Sherrod was -- based on an edited videotape that doesn't tell the entire story of what was said. More on that in an upcoming post.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

WRITER ANNE LAMOTT (WHO?) DOESN'T KNOW WHAT SHE'S TALKING "ABAHT"

Anne Lamott -- whom I never heard of until last week -- wrote a supremely ridiculous op-ed for the Los Angeles Times named "The Last Word In Politics," subtitled "We must take on today's radioactive politics for the sake of my 1-year-old grandson."

Lamott, who apparently thinks herself hilariously funny, opened with the good ol' passive aggressive narrative about how she didn't want to hear people sneer at John Boehner's tan, Mitch McConnell's chin, or the intellect of Sarah Palin, Sharron Angle, or Christine O'Donnell, bashing them all the way through. Not original, not clever, not notable. Then it crossed into the dumber than dirt realm when she wrote this:


I was babysitting [my one-year-old grandson] on the night when Miss O'Donnell won the Republican nomination for senator in Delaware. The television was filled with footage of the incomparable O'Donnell and news of how she opposes masturbation and believes that scientists have successfully implanted human brains in lab rats. I could not have taken my eyes off the television for anyone else except my grandson, with his huge luminous black eyes and hair, his rosy brown skin, his toothy smile. But this toddler is so lovely, innocent and funny that he broke the spell.
Gazing at him, I realized how desperately important it is for there to be breathable air left when he comes of age, and perhaps the merest hint of an ozone layer.
She tries to turn her grandson's attempts at communication into a rallying cry:
Plus he can only say one word, besides "Mommy" and "Da-da." It is "abaht"... It's a good word, so I say now to all like-minded people, abaht! Get involved now in this election. Abaht for Molly Ivins and Teddy Kennedy. Abaht — register voters, or send sane candidates a donation, or volunteer to make phone calls or address envelopes. It will greatly affect the next 40-some days, for you and this country and even this world.
 
Read the entire thing at the above link, and remember that as lighthearted as it seems, it's supposed to be serious.

Ms. Lamott seems to be one of those who believes she knows everything there is to know about current events because she reads headlines, has the evening news on TV as background noise, trusts her favorite elected officials to tell her the truth, and disbelieves anything she hears that has Fox News Channel as its main source.  If she was as informed as she believes she is, she wouldn't have been so apathetic until now, nor would she have bought into most of the schtuff she cited as being factual.

Here are my two responses, posted on the Lamott piece's comment page on the Times website within hours of each other:
This essay is a buffet table of ignorance, misinformation and fearmongering. I'll need to be precise in trying to rebut even half of it. Here goes:
  • In March, Speaker Pelosi said of the 2000+ page ObamaCare bill: "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it," turning America's lawmaking process on its head. Had Sarah Palin said such a thing, it would have been trumpeted as evidence of her unfitness.
  • Concerns about the ethics of creating human/animal hybrids go back to the early '00s. Google "Irving Weissman, M.D." Ms. O'Donnell's sole error in relating her stance was saying "human brains" rather than "human brain CELLS."
  • Ms. Lamott need not fear lack of "breathable air" for her grandson. The air in the USA today is cleaner than it was when Ms. L bore her daughter.
  • The ozone layer Ms. L worries about is actually restoring itself. Was that not in the Times this week?
  • I find it interesting Ms. L thinks her grandson's future dates bear the responsibility of contraception.
  • Does Ms. L believe if same-sex marriage becomes legal, it will mean the end of "institutionalized bigotry"? Wait until polygamists and incestuous couples demand THEIR rights to marry.  Oppose them when their turn comes, Ms. L, and The Bigot Finger will be pointed at YOU.
That's just for starters.
  The next morning, just in case people thought I was kidding, I added more to my bullet list:
I couldn't slap down all of Ms. Lamott's nonsense in one 1400-character comment. Here's more:
  • "TV was filled with footage of O'Donnell and news of how she opposes masturbation" by leftist partisans in mass media. They don't highlight that the video is a decade old and that her stance had nothing to do with lawmaking.
  • Ms. Lamott remarkably herself writes "My [half-Latino] grandson ... looks like an illegal alien." I guess that assumption would extend to her grandson's father and all Latino-looking people as well. In the next sentence she decries "racist weirdness" she sees in others. The irony is apparently lost on her.
  • Ms. L exhorts people to get involved in this election in the name of Teddy Kennedy, an alcoholic who abandoned a woman trapped in his car to drown in a [pond] , conceived a cockamamie story to cover his tracks, [] traded on his famous family's tragic legacy to survive expulsion from the Senate, and in his waning years frequently joked about the deadly incident.  (Kids, educate yourselves: Google "Chappaquiddick.") I guess Ms. L would prefer people of that character run in Delaware.
Ms. Lamott concludes: "Do it for your own incoherent paper-eating grandchildren..." She clearly meant "incoherent paper-writing grandmothers."
One thing I didn't include in my posts was a reply to her disclosure that her grandson had eaten part of the San Francisco Chronicle's "Sporting Green" section, anemically jesting that he was doing his part for the recycling cause.  The sports section of the Chron is not that bad, but the rest of the paper -- the editorial pages, specifically -- have long made as much sense as something that had been through a hungry one-year-old.

