Sunday, December 09, 2012

GOLDEN STATE WORRIER: CALIFORNIA'S SELF-DESTRUCTION IS A WARNING FOR THE REST OF AMERICA

This is my reaction to a "jasond," a commenter on Legal Insurrection's brilliant Prof. William A. Jacobson's post about the viral video titled "Why Our Country is Going Down The Drain," in which Judge Judy's Judith Sheindlin grills a deadbeat dude who didn't pay his girlfriend rent despite having received thousands of dollars in misappropriated government aid.  The original LI post, titled "What do you do? I'm me" (a quote from the unjustly conceited defendant) can be found here, in which the video is embedded.

jasond's comment was as follows:
Multiply [the guy in the video] and his former girlfriend by 10 million and you’ve got california. Eisenhowers’ “domino theory” may been correct all along. We just didn’t realize the first domino would be california.
My reply:
You know that brief feeling of terror when you’re driving in wet conditions and you find yourself hydroplaning and heading toward a guard rail or another vehicle? That feeling that it’s inevitable that you’re going to crash, and it’s just a matter of how badly you’re hurt and how much it will cost you?
Click here to view full size

That’s what it feels [like] nowadays to be a California resident with no hope of relocating.

Folks, if you aren’t absolutely steeped in what’s happening in what used to be The Golden State, you have NO idea what’s going on. Jerry Brown is trying to create a legacy for himself before he croaks, and is hoping that will include the extravagant, unneeded so-called “high speed rail” stretching north to south. Arnold Schwarzenegger earlier wanted his landmark to be a state-funded multibillion dollar stem-cell research program that has yielded NO breakthroughs, and was the main driver behind the recently-begun job-killing cap-and-trade program that California voters foolishly approved. And Ahnuld’s predecessor Gray Davis, in his haste to buy the loyalty of public employee unions, installed the Sacramento plumbing flushing hundreds of billions of dollars to pension funds based on the expectation that the dot-com boom would never end. Oops.

Former RINO CA Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado
Add on top of that the fact the Republican Party is for all intents and purposes non-existent in the state after Democrats won a supermajority in the Senate and Assembly. That means that not only can tax increases can be passed by the legislature without two-thirds voter approval, it means those approvals can survive Brown’s veto (which could allow him to position himself as being fiscally responsible when he’s not).
Well, so what, you may ask — Dems are overreaching. Things are cyclical. It will come back to bite them if they go too far. Not so fast (pay attention, it gets into deep weeds here).

As part of a deal to temporarily close a budget gap during the Schwarzenegger fiasco, RINO State Senator Abel Maldonado — who had a speaking part at the 2008 Republican Convention — crossed party lines and cast a tie-breaking vote. He was rewarded by Dem support of his pet legislation — a bill that made California general elections competitions between the top two vote-getters in open primaries. That means that each final vote could potentially be between two candidates of the same party. Guess how well that worked out for Republican candidates.

The grateful Schwarzenegger also appointed Maldonado to the Lieutenant Governor position replacing John Garamendi, who left after winning the retired Ellen Tauscher’s Congressional seat. Maldonado thought with the top-two system in place and his advantage over any challenger as an incumbent, he would be a shoo-in for election to a full term when his centrism and Hispanic heritage was factored in. Then, former S.F. Mayor Gavin Newsom, having earlier realized he couldn’t beat Brown for Governor, jumped late into the Lt. Gov. race, and soundly defeated Maldonado.

Undeterred, Maldonado ran for a newly-drawn Congressional district vs. ensconced liberal Dem Lois Capps. Despite L.A.’s NBC affiliate’s declaration that his top-two gambit was a success because he might not have faced Capps in November otherwise, he still lost — as did nearly every Republican on the ballot facing a Democrat. Maldonado hoist himself with his own petard twice! More importantly, because of his selfish ambition, chances that a Pub will be able to supplant any important official in California anytime soon are slim to none.

That’s a primer for you folks in the forty-something remaining sane states. Learn from California’s mistakes so you won’t have to suffer them yourselves. Meanwhile, I’m working on a petition to change the state bird from the California Golden Quail to the Coal Mine Canary.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

AGAIN, BOB COSTAS SHOOTS FIRST, AIMS LATER

The following is my reaction to Bob Costas' controversial comments about the Kansas City Chiefs' Jovan Belcher's murder-suicide, and his echoing of Jason Whitlock's remarks not only about the incident itself, but about the 2nd Amendment right to own a gun.  The yellow text below is what was posted by me on a Bay Area media blog, Rich Lieberman 415 Media.

For background, here's the entire speech from NBC's Football Night In America on December 1, and here's the full text of Jason Whitlock's blog about the incident and its societal implications.
 
