Saturday, December 31, 2011

GOODBYE -- AND GOOD RIDDANCE -- TO 2011

New Year's Day usually doesn't mean jack to me.  I've never felt the need to drink and dance for no reason other than other people were doing so.  But for me, no year has sucked like 2011, and I am delighted it will be over and done with in minutes.

I lost in death three people I loved dearly in a period of sixty days.  Not just people I knew, but people I cared about, thought about, and prayed for every single day, and I am confident they felt the same about me.  I have no idea how to approach filling a void like the three of them left.

Time is an artificial concept; in the grand scheme, there's no hand turning a page on the past 365 days as if a new chapter is beginning.  Events that determine changes in our lives have nothing to do with subdividing the cycles of the sun into easily digestible bite-size parts, or a ball of light exploding in Times Square.  That being said, the beginning of a new year does serve a purpose as a rallying point, as in, "If I stay focused and keep moving ahead, I'll be able to say 366 days later that I took a bad situation and improved it." 

I will have lived a good life if I can say 2011 was the worst year of my existence.  Here's hoping.  But, as the song says, "Nothing changes on New Year's Day."

Ladies and Gentlemen, from the legendary 1983 LP War, U2 (before they got full of themselves).




Click here for the superior LP version.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

WILL PRESIDENT OBAMA USE BACHMANN-HATING "QUESTLOVE" FOR A "SISTER SOULJAH MOMENT"?

At 10:07 pm Eastern Standard Time on the evening of Monday, November 21, 2011, Ahmir Khalib Thompson -- better known as "Questlove," the leader of The Roots, the house band on NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon -- sent out this message via Twitter:


For the uninitiated, let me break it down; "walkon song" is a reference to the song that the band plays as a guest walks to the guest chairs to chat with the host. Just for the sake of example, let's say Paris Hilton is the guest. A band might choose the classic "April in Paris." Or if the guest is Sally Field, a good choice would be "Mustang Sally" by Wilson Pickett. Or if the guest is Martin Short, Randy Newman's "Short People." If the guest is Jack Black, "Back in Black," or "Jumpin' Jack Flash," or "Paint It, Black." Or if the guest is Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, "Leader of the Pack."

Got it? Good.

The untitled "walkon song" Questlove was referring to in his tweet is an obscure track by the eclectic alt-rock band Fishbone that The Roots had planned for Republican Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann.  Let's go to the videotape, courtesy Media Research Center:

November 21, 2011, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon




This is reminiscent of an even more objectionable musical serenade also done in the wee hours of the morning, on ABC's loose, chatty World News Now, a sort of training wheels national newscast for young, up-and-coming reporters (alumni include CNN/CBS's Anderson Cooper, ABC's Juju Chang, and Aaron Brown, formerly of CNN). This occurred in the wake of Ann Coulter's megagaffe of referring to then-Presidential candidate John Edwards as "a faggot" at CPAC in 2007. While the remark was outrageous, that was no excuse for what happened on what's supposed to be an objective newscast.

From Newsbusters.com; Listen to the song being played by the director as the disgusted anchors pile on Coulter, then go to a weather map and a commercial break:

June 28, 2007, ABC World News Now



Yes, that is Elton John's "The Bitch is Back."

President Obama was lauded for his speech at the public memorial for Loughner's victims. Here's CBS' Chip Reid, getting briefly choked up at Obama's announcement that Giffords opened her eyes, and introducing BHO's call for civility.





Talking the talk is easy. Walking the walk, not so much. Will Questo's homie Barack use this as a "Sister Souljah moment," and call him out for so brazenly issuing a slur to a woman for the sole reason that he disagrees with her politically?

I would bet against it. After all, someone would have to ask Obama what he thought about it, and 95% of the MSM can't stop laughing long enough to get the words out.

Friday, October 07, 2011

SLOW & SPURIOUS: THE CASE FOR IGNORANCE AS A DEFENSE OF ERIC HOLDER

If you don't yet know about the "Operation Fast and Furious" scandal entangling the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms) the FBI, and Attorney General Eric Holder, here's the situation as of October 3, 2011 as concisely reported by CBS News' courageous (and, according to livid figures in the Obamastration, the "unreasonable") Sharyl Attkisson:








Take special note of that last part of reportage from Attkisson that clues up into how Holder will attempt to wriggle out of a perjury charge (underscoring mine):

The Justice Department told CBS News that the officials in those emails were talking about a different case started before Eric Holder became Attorney General. And tonight they tell CBS News, Holder misunderstood that question from [Congress] - he did know about Fast and Furious - just not the details.

The initial reaction to a defense of "I wasn't lying! I'm just lazy, shallow, stupid, or all three" is something in the realm of "Awwwww, come on!  You expect us to believe that you, America's top cop, didn't know what was going on when your underlings were sending you memos to keep you informed?"

But the more you know about Eric Holder, the more it seems like that's the way things are run in his Justice Department.

Remember that Holder first entered the national spotlight as a Deputy Attorney General under Clinton AG Janet Waco -- oops, I mean, Janet Castro -- darn!  I mean, Janet Reno (If that's a new name to you kiddies out there, click on the links and educate yourselves).  Her tenure was spotted with previously unimaginable abuses of power and cover-ups that were ignored by a mainstream media that tried to protect the Clintons (of course, the MSM wagon circle around the Obama WH is like nothing anyone's ever witnessed).  Having years before been appointed to the D.C. bench by Ronald Reagan, and having already spent many years as a U.S. Attorney, Holder wasn't a particularly controversial pick for the AG position at first.  But then, in a speech commemorating February 2009 as that year's Black History Month, he called the country he's serving "a nation of cowards" regarding discussion of racial issues -- this coming months after the same cowardly nation had just elected the first African-American as its leader.

In March 2010, when Holder caught holy heck over his nonsensical insistence that Al Qaeda terrorists be tried in New York civilian courts rather than in military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay, there was talk that he and the President were on the outs (and you know who always wins such battles).  A thread on this topic at Patterico's Pontifications gave me the opportunity to relate what I noticed about something he said in the course of that insulting, patronizing, offensive 2009 lecture:
IMHO, everything you need to know about Eric Holder’s judgment — if not his intellect — was what he said in the waning moments of his infamous “Nation of Cowards” speech.