GLORIA ALLRED'S UNSPOKEN MESSAGE: DON'T TRUST IMMIGRANTS!

The following is a comment in praise of Cornell Assistant Law Professor (and Harvard Law School graduate) William Jacobson's comprehensive breakdown of Gloria Allred's latest stunt in his blog entry "Why Isn't The Left Screaming at Gloria Allred?" at his excellent blog, Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion.

DailyMail
 Representing Nicky Diaz Santillan, the nine-year former housekeeper of former eBay CEO and GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, Allred is repeatedly calling Whitman a liar for saying that she didn't know that Ms. Diaz used false documents to qualify for her employment.  In her haste to damage the Republican candidate running for Governor with a frivolous legal claim, Allred has inadvertantly violated a leftist credo; when it comes to illegal aliens (or, as Ms. Allred insists on saying, "undocumented immigrants"), one is never supposed to presume that they are lying because of the way they look, speak, or act. As Jacobson points out, Allred's entire premise of attacking Whitman hangs on the implication that "you ... must not trust the immigrant if a problem arises."

My reaction:
KPIX/CBS



I live in the S.F. Bay Area and have to force myself to watch news coverage of this "SCANDAL!" because I instantly knew how they were going to spin it; Whitman's a hypocrite because she said in a debate the previous night that employers should be dealt with if they hire illegals, and she should have been willing to go beyond due diligence and demand enough evidence to prove that her housekeeper's papers were bogus.

That, despite the fact that just a few months ago, the MSM worked from the angle that SB 1070 empowered Arizona law enforcement per se to do what they all agreed it deep-down really wanted to do: Scrounge for any excuse to round up brown-skinned people for the purpose of deportation. People who didn't have the right look about them, we were led to believe, would be detained for either frivolous or non-existent reasons (while taking their kids out for ice cream) so that their documents could be viewed, deemed suspicious, and ICE could be summoned to dump them back over the border (even if they in reality were American citizens).

Allred herself -- as I wrote in a recent blog post "Memo to Inglorious Barrister Gloria Allred: Enough Already!" -- is following her normal pattern:


[F]or the purpose of feathering her beachfront nest, Allred often portrays ought-to-be mature adult women [as] innocent, trusting, foolish little girls. She does what poverty pimps like Sharpton and Jackson also do: They call the media hordes on their speed dial[s], trot out before cameras people that too often bear much (if not most) of the responsibility for the predicaments they find themselves in, and demand the government and/or the general public treat them with $ympathy. It matters not if they are worldly, corrupt, liars, or hypocrites, the people standing in the background with that familiar starving waif expression are demanding justice that jingles in their pockets, with a healthy percentage to be taken by the likes of Allred of Arc.