 

Bob Costas seems to me to be one of those guys who feels trapped in the well-feathered nest he's built for himself. He's made his solid reputation covering sports, but thinks that he's beyond silly games after so many years and wants to leave it behind. He would like to be Keith Olbermann or Bryant Gumbel (presumably minus the unjustifiably massive egos and reported personality disorders), but he can't make the transition until he first establishes his bonafides.

Remember that Costas previously dipped his toe into unsolicited social commentary in his coverage of Gabby Douglas' Gold Medal victory in the 2012 London Olympics, saying she was an inspiration to "African-American girls out there tonight who are saying, 'Hey, I'd like to try that too.'" Yeah, just one problem, Bob; Douglas was NOT the first black American to win a Gold. Dominique Dawes [pictured, second from left] won one as a member of the U.S. crew that won the team competition in 1996 - the year Douglas was born. People mostly remember the team nicknamed "The Magnificent Seven" for Kerri Strug [second from right]'s courageous vault on an injured ankle and coach Bela Karolyi's encouragement ("You cahn do eet!") The color barrier of Gold Medal achievement had been shattered by Dawes for over a decade and a half when Costas threw in his gratuitous footnote. He was fishing for an angle beyond the games themselves, but came up with a minnow.

Costas' Sunday remarks were more egregiously half-baked. With only a minute and a half to a commercial break, Costas started by chiding everyone for not being able to achieve sufficient "perspective" about tragedies that occur among sports figures with the exception of Kansas City sportswriter Jason Whitlock. In his Fox Sports.com blog, Whitlock blamed the death of Belcher and his girlfriend on the fact that he even had a firearm. Costas selectively quoted Whitlock, using these paraphrased quotes: "Our current gun culture simply ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy, and that more convenience-store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead ... In the coming days, Jovan Belcher’s actions, and their possible connection to football, will be analyzed. Who knows? But here, wrote Jason Whitlock, is what I believe: if [Jovan Belcher] did not possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today."

Costas seemed to want to reduce Whitlock's comments to the usual fretting about immature inner-city teenagers and intense family quarrels settled quickly and fatally. Costas didn't follow through on the full thrust of Whitlock's words, so allow me to fill in the blanks Costas didn't want attributed to him personally:

We’d prefer to avoid seriously reflecting upon the absurdity of the prevailing notion that the second amendment somehow enhances our liberty rather than threatens it ... How many lives have to be ruined before we realize the right to bear arms doesn’t protect us from a government equipped with stealth bombers, predator drones, tanks and nuclear weapons?


Whitlock wasn't only musing about skewed "perspective." He wasn't simply suggesting that people should choose not to own a gun. Whitlock was taking on the Supreme Court's definition of the Second Amendment, expanding the scope from the common perils of a loaded gun in a home to stereotypes of the few and far-between who hoard arms to protect themselves against a tyrannical federal government.

Again, Costas, in his haste to elevate his presence in our living rooms to The Big Picture Beyond Sports, eloquently and sincerely said something that sounded like it made perfect sense at first listen. Then, upon analysis, it was found wanting. President Obama (I'm not a fan) recently referred to such statements as "Shooting first and aiming later," if you'll pardon the expression.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

JUST SAY NO TO CRACK: SAN FRANCISCO'S NUDITY BAN ISN'T ABOUT CONSERVATISM, IT'S ABOUT SANITY

This is my reaction to a piece written by Slate magazine's William Saletan, who suggests that the reason why San Francisco's Castro neighborhood rose to oppose the increasingly bold nudists walking around in the neighborhood is because they are "becoming more bourgeois" due to a shift toward same-sex marriage and, more importantly, parentage:

Ever since gay marriage became a plausible idea, opponents have predicted it would unravel society. There’d be runaway polygamy, bestiality, and public nudity. In 2008, as Californians debated a gay-marriage ballot measure, Americans For Truth About Homosexuality said it was “no coincidence that the man who took it upon himself four years ago to illegally and radically redefine marriage,” then-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, was promoting an event featuring “rampant public nudity.” This year, the Family Policy Institute of Washington warned that Referendum 74, which proposed to legalizing same-sex marriage in Washington state, would “make marriage genderless” and lead to men using women’s locker rooms. The National Organization for Marriage, capitalizing on a nudist’s stunt, ran the headline: “The ‘Naked Cowboy’ Comes Out for Gay Marriage.” The Iowa Republican depicted same-sex marriage as a gateway to nudity, incest, and necrophilia.

The predictions haven’t panned out. Instead, gays have drawn a line. While voters in Washington and three other states endorsed same-sex marriage this month, residents of San Francisco’s Castro district, possibly the most gay-friendly place on Earth, persuaded the city’s board of supervisors to pass an ordinance restricting public nudity. The rise of same-sex households isn’t making society queer. It’s making gay people bourgeois ...