Visit msnbc.com for biased news, gasbag pundits, and Obama CYA!


Read carefully [cut-and-pasted verbatim from the DOJ's webpage, bold mine]:
I stood, and stand, on the shoulders of many other black Americans. Admittedly, the identities of some of these people, through the passage of time, have become lost to us- the men, and women, who labored long in fields, who were later legally and systemically discriminated against, who were lynched by the hundreds in the century just past and those others who have been too long denied the fruits of our great American culture. The names of too many of these people, these heroes and heroines, are lost to us. But the names of others of these people should strike a resonant chord in the historical ear of all in our nation: Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois, Walter White, Langston Hughes, Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Joe Louis, Jackie Robinson, Charles Drew, Paul Robeson, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Vivian Malone, Rosa Parks, Marion Anderson, Emmit Till (sic). These are just some of the people who should be generally recognized and are just some of the people to whom all of us, black and white, owe such a debt of gratitude. It is on their broad shoulders that I stand as I hope that others will some day stand on my more narrow ones.
All right. Now, in the spirit of the Sesame Street feature “One Of These Things Is Not Like the Others,” which of those names in bold does NOT belong?

If you answered “Emmett Till” (the proper spelling), you are correct. Your prize: a half-dollar with an Obama sticker pasted on it, sold by Montel Williams as a collectible (total value: 50 cents).
 
Emmett Till was a 14-year-old boy who was brutally beaten, shot, disfigured, tied with barbed wire to a 90-pound weight and dumped into a river on August 28, 1955. His “crime”? Reports vary, but at the very least, the Chicago-born teenager — while visiting with sharecropping relatives in Mississippi — directed a wolf whistle at a 21-year-old married white woman inside a general store owned by her parents. At the most (and of course, one must consider the sources), Till allegedly actually caressed the young woman, asked her for a date, and said to her “I’ve been with white girls before.” Two white men (the girl’s husband and his half-brother, a sharecropper boss) slaughtered Till after dragging him from his bed in the wee hours of the morning. It’s one of the landmarks of injustice in American jurisprudence, and sparked — but did not begin — the civil rights movement in America.

As a reminder, I am African-American myself — twice as black as Barack Obama. I am glad to live in an American society in which I can feel free to flirt with not only white women, but women of every ethnicity without fear of ending up at the bottom of a river. But that doesn’t mean that hitting on a pretty girl is a smart thing to do when she is being guarded by someone with a screw loose. I would think most of you fellows would think twice about lingering too long on the decolletage of a mobster’s arm candy regardless of your God-given right to look at what she obviously wants to be seen. Similarly, Till’s whistling incident was shocking not only to the white family of the young woman, but also to Till’s friends and kinfolk, because they understood what the young city slicker apparently didn’t — he was in an entirely different world, and needed to watch his step. He didn’t, and paid with his life.

Those who weren’t there in post-Plessy v. Ferguson/Pre-Rosa Parks/Dixiecrat Mississippi can scarcely imagine life for a black kid. I have never lived there, but I have a parent with Deep South roots. But the fact is indisputable: Till might still be alive today if he had been wise enough to keep big his mouth shut.

Emmett Till is the victim of ignorance, intolerance, bigotry, brutality (partial list). But he is certainly not a “hero,” and I don’t know what “debt of gratitude” I owe him for doing something that is the equivalent of walking into a buzzsaw. The fact that Eric Holder mentioned Till (in his prepared speech) as notable among the likes of Douglass, Robinson, Parks, and Dr. King shows what a shallow thinker we have for our Attorney General (for now).
Comment by L.N. Smithee — 3/22/2010 @ 4:17 pm
Earlier in that speech, Holder says he was "a former American history major."  Really? Wouldn't an American history major know the vast difference between people who actually spurred progress among a persecuted, oppressed minority, risking their lives in the hope that some greater good might be accomplished years down the road, and a person whose sole page in American history is about how he pretty much went out of his way to get himself lynched?

(Did your face just contort with that last sentence? If so, you know why, don't you?  That's the kind of "frank conversation about race" that we're not supposed to have, as opposed to conversations carefully designed to foster guilt in white people who already don't have a racist bone in their bodies.)

Anyway, the next time someone suggests -- as some already have -- that Columbia University alumnus Eric Holder is being clever and sly in suggesting he didn't always read his Fast & Furious briefings and couldn't understand a simple question at a Congressional hearing, remember the time he spoke of Emmett Till as being a hero on par with Frederick Douglass and Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Then you can retort, "Maybe he's just dumb."

...But, most likely, he's just a dirty liar trying to cover his inferior posterior with blood-soaked hands.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

ACTOR MORGAN FREEMAN ACTS LIKE HE KNOWS ANYTHING ABOUT THE TEA PARTY; HERMAN CAIN SETS HIM STRAIGHT





At this point, people who agree with Freeman over Cain need to address why Floridian Republicans -- who nominated American-born Cuban descendant Marco Rubio to serve them as Senator -- are racist for choosing Herman Cain over front-runner Rick Perry in their straw poll.

After all, Cain is twice as black as Obama. Why, praytell, wasn't that a disqualifier?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

NEIL YOUNG'S TRIBUTE TO FLIGHT 93 HEROES: "LET'S ROLL"


Neil Young - Let's Roll by LeBalayeur

FOX SPORTS CAVES, TV SHOW CANCELED FOR MAKING ASIAN USC STUDENTS APPEAR TOO BUSY STUDYING TO CARE ABOUT FOOTBALL (UPDATED x2, VIDEO RESTORED)

Before we address the video that is the topic of this edition of REACTOR, you need to watch another one first. It's from 2009, when Tonight Show host Jay Leno stopped hosting his 11:35 pm show in favor of the hare-brained, ill-fated idea of a nightly 10:00 pm show.