That August 2010 piece was in the wake of a weak interview of Allred by ABC News' David Wright. Allred was lavishing in her estimated $10 million out-of-court settlement with Tiger Woods in exchange for the sealing of the loose lips of skank-to-the-stars Rachel Uchitel, and Allred still seems focused on duplicating that feat with washed-up porn actress Joslyn James. James,[at right] Allred wants us to believe, was a "victim." Victim of what? She "fell in love" with an international superstar who treated her the way she used to be treated (and she treated others) for a living? Similarly, Diaz is a "victim," says Gloria. Why? Because rather than being turned over to INS and deported to Mexico, she held a normally minimum-wage job for nearly a decade at the rate of $23/hr?

William Jacobson
In the imbedded ABC News video at the link above, you can see how -- true to her sadly successful playbook -- Allred was grasping the hand of the bawling "victim" James as she read a prepared statement, just like she did this week with "victim" Diaz. Allred knows the power (and the value) of a woman's tears, and has made a mint wielding their ability to cloud people's intelligence and judgment. (For more, see Delilah: Judges 16:4-20.) Allred didn't get to where she is because she's a dummy, but she clearly believes the rest of us are. It's a shame so many prove her right.

Finding a way to concisely explain to headline-scanning know-nothings why they should chew and slowly [digest] Allred's nonsense instead of swallowing and regurgitating it is frustrating and tiring. But I take it upon myself because the alternative is allowing it to spread. Thanks for your help, Professor.
 Thankfully, Allred may -- just may -- have jumped the shark with this latest overreach.  More to come.

.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

MEMO TO INGLORIOUS BARRISTER GLORIA ALLRED: ENOUGH ALREADY!

The following is my reaction to a fawning interview of high-profile attorney Gloria Allred -- who has of late been prospecting on behalf of former side chicks of Tiger Woods -- on the August 26, 2010 edition of Nightline.

Here's ABC News correspondent David Wright making a fool of himself:






Here's how I responded on the ABC News Nightline Facebook page (some language was moderated to ensure it would remain on the Facebook page -- not so here):

I just got through watching David Wright mostly lobbing softballs at Gloria Allred, never once asking a question that she ought to have been asked while she was gently holding the hopefully washed hand of porn figure Joslyn James: How have these women who have knowingly messed around with a world-famous married celebrity been "wronged"? 


How did James - who used to fornicate with strange men *for a living* - suddenly become a "victim"? Because her poor, tender, heart was broken by a out-of-control mega rich guy who had everything to lose if he admitted schtupping her?  What in the world entitles James or any of the other whores - professional and semi-pro - to several hundreds of thousands times over the going rate?


I am not pretending that women aren't still victims of discrimination, but for the purpose of feathering her beachfront nest, Allred often portrays ought-to-be mature adult women [as] innocent, trusting, foolish little girls.  She does what poverty pimps like Sharpton and Jackson also do: They call the media hordes on their speed dial, trot out before cameras people that too often bear much (if not most) of the responsibility for the predicaments they find themselves in, and demand the government and/or the general public treat them with $ympathy. It matters not if they are worldly, corrupt, liars, or hypocrites, the people standing in the background with that familiar starving waif expression are demanding justice that jingles in their pockets, with a healthy percentage to be taken by the likes of Allred of Arc.


Specifically, here's the question I wanted to hear the star-struck Wright ask: "If Tiger somehow "owes" his mistresses lifestyle-enhancement money, why aren't the little tramps that willingly played house with him holding bake sales to pay the only REAL victims: Elin and her children?"  What, Gloria? No more questions?  Wait, where are you going?

The ABC News.com report on this interview is hilariously headlined at the top of the browser "Gloria Allred Fights For Women's Rights."  Puhleeze.  More like "Gloria Allred Fights For Women's Right to Be Wrong."

Friday, August 13, 2010

I KNEW DAN QUAYLE. SON, YOU'RE NO DAN QUAYLE. (UPDATE: VIDEO RESTORED)

The following is my reaction to the news that Ben Quayle -- son of former Vice President Dan Quayle and a candidate for the 3rd Congressional District in Arizona (Maricopa County, north of Phoenix) was a key figure in the promotion of a seedy, salacious website known as DirtyScottsdale.com (Scottsdale being a Phoenix suburb) three years ago.  The site has expanded its scope beyond its regional focus, and is now known simply as TheDirty.com.  TheDirty introduces you to endless photos of attractive women in varying states of undress and sobriety and talks trash about them, often based upon an angry ex-boyfriend's desire to see their former objects of affection held up to ridicule.


 
As posted on Verum Serum, August 12, 2010:
Oh, brother.


I first heard of TheDirty when it showed the first "topless" photo of former Miss California USA Carrie Prejean as she modeled panties while covering a nipple with her forearm. It was the first salvo in the Gay-stapo campaign to destroy the 2009 Miss USA runner-up's career for daring to say on national television that she supported "opposite marriage" as opposed to same-sex marriage, and that she thought voters in individual states have the right to define "marriage."


I wrote extensively about the unrelenting attacks on Prejean on my blog, and got more traffic than ever because I had posted a photo of Prejean (fully clothed), placing my blog in amongst the Google searches for the semi-nude pics of her.


I have to wonder what Ben Quayle was thinking as he watched a website for which he once wrote being used as a tool to crush an outspoken advocate of the traditional family unit. After all, "family values" and the public discussion/debate of what they are is the true legacy of his father, not his frequent verbal and spelling gaffes.

I don't live in Arizona, so it doesn't make a difference what I think of Ben. Only the people of Maricopa County can decide if they want young Quayle, or somebody who thinks Obama is neither flying by the seat of his pants nor an cryptosocialist ideologue who wants to tip this nation leftward for several generations. But I've learned over the years that if a politician who votes your way is two-faced, you will eventually see that other face at a most inconvenient time. Conservatives represented by Charlie Crist, Lindsey Graham, and Scott Brown know what I mean.
On the other hand, Arizona's 3rd IS McCain Country. Maybe they're used to it by now.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

VIDEO: RULE #1 WHEN YOU'RE TRYING TO GET OUT OF A HOLE...

I found this video from the Employment Policies Institute as I was waiting for another news video to load.  In 30 seconds, it says it all, as short and sweet as the little girl at the top of the ditch.

video

Under normal circumstances, I don't like it when children are used in politically-themed advertisements about issues they can't possibly comprehend. This is a rare exception, because unlike some commercials in which complex issues are put in the mouths of child actors to regurgitate as if they understand the position taken by the sponsor -- as in this much harder-hitting ad from EPI, and this well-done piece of agitprop from Pasadena, CA -- this young sweetheart is just reciting a line, not stating a position.

Friday, July 23, 2010

POP QUIZ, HOTSHOTS! GUESS WHICH POLITICIAN WAS CALLED "HALF-HUMAN, HALF-APE?"

Think you know?  Well, you're wrong!  This is a comment left on the Dictionary.com blog post regarding Sarah Palin's invention of the word "refudiate,"  which was the subject of my last blog entry. (Language warning):
Now, there is nothing remarkable about this comment by a typical potty-mouthed anonymous leftist except for one thing: This remark has survived at Dictionary.com's "The Hot Word" blog for three-and-a-half days as I sit to type this blog entry. 

There's no way that it would still be online at Dictionary.com if the subject of the comment was "the half-human, half-ape Obama."  On the other hand, it would still be there if it had said "the half-human, half-ape Bush."

For any liberals that stumble across this post, why don't you enlighten me? Since it's clearly not tolerable to refer to black people (like myself) as being like "apes" while it IS at the same time OK to insult white people that way, which animal is politically correct to use as a simile when it comes to slams against stupid African-Americans?

Or ... are you like the overly sensitive folks in the Hallmark Cards, Inc. PR department, and are reluctant to even acknowledge that there ARE stupid African-Americans?




DICTIONARY.COM BLOG REPUDIATES SILLY "REFUDIATE" KERFUFFLE

The following is my reaction to the surprisingly sensible way the editors of Dictionary.com responded to the kerfuffle over Sarah Palin's accidental invention of the word "refudiate" in a Twitter message. Palin's intent was to appeal to Muslims behind the proposed mosque down the street across from Ground Zero to publicly reject terrorism.