Jay's most popular segment was "Jaywalking," in which he took a camera crew to the streets of Southern California and asked random strangers to answer simple questions. Naturally, the ones who gave the dumbest answers were featured on the program. Before signing off the late night Leno show, he presented this retrospective of the most ridiculous responses going back to the nineties.


Now, fast forward to Thursday afternoon, September 8, 2011. In the process of reading about news in Southern California, I saw a link to a story titled "Fox Sports cancels show after video mocks Asians." I clicked on the link to the story and read it...
...The Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder, Colo. reported (http://goo.gl/RmKAE) about the video and the network issued an apology. The video shows a comedian approaching Asian students at USC and asking them to welcome the universities of Colorado and Utah to the Pac-12 Conference. The comedian tells the students to give the new Pac-12 members an "all-American welcome" and then mocks students' accents.
...and then I clicked on a link to the video. I thought I was going to see something obviously, outrageously, demonstrably bigoted. Here it is:




My reaction viewing the Oschack video: "You've GOT to be kidding me. Who could be offended by this?"


Answer: This guy. Dr. Daryl J. Maeda, a University of Colorado professor in ... oh, you're way ahead of me, aren't ya? OK, let's all say it together. One, two, three ... ETHNIC STUDIES!

From the Daily Camera report, mentioned in the AP story, here's why Maeda's knickers were twisted by the video (bold mine):
[A] University of Colorado ethnic studies professor said Tuesday that he finds it troubling, saying it perpetuates racist myths about Asians being "un-American."
For the video, Bob Oschack -- a comedian who labeled himself as an "investigative reporter" for Fox Sports -- approached Asian students on the USC campus, asking them how they feel about CU and the University of Utah becoming the newest members of the Pac-12 conference. In his introduction, Oschack says: "Let's give the conference's two newest members a good, old-fashioned, all-American welcome!" He then appears to mock students' accents, corrects their grammatical mistakes in a seemingly condescending tone and pretends to mistake what they're saying for the sake of laughs.
One student enthusiastically say (sic), "Welcome to Colorado and Utah!" and is interrupted by Oschack: "No, you're saying welcome to Colorado and Utah. We're in Los Angeles." He also includes a student who admits that she doesn't know much about football and says, "Welcome Colorado and Utah to the top 12."
View the video again. At what point does Oschack "mock [their] accents"?  He did correct the student at 1:00 when he thought Oschack said "You talk" when he was saying "Utah," and when other said "Welcome to Colorado," but that was because he wasn't saying what Oschack was requesting: "Welcome Colorado and Utah to the Pac-12!"  And what "condescending tone" is heard in Oschack's voice either at that point, or when he is asking about the insertion of the word "fighting" into the greeting? 

Daryl Maeda, a professor in CU's Ethnic Studies department, said that Fox Sports should be apologizing to Asian Americans -- not just the USC community -- who are demeaned by the video. He also said that Fox should publicly reprimand Oschack.
It is at this point that Maeda puts his years of ethnic studies indoctrination to use by referencing previous generations of Caucasians' misdeeds toward minorities and pretending it's somehow relevant to the video.  Observe (bold mine):
Despite the fact that Asians have been in the United States for more than a century and a half, Maeda said, they are frequently seen as perpetual foreigners and the antithesis of "good Americans." Oschack reinforces this stereotype, Maeda said, when he purports to give CU and Utah an "All-American welcome" to the Pac-12, then goes out of his way to find Asian students for whom English is a second language.
 "This is demeaning to millions of Asian Americans who have put down deep roots in the United States, claim English as their language and root vigorously for their favorite sports teams," Maeda said. Oschack's portrayal of Asian Americans as "perpetual foreigners" harks back to racist actions such as the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act, Maeda said.
"It has no place in a diverse and civil society," he said.
Can Maeda make a literate case for his outrage by using anything other than a broad brush? Let's take these one at a time, shall we? 
  • Oschack, says Maeda, reinforced the stereotype that "Asians ... are ... perpetual foreigners and the antithesis of 'good Americans.'"
    Really? How did Oschack do this? By asking people he reliably had an expectation didn't give a rip about USC football, asking them about it, and letting the hilarity unfold? How is such an approach to comedy (regardless of whether you find it amusing) also a message that they are anything other than "good Americans"?  
  • The video clip is "demeaning to millions of Asian Americans who have put down deep roots in the United States, claim English as their language and root vigorously for their favorite sports teams," says Maeda. 
    How so? These students in particular were in blissful ignorance of the expansion of the Pac-10 conference.  They know enough English to be conversational with Oschack, who likely doesn't know a word of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean he can't read off of a menu, but it clearly is still their second language.  As with the "Jaywalking" clip in which no knowledgeable people were featured, if such Asian students were typical party-hearty tailgating foam-finger wearing Trojan fans who were walking around in team jerseys, they wouldn't be included in the final cut.  And rather than the Jaywalkers' ignorance about general information, the Asian USC students were ignorant about college football. Big deal! 
Who are these people Maeda is talking about who think there's something wrong with these young men and women if they aren't sports junkies?  If in the future you have a surgeon, a dentist, or an architect who attended USC and you try to engage him or her about whether or not the Trojans went to the Rose Bowl when they went, wouldn't you be reassured if they replied, "I wasn't into football, I was buried in my textbooks"?
  This is the biggest overreach of all, one that cannot be excused:
  • Maeda says "Oschack's portrayal of Asian Americans as 'perpetual foreigners' harks back to racist actions such as the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act."
    (Notice how stealthily it is accepted by Daily Camera writer Brittany Anas that "perpetual foreigners" is how Oschack has portrayed the students, and not how Maeda impugns Oschack's intent.) 

    Maeda is suggesting that because Oschack asked serious, studious Asian USC students to briefly repeat some stuff they knew nothing about for a silly cable TV sports segment that somehow, his ideological forebears are people who supported restricting immigration from pre-Maoist China in 1882 and the imprisonment of everyone with Japanese surnames within U.S. borders in 1942.
Again, does Maeda really believe this? Is it possible for such a credentialed scholar to be that intellectually lazy? Or, is he just trying to justify his designation as an expert by whipping something out of nothing since it is one of few opportunities he has to make an impact outside the closed circle of academia?
    Unspoken is the fact that the USC students themselves didn't seem to have any problem cooperating with Oschack whatsoever.  And why should they?  If I were a student studying in, say, France, and there was some big deal intercollegiate event having to do with soccer (a sport in which I have little interest), and some good-natured French dude asked me to say something before a camera in support of the team in my limited French, would I somehow be a victim?  Maeda seems to be implying that even though they were obviously good enough students to qualify to attend a major American university (even with imperfect English), they were too dumb to know they were being exploited by a racist white guy.

    Maeda knows better, thinks he and others like him, because he's got a degree qualifying him to make such judgments.  Well, in my book, Maeda's one of those sorry persons who has shunted his individuality aside in order to put his ethnicity out front, always thinking other people are seeing him as a race first and a person second.  He's always half-cocked, ready to fire at the slightest provocation.  Like this fictional guy in a famous scene from Seinfeld:







    (ORIGINAL UPDATE: Fox Sports has had the video I originally embedded pulled from YouTube. Before finding the one above linked by the Los Angeles Times site,, the only working copy I was able to find was a Media Matters-watermarked version of the video, which is embedded on a website called Channel APA [Asian Pacific America]. The site describes itself as "an experiment building an Asian American 'channel.'" The webmasters titled the post featuring the Oschack piece as "Racist FOX Sports piece with Bob Oschack."

    I found it interesting that while the people at Channel APA were infuriated by Bob Oschack's brand of humor, they were amused by -- and perhaps had other physical reactions to -- a porn parody featuring adult actress Mika Tan and another woman calling herself "Sum Ting Wong." The title of the video, which they've proudly linked on the site? "Mr. Chew's Asian Beaver," complete with a panda mascot with a conical straw hat.

    Nothing stereotypical or racist about that, right? Nawwwww.)

    Tuesday, August 23, 2011

    MAMA COURAGE VS. MAMA COWARDICE: LONDON MUM WHO TURNED IN RIOTOUS DAUGHTER VS. RICK PERRY-BASHING EDUCRAT USING HER SON AS A SOCK PUPPET

    Meet Mama Courage, aka Adrienne Ives of London, England.


    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article3748107.ece
    Mrs. Ives' disgust as she watched the television coverage of the London riots turned to horror when she recognized her eighteen-year-old daughter, Chelsea, joining in the meaningless, wanton destruction of whichever London neighborhoods were found to be underguarded by masked, hooded hooligans. Chelsea is by all accounts a beautiful, athletic, bright, talented young woman with a hypnotizing eyes, pop-star looks, and an unlimited future ... that is, up until that moment when she was televised throwing a traffic barrier at a police car, and her mother dropped a dime on her.

    Multiplying the embarrassment Chelsea has caused (and has become) is that she was among a chosen few selected to be "Olympic Ambassadors" for the London 2012 Summer Games. The ambassadors' mission is "to be the face of London [as] people who are passionate about the capital and want to tell millions of people about the hidden treasures that makes London one of the best capital cities in the world."  Instead, Chelsea showed how little she cared about her hometown before billions spanning the globe.  Her public persona as someone proud to show London to world visitors was diametrically opposed to what she expressed on Facebook about the riots in which she expressed support for the criminal hordes ("Ders a RIOT in tottenham KOOL"), disparaged the police ("pigs shuldnt ov killed dat guy last nyt ... Den dey wuldnt gt blown up"), and chuckled at merchants who didn't have sufficient security to thwart the roving mobs ("Cozzz the shop keeper aint f***** dere")  According to a prosecutor, Chelsea shouted to a friend "This is the best day ever!" before throwing a rock through a shop window.

    More from Mrs. (and Mr.) Ives, from the August 23, 2011 edition of London's Sun tabloid:

    Adrienne told of the horrifying moment she and Roger saw Chelsea flash on to their TV screens during Sunday night's appalling violence in Enfield, North London. 

    She said: "We were watching the riots. It was sickening. Then we saw her. To say we were shocked ... Not only was it someone we knew, it was our daughter. She's studying A-levels, is a fine sportswoman and a great singer - a beautiful, creative and talented child. 

    "I love her. But look at what she's done. These riots have cost people their jobs and even lives. We are going through hell."
    Roger, 54, said Chelsea wept when they confronted her on her return home to Leytonstone, East London.
    He added: "There were a lot of tears. She did not try to stop us phoning the police, she knew there was no point.

    So in Mrs. Ives, we have the example of a parent stepping forward to encourage other parents to make certain their children take responsibility for their actions.  Which brings us to...

    ...Mama Cowardice, aka Kristin Bunce.

    You won't see Kristin in this mislabeled video clip from ABC News until it's almost over (0:42 in), but you'll hear her all the way through in her vain attempt to humiliate Texas Governor and GOP Presidential candidate Rick Perry.


    That's Bunce, introducing Perry to her prepubescent son, saying "He's got a question for you." The query was "How old is the earth?" That was a bald-faced lie on Bunce's part.  The question wasn't her son's, it was hers.  Any doubt was erased as she began feeding lines to her boy when a cool, unflappable Perry apparently didn't sufficiently embarrass himself with his reply.  IMHO, Bunce probably expected him to respond with something in the realm of "six thousand years old and not a second older!"  When Perry was too fast on his feet to walk into Bunce's trap, that's when she started feeding him follow-up questions before he stopped talking ("Ask him about evolution."  "Ask him why he doesn't believe in science").