Below are my comments made on the The Hot Word Blog posted Monday, July 19, 2010 at 5:34 pm. 
_____________________________________________________________

What you unsuspecting linguists at Dictionary.com are witnessing is another example of desperate Google-bombing leftist loons furiously searching for a stake to drive into the heart of Sarah Palin's increasing popularity, and -- even more importantly -- her relevancy.

They attempted something like this in January 2010, when Palin spoke on Fox News Channel after President Obama's first State of The Union address. She spoke to Sean Hannity regarding Obama's proposed "mandation of health care." Left-leaning quasi-journalists like bloggers Shannyn Moore of [her blog Just a Girl From Homer*], Media Matters contributor Oliver Willis, and Mediaite.com's Colby Hall sprung into action. A commenter on Moore's blog wrote: "'Mandation' is not found anywhere in the dictionary. I taught U.S. History and ... government [] for 33 years [and] I can say that if [Palin] had been a student in one of my government classes, she would have failed the course." Willis -- whose blog is falsely subtitled "Like Kryptonite to Stupid" -- wrote "America’s Idiot and Fox News front woman Sarah Palin has made up a new word." Of the word "mandation," Hall of Mediaite.com initially wrote, "No, that’s not a real word."
In fact, "mandation" IS a real word, though rarely used in common conversation, and is not in abridged dictionaries. When searched online, it shows up in the titles of several policy papers in which professors and professional researchers lay out the benefits and consequences of newly-proposed government regulations. So, to all those people who figured Palin's use of "mandation" confirmed their opinion she is somewhat illiterate, it proved exactly the opposite! It seems she was doing her homework, and (perhaps) found the fancy word in the process. Meanwhile, her sworn enemies were so ignorant, they thought if she said something THEY didn't understand, that SHE must have been wrong. Surprise!

In both the cases of "mandation" and "refudiate," the Palin-haters are careful not to address the substance of what Palin has said or written. They are hoping to shift the focus to a verbal error to distract you from examining what might be a legitimate and logical argument. Why let them manipulate you? You can read Palin's note regarding the proposed Ground Zero mosque for yourself, and make your own decision about whether she makes sense without her detractors' prejudicial pre-publicity.

To Colby Hall's credit: following a commenter's proof the word "mandation" did exist, Hall struck-through the word "real" in the sentence "No, that's not a real word," replaced it with "common," and wrote a postscript correcting his snap judgment.
_____________________________________________________________

*In my original post, I mistakenly wrote that Shannyn Moore's blog was AKMuckraker, and acknowledged that I mistakenly thought that Palin had issued a Facebook note in addition to the tweet.  At the time, she had not, but she has since.

I followed up on The Hot Word with this comment:

_____________________________________________________
For accuracy’s sake — In my previous comment, I wrote three things which need clarification:


1. Palin-hating blogger Shannyn Moore does NOT publish AKMuckraker, that is her Palin-hating colleague Jeanne Devon. Moore’s blog is named Just a Girl From Homer.


2. I was under the impression that Palin had a Facebook note that expanded her stance against the proposed Ground Zero mosque she expressed in her “refudiate” tweet. She does not at this time.


3. I wrote that Media Matters contributor Oliver Willis’ blog was “falsely subtitled ‘Like Kryptonite to Stupid’”. That one’s accurate, now more than ever.
_____________________________________________________

The thoroughly dishonest Oliver Willis viciously smeared Glenn Beck in April 2009 (among many other times). I refuted the particularly ridiculous argument blaming Beck for a neo-Nazi's murdering three Pittsburgh police officers in this thread.

 Now, to get into the spirit of Shakespearean word invention, I am announcing the coining of a new term for the above-mentioned "Google-bombing leftist loons."  Since they like to bomb, and they are from the left side of the political spectrum, I shall forthwith refer to them as "The Leftwaffe."

Yeah, I know, Godwin's Law.  But the jackboot fits, and they ought to wear it.