    So who is this woman who used her son as a human shield-cum-sock puppet?  She's not your typical left-of-center woman heckling campaigning Republicans with raw-throated, unoriginal chants (which come at the end of the clip).  No, Kristin Bunce has the unmistakable pedigree of a cultural elite.  As was discovered by The Daily Caller's intrepid blogger Jim Treacher:

    Here’s what she has listed on Facebook under “Education and Work”:
    Grad School
    John F. Kennedy School of Government [at Harvard]Class of 1996 · [Master's in Public Policy]
    The University of Texas at Austin
    MA Government
    College
    Wellesley College
    Class of 1990
    High School
    Chatham High School
    Class of 1996
    Here's Ms. Bunce's wedding announcement, as published in the Summer 2007 edition of the Harvard Law & Policy Review
    WEDDINGS; Marna Bunce, Silas Beane III
    Marna Kristin Bunce, the daughter of Dr. Marna Louise Crim of Monroe, Ga., and Roy Karl Bunce of Longmeadow, Mass., was married yesterday to Dr. Silas Robert Beane III, the son of Rosa and Mr. Beane Jr. of Far Hills, N.J. The bride’s father, a United Church of Christ minister, officiated at Stanley Congregational Church in Chatham, N.J.
    Mrs. Beane, 32, is a senior policy adviser in Seattle for the United States Education Department. She graduated from Wellesley College. She received a master’s degree in government from the University of Texas and a master’s in public policy from Harvard. Her father is the director of development at Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass. Her mother is the reading specialist at the Monroe Elementary School.
    Jammie Wearing Fool did some more digging about Ms. Dunce ... er, Bunce, and found that while at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, she did herself some writing about politics! As is seen in a Google search, she wanted to help CBS News "present complex issues and increase [its] audience."

    One wonders if her solution to Americans being "turned off by television coverage of politics and public policy" has anything to do with staging "gotcha" questions to conservative candidates.  After all, what could be more complex, more informative, more relevant, more fitting a Harvard graduate than accusing an out-of-the-closet Christian Texas Governor of "not believing in science" (and making believe that her son came up with the idea)? And what a great lesson for young Master Beane, teaching him early on that when it comes to politics, there are no depths, and the end justifies the means. With a start like this, and his parents' Ivy League pedigree, who knows?  Maybe someday he will become President of the United States.  After all, the last two Harvard graduates have done really, really great things for the country.

    But seriously, folks: Why is it that Dr. Bunce-Don't-Call-Me-Beane didn't want to put her own face to heckling Perry as opposed to that of her son?  She must have known how lame it would make her look.  Oops, I didn't mean "would," I mean "does."  Now that she's been revealed, if she ever addresses her stunt, she'll probably pass the incident off as being reminiscent of Cyrano de Bergerac.  I think not.  I think she made her son into Mortimer Snerd, which, when you think about it, is an insult to Edgar Bergen.

    Sunday, July 31, 2011

    ...IN WHICH I CONGRATULATE THE LOS ANGELES TIMES_ FOR CATCHING UP WITH ME REGARDING LAWRENCE V. TEXAS_ AND POLYGAMY...

    ...and ask, what took you so long to figure this out?

    After all, I did write the following in December 2010 after a Columbia University professor (and Palin-bashing Huffington Post contributor) was arrested on a charge of incest with his twenty-four year old daughter:

    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?"

    The Times editorial today entitled "A Gay-Wedding (sic) Crasher" addresses high-profile D.C. law professor Jonathan Turley's advocacy of the right of reality TV star Kody Brown of Sister Wives to flout the anti-bigamy statutes of Utah, where he lives with his legal wife and three of her sisters as a family (they are pictured below).  The rescinding of the practice of plural marriage by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (bka Mormons) -- whose devotees then and now make up the majority of the population -- was the condition under which Congress permitted the territory into the union as the 45th state.  At present, one-man, one-woman definition of marriage is part of Utah's state constitution.

    Kody Brown & his harem of sisters. (Bryant Livingston/AP)
     Here is the Times editorial in full, bold mine:

    Jonathan Turley is probably not the most popular man right now with supporters of same-sex marriage. The George Washington University law professor has filed a suit challenging the constitutionality of Utah's anti-polygamy laws — and his argument is based on a landmark 2003 Supreme Court gay rights decision. That's not good news in the view of most gay rights supporters, who don't want their cause linked to that of polygamists any more than they want to see parallels drawn with people who engage in incest, bestiality and other taboo sexual practices.

    The Utah case involves Kody Brown, his legal wife, Meri Brown, and three other "sister wives." It's not actually about marriage, and it doesn't challenge the right of the state to refuse to issue wedding licenses to polygamous families. The Browns are in court because they fear they will be prosecuted.

    The 2003 gay rights case, Lawrence vs. Texas, was also a criminal matter unrelated to same-sex marriage. The court overturned the conviction of two men found to have violated a state law against same-sex sodomy. But in reaching that conclusion, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy offered a paean to intimate relationships defined by sexuality that easily can be transferred to the context of same-sex marriage, and potentially to polygamous marriages as well:

    "The case does involve two adults who, with full and mutual consent from each other, engaged in sexual practices common to a homosexual lifestyle. The petitioners are entitled to respect for their private lives. The state cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime. Their right to liberty under the [Constitution's] due process clause gives them the full right to engage in their conduct without intervention of the government."

    Kennedy emphasized in Lawrence that same-sex marriage wasn't before the court. Similarly, in an interview with the New York Times, Turley suggested that decriminalizing polygamy will not inevitably lead to a movement for polygamous marriage. But language addressed to one issue often surfaces in cases dealing with others. When Massachusetts' highest court decided to strike down the state's limitation of marriage to heterosexual couples, it cited the Lawrence opinion.

    So is polygamy about to receive the same legal status that same-sex marriage now has in several states? Not in the near term. For one thing, the U.S. Supreme Court has not recognized same-sex marriage, a prerequisite, some think, for acceptance of polygamous marriage. Meanwhile, the federal court in Utah, in parallel with Lawrence, may rule simply that the Browns and other polygamous families are immune to prosecution but can't have their multiple "spiritual marriages" blessed by the law.

    But, like Lawrence, a ruling sympathetic to unconventional sexual behavior could plant the seeds of a future campaign for full marriage equality. In that case, governments would have to prove that it's rational to limit marriage to two individuals, homosexual or heterosexual. That might seem obvious, but so, at one time, did the argument that marriage should be confined to opposite-sex couples.
    Re-read that last paragraph, and then, re-read what I wrote in my December 2010 piece "Ivy League Incest: The Beginning of a Slide Down a New Slippery Slope?" again:

    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?"

     I still remember as if it was yesterday the argument I had with my parents in May 1993, when the Hawaii Supreme Court revived the dismissed first suits against the state for its refusal to marry persons of the same sex.  My mother in particular was certain that such madness would be stopped long before it could reach the U.S. Supreme Court.  Here's what the L.A. Times had to say about the situation at the time:

    Carl M. Varady, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney involved in the Hawaii case, predicted that the state would have a tough time meeting the Supreme Court's criteria for upholding the gay marriage prohibition.

    "The argument we've pushed in this case was the one the court ultimately bought," Varady said, comparing laws against same-sex marriage to state bans on interracial marriage that eventually were struck down in the United States.

    "These are really the miscegenation cases of the '90s," he said. "The same type of religious and natural-law arguments were put forth against interracial marriage."
    We all know how things turned out over the next eighteen years, don't we?

    Tuesday, July 05, 2011

    LEGAL INSURRECTION ROCKS! (PLUS: A BICENTENNIAL MINUTE)

    A big seventies album rock Thank You to Cornell Law Professor William Jacobson and his crew at one of my favorite blogs, Legal Insurrection, for heeding my Tweet regarding their initial choice for Video of The Day, Styx's "Come Sail Away":


    (BTW: "WADR" = "With All Due Respect".)

    "Suite Madame Blue," from Styx's 1975 Equinox LP (that's a "record," you whippersnappers) with its pre-Photoshop album jacket with a flaming cake of ice , is a soaring six-and-a-half-minute epic cut portraying the United States of America as an aging matron who has led a full life, but whose glory days are behind her.  The closing of the song is a call for the "red, white and blue" to "lift up [its] heart, and make a new start..."  It has been said that lead vocalist/keyboardist Dennis DeYoung wrote the song in anticipation of the nation's bicentennial celebrations in 1976, which were anti-climactic in light of the open wounds of Vietnam, the resignation of Richard Nixon, and the crippling recession that eventually led to the defeat of Gerald R. Ford by Jimmy Carter, now the second-worst President of my lifetime. 

    Less than an hour later, I got this tweet back:


    When I returned to LI, this is what I saw:

    In case you can't read the bottom, here it is zoomed:


    Ladies and Gentlemen, live and in concert in 1996, STYX!








    ALSO: In the process of researching this entry, I came across a rare YouTube video of a CBS "Bicentennial Minute" (technically titled 200 Years Ago Today), which began broadcast in 1975 after the final credits of whatever was on the network at 8:30 every evening at 8:57 pm.  The series ended with President Ford's recounting of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1976.  This one, broadcast August 31, 1975, featured stage and screen veteran (and future Best Actress Oscar winner) Jessica Tandy:






    I wonder if CBS would consider releasing all editions of 200 Years Ago Today on DVD -- that is, if it hasn't already lost or destroyed them.  I was a grade-schooler at the time and used to think Bicentennial Minutes were corny and an unnecessary intrusion on my entertainment time. Now, I get it. Thankfully, so did Dennis DeYoung.
     
    Thanks again Legal Insurrection (Prof. Jacobson, Kathleen McCaffrey, Matthew Knee, Michael Alan, Katie Thompson).  YOU ROCK!

    Wednesday, June 15, 2011

    STOPPED CLOCK ALERT! DAILY SHOW 'S JON STEWART SAVAGES MEDIA OBSESSION WITH SARAH PALIN'S EMAIL

    What's a "Stopped Clock Alert"? An acknowledgement of excellence where you rarely expect to find it, in the spirit of the old adage, "Even a stopped clock is right two times a day." Today, that clock is The Daily Show's Jon Stewart, who points and laughs at the news channels obsessed with finding something scandalous in Sarah Palin's emails as Governor of Alaska (which I covered in this REACTOR post).

    (h/t John Nolte, Big Hollywood.com)



    "I'm sure there's a pony in there somewhere." HA! Now THAT'S fair, balanced, and FUNNY!

    Sunday, June 12, 2011

    LAMESTREAM MEDIA LOOKS FOR SKELETONS IN SARAH PALIN'S SECRET VAULT, AND (LIKE GERALDO 25 YEARS AGO) FINDS ... NOTHING

    Before we go into the past weekend's events, a brief history lesson. Hop in the DeLorean with me and let's travel 25 years into the past.

    It was one of the most eagerly-anticipated broadcasts of 1986. Geraldo Rivera, America's highest-profiled investigative journalist, had recently parted ways with ABC News over a spiked story by another ABC reporter (Sylvia Chase) speculating about the relationship between Marilyn Monroe and John and Robert Kennedy.

    Freed of the suits that might get in the way of a great story, Geraldo went out on his own, and found what promised to be an intriguing topic: What might be hidden in a secret chamber deep inside Chicago's Lexington Hotel, the soon-to-be demolished headquarters of America's most notorious Prohibition-era gangster, Al "Scarface" Capone?  For decades, rumors had it that within there might be a stash of hidden valuables, or even better, the remains of some of Capone's enemies.

    Given exclusive access, a confident Rivera promised to reveal on an uncensored live broadcast what secrets had been lying behind those walls.  How it was promoted...






    ...and what actually happened when the cameras rolled, live, as Geraldo recounted on the twenty year anniversary in 2006.






    The term "Epic Fail" had not been coined yet, but few incidents illustrate it better.

    It was thought at the time to have doomed Geraldo's career -- it didn't.  More people watched Rivera fail that night more than any other audience had watched any syndicated program (remember, this was before the advent of the Fox TV network, so there were many more independent TV stations than exist today).  Even though the program was a crushing disappointment, it proved Geraldo's drawing power.  However, the program has joined Gertrude Stein's quote "There is no there there" as an illustration unanticipated vapidity.

    Now, back to the present day and age.

    Going back to September 2008 when Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was selected by John McCain to potentially serve as his vice president, the media has been clamoring for secret communication with which to hang her. They thought they had something when the college student son of a Democrat in the Tennessee Legislature gained access to Palin's Yahoo email account and uploaded everything to a hacker haven, hoping for something to exploit.

    There was nothing.


    David Kernell -- son of Mike -- was sentenced to a year in prison.

    But finally, on Friday, June 9, 2011, after making legal requests dating back to when they barely knew her name, the day arrived when the state of Alaska gave the MSM what it wanted: A reason to dig deep into Palin's emails as Governor.   She may have been defeated along with McCain in 2008, but she hadn't stated she wouldn't challenge President Obama for the White House in 2012; she was still a potential threat.  At every turn, the media majority have dismissed the idea that she might have been a competent leader in Alaska, choosing instead to magnify her verbal slips, her plainspoken language, and her unconventional celebrity status.  Even her own sex appeal was used as a weapon against her. The hunt was on to find whatever could be found to prove she lacked the all-important gravitas.

    Because Alaska only released reams of physical copies rather than uploadable digital copies (24,000 pages), the New York Times and Washington Post called in the cavalry: Their thousands-strong reserve force of Palin-obsessed haters that emerge from the cyber universe whenever and wherever she is covered around the world.

    The word went out on June 9th in the Post thusly...
    Over 24,000 e-mail messages to and from former Alaska governor Sarah Palin during her tenure as Alaska's governor will be released Friday. That's a lot of e-mail for us to review so we're looking for some help from Fix readers to analyze, contextualize, and research those e-mails right alongside Post reporters over the days following the release.

    The clamor to get in on the gang ... uh, group analysis of Palin was so great, the Post expanded its invitation:


    UPDATE: We have had a strong response to our crowdsourcing call-out on the Palin e-mails. We've reconsidered our approach and now would like to invite comments and annotations from any interested readers. 

    Here’s how to participate:Over 24,000 e-mail messages to and from Sarah Palin during her tenure as Alaska's governor will be released Friday . We’ll be posting them here, and are inviting you to comment on the most interesting or most noteworthy sections. Please include page numbers and, where possible, a direct excerpt. We'll share your comments with our reporters and may use facts or related material you suggest to annotate the documents displayed on The Post site. We may contact you for further details, by way of your registered e-mail with the Post, unless you specify otherwise in the comments.
    For micro-updates as tomorrow unfolds, check out our new Twitter feed .

    Michael Isikoff (who will go down in history as the man who wrote the famously spiked article about Bill Clinton's inappropriate relationship with Monica Lewinsky) was all but licking his chops in his Friday morning conversation with NBC's Ann Curry live via satellite from Juneau, AK:






    Like the promo for the Al Capone's Vaults special, much excitement and amazement was anticipated.   

    Instead, what actually happened is what Palin predicted would happen.

    From CNN:






    From CBS News:






    and from POLITICO.com:







    Even people who don't like Palin weighed in on the attempted high-tech lynching:


    So, there you are.  Unlike Geraldo, nobody like Jill Abramson of the Times, Isikoff of NBC or Dana Milbank of the Post promised a song and dance if their mission failed.  But that's OK, I have a song for them instead.

    Ladies and gentlemen, from 1981, Blondie's Debbie Harry.






    Enjoy your baked Alaskan crow, lamestreamers! Hope it's been worth the wait!

    NOTE: This is NOT an endorsement of Palin for President.

    Monday, May 09, 2011

    NO BIN LADEN PHOTO: ONCE AGAIN, PRESIDENT OBAMA FEELS NO NEED TO PROVE HIS OWN HONESTY

    A Facebook friend of mine (whose name and face has been obscured, along with those issuing comments) posted this on the evening of Tuesday, May 3, 2011:



    I first began using the pseudonym "L.N. Smithee" on FreeRepublic.com in 1998 during the run-up to the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Free Republic was one of the few places on the internet where you could get more than pro-Democrat MSM reports out of Washington D.C. about the Whitewater investigation, the Paula Jones sexual harassment civil suit, and later, the Monica Lewinsky allegations.  But I tapered off my daily visits to FR beginning in 2008 mostly because it began crawling with more conspiracy-believers than founder Jim Robinson could delete.

    The last straw for me was finally tiring of trying to talk sense into Freepers who put any kind of faith in the word of Larry Sinclair, a career criminal who has made scurrilous accusations about then-Senator Barack Obama. In 2008, Sinclair posted a YouTube video making this charge: In 1999, when Obama was an Illinois state senator serving the city of Chicago -- years previous to people thinking of him as the future of the Democratic Party --  the two of them shared cocaine in the back of a limousine after meeting in a Gurnee, IL hotel bar.  On top of that, Sinclair claims he did a very special kind of (ahem) job for Obama.

    While the MSM would go on to protect Obama from many legitimate questions regarding his pre-political personal life (such as his real estate dealings with wealthy neighbor/corporate criminal Tony Rezko and the closeness of his friendship with unrepentant domestic terrorists William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn), questions about Sinclair had no business being asked, because Sinclair has no credibility.  Larry the Loser had not one iota of evidence of his allegations.  He would often promise scads of proof, but all he ever delivered was backup for his claim that he once checked into the hotel and had rented the limo.  That didn't stop Sinclair from upping the ante, accusing the Obama campaign of murder to cover up his being "on the downlow." As the story went, an allegedly gay choirmaster at Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ (home of Jeremiah Wright) supposedly was silenced so he wouldn't spill the beans.

    When his allegations predictably were ignored by the MSM and failed to catch fire with the general public, Sinclair pulled out all stops.  He sued Obama, David Axelrod, and Howard Dean for undisclosed conspiracies against him that violated his free speech rights under the "First Amendmant (sic)." Sinclair sued anonymous individuals on websites who doubted his story, including a YouTube user with a sock puppet (Sinclair v. TubeSock TedD, et al).  He hired infamous media whore-torney (and deadbeat dad/vexatious litigant) Montgomery Blair Sibley, who insists he wears a kilt instead of trousers because unlike average men, he's just too darn prodigious for pants (video). Without evidence of his own for any of his charges, he desperately badgered the Obama camp to reveal his personal contact information and his calendar of events on certain dates so he could hang him with it. His last gasp was to hold a press conference at the National Press Club that Sibley presided over.  At the close of the conference, Sinclair was arrested on a warrant out of Colorado. The phlegmatic Sibley, it turned out, had been suspended in the District of Columbia a month previous.

    Believe me, I am sympathetic when it comes to baseless conspiracy theories and the frustration that sets in when people you thought were smart start buying into them.  But in the wake of the MSM's campaign against the very questioning of Obama's eligibility for becoming President, I felt compelled in response to my fellow Facebooker (at the risk of losing her "friendship") to say that not all conspiracy theories are baseless.

    My reply:
    Here's the problem with treating all conspiracy theories as false: There have been enough outrages that are now established fact that can lend credence to wild speculation.


    Speaking as a black man, I can tell you that there are a number of things the U.S. government has been accused of doing to African-Americans that make no sense whatsoever. A prime example is an accusation made by old school rapper (and former Air America radio host) Chuck D, who at one time said that a secret ingredient was added to malt liquor to make black people act stupid. Before you say, "Duh! Alcohol!" consider that Chuck believed that other ethnicities were immune to the mystery additive's effects by design. Also popular at one time was the lie that the AIDS virus was created by white scientists to eradicate blacks, which was repeated by Obama's longtime spiritual mentor Jeremiah Wright in a sermon.


    One might wonder why any black person would buy into such conspiracies. While there are many answers, the best one is the established truth of the Tuskegee Experiment, a decades-long tracking of the effects of syphilis on the human body. Begun in the early '30s, it was conducted by lying to approximately 400 poor black men in Alabama who had contracted the STD, but never informed of the true nature of the infection. They were given non-effective treatment for an imaginary disease, and lured back for observation (despite not improving) by being provided their medical care (such as it was) free of charge. The project was uncovered in 1972, and in 1997, President Clinton held a ceremony formally apologizing on behalf of the federal government to the eight remaining survivors of the experiment, some of whom were in their late 90's.


    Indeed, when the levies that held the waters surrounding New Orleans failed under the beating of Hurricane Katrina, no less a black icon than filmmaker Spike Lee suggested that George W. Bush blew the levies up for the purpose of scattering the black population in order to change the demographics of Congressional districts so they would be more white (and thus Republican). When challenged as to how he could believe such a thing, Lee cited the Tuskegee Experiment.

    video


    Now, to the current topic: I don't believe Osama bin Laden died in 2002 or that the incident this past weekend was staged. Still, there are things about the account of the raid that make you go "Hmmm," primarily the fact that it appears no evidence that he was apprehended, killed, and buried at sea will be made public any time in the near future.
    [From 60 Minutes May 8, 2011's broadcast of Steve Kroft's interview with President Obama]:
    KROFT: Did you see the pictures?
    PRESIDENT OBAMA: Yes.
    KROFT: What was your reaction when you saw them?
    PRESIDENT OBAMA: It was him.
    KROFT: Why haven't you released them?
    PRESIDENT OBAMA: You know, we discussed this internally. Keep in mind that we are absolutely certain this was him. We've done DNA sampling and testing. And so there is no doubt that we killed Osama bin Laden. It is important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence. As a propaganda tool.
     You know, that's not who we are. You know, we don't trot out this stuff as trophies. You know, the fact of the matter is this was somebody who was deserving of the justice that he received. And I think Americans and people around the world are glad that he's gone. But we don't need to spike the football. And I think that given the graphic nature of these photos, it would create some national security risk. And I've discussed this with Bob Gates and Hillary Clinton and my intelligence teams and they all agree.
    KROFT: There are people in Pakistan, for example, who say, "Look, this is all a lie. This is another American trick. Osama's not dead."
    PRESIDENT OBAMA: You know, the truth is that - and we're monitoring worldwide reaction -- there's no doubt that bin Laden is dead. Certainly there's no doubt among al Qaeda members that he is dead. And so we don't think that a photograph in and of itself is gonna make any difference. There are gonna be some folks who deny it. The fact of the matter is, you will not see bin Laden walkin' on this earth again.
    KROFT: Was it your decision to bury him at sea?
    PRESIDENT OBAMA: It was a joint decision. We thought it was important to think through ahead of time how we would dispose of the body if he were killed in the compound. And I think that what we tried to do was, consulting with experts in Islamic law and ritual, to find something that was appropriate that was respectful of the body.
    Frankly we took more care on this than, obviously, bin Laden took when he killed 3,000 people. He didn't have much regard for how they were treated and desecrated. But that, again, is somethin' that makes us different. And I think we handled it appropriately.
    For the second consecutive month, Obama has been shown to be reluctant to prove he is an honest man. Most people rolled their eyes at demands to view the President's original birth certificate, but think about it; rather than just show everybody back in the summer of 2008 that he was telling the truth, he *deliberately acted as if he was hiding something* to the tune of legal fees estimated at $2,000,000.


    Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward & Carl Bernstein -- who in 1972 were initially discouraged from pursuing additional coverage of what was seen as a minor political espionage incident -- ended up toppling the President of the United States, Richard Nixon. Since then, journalists have treated them as patron saints, men whose determination to root out White House malfeasance was a example to use as a guiding star. But no longer do reporters seem to feel the need to hold the POTUS' feet to the fire -- they're too busy kissing them. Journalists are refusing to honestly investigate Barack Obama, choosing instead to lash out at his critics as being insane or unstable "conspiracy theorists" even if they don't meet the classic defiinition.


    It only makes sense to dismiss *all* disagreement with the White House as "conspiratorial" if you are willing to believe everything it tells you. I know you're smarter than that.
    She is still my Facebook friend. I had a feeling she'd understand. And I picked up a new one based on the above reply!