My comment, which I posted at 7:00 am PST on November 28, 2012 (it has not been approved as yet):
As a lifelong resident of San Francisco, I can tell you that the populace here isn't getting any more conservative. It's been decades since anyone in city government came out of the closet and admitted that they, indeed, are Republican. The politics have gotten nastier for officials who didn't feel a compulsion to shift more to the left as the center moved to the right. For example, in the last mayoral election, the moderate Democrat public defender was vilified by the city's public employee unions for the sole offense of sponsoring a pension reform measure on the ballot. This earned him one attack ad showing his face alongside Sarah Palin's & George W. Bush's, and a another one suggesting there was no difference between him and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker ("San Francisco is NO Tea Party Town!")



I know that people who are in favor of same-sex marriage want to believe that it's the moral equivalent of banishing anti-miscegenation laws (it's not), and to that end will embrace arguments that marriage in the gay community will temper the perception (or the reality) of the stereotypical promiscuous homosexual that causes Midwestern church ladies to clutch their pearls. That's a discussion for another time, because the nudity debate isn't really about that. It's about the line -- invisible to the naked eye (pun not intended) -- between "enough" and "too much."

Mr. Saletan compiled examples of public nudity long tolerated in San Francisco: The Bay to Breakers 10K bacchanalia, the Pride Parade with its long history of literally shameless exhibitionism before an audience of all ages, and The Folsom Street Fair, at which SF Police stand by and keep "order" among open displays of onanism and sadomasochism. Here's the difference, though: Those are events, not everyday life. The idea is that as long as a crowd of thousands only gather together to "scare the horses" once a year, it's not worth the expense and the effort to haul them all into the pokey -- just don't start waving broken whiskey bottles around.

But as is written in Ecclesiastes (or for you atheists, as The Byrds sang), "There is a season and a time to every purpose..." Even in the planet's Gay Mecca, the consensus is clear: The time for public nudity is NOT seven days a week in broad daylight at a busy intersection and for NO real purpose besides expressing the opinion that one's birthday suit ought to be seen by people who have NO true interest in looking. Public nudity per se has nothing to do with being homosexual or not, it has to do with eschewing rudimentary hygiene and lack of consideration for others.

As I said at the beginning, San Francisco isn't getting more conservative, but this narrow Board of Supervisors vote may be an indication that the city has finally hit bottom on being bizarre for bizarreness' sake. In 2008, an Eff You ballot measure that would rename a sewage treatment plant after George W. Bush was surprisingly defeated, and in 2009, gay Supervisor Bevan Dufty's proposed "sex tents" idea ("There are definitely people interested in seeing more public sex") was shot down in flames.

Calm down, lefties. Cracking down on people who wave their crack outdoors won't make San Francisco into Peoria any time soon.  

It occurred to me after writing this that it's ironic how Peoria, IL has become the go-to city when using shorthand for Middle America ("Will it play in Peoria?") when, in reality, Illinois was the first state in the union to decriminalize sodomy in 1961, a decade and a half before California did. So, in a sense, San Francisco adopted Peoria values.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

MORE FREE SPEECH DECAY: PHILLY HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER COMPARES STUDENT'S ROMNEY T-SHIRT TO KKK SHEET, THREATENS TO DEFACE IT


Above is the original audio of the October 3 phone call to Larry Mendte of Philadelphia talk radio station WWIQ-FM 106.9 by Richard Pawlucy, father of the 16-year-old Charles Carroll High School student who was singled out, castigated, and threatened for choosing to wear a Romney-Ryan T-shirt on "Dress Down Friday."

Allegedly, Pawlucy's daughter's teacher told her to take the shirt off because it was like wearing "a Ku Klux Klan sheet," also threatening to cross the names out, wielding a marker. 

In the current atmosphere in which leftists are questioning whether the First Amendment right to free speech ought to include speech that drives intolerant idiots to vandalism at the least (e.g., Muslim bloggerette Mona Eltahawy, captured on video below) and murder at the most, this is another step in the wrong direction.



But it's not unusual for educators who are worshipful of Obama to overstep their bounds and bully youngsters who don't think he's good enough for America.  Remember this teacher from 2008, and how she -- in front of a camera crew recording every word -- felt justified in telling the daughter of a soldier deployed in Iraq that electing John McCain would mean "your dad could stay in the military for another hundred years!"



Philadelphia newspapers have picked up this story, and so has POLITICO.  That's a surprise. But don't look for it on the usual MSM suspects. 

This entry was updated October 3, 2012 10:00 pm PDT to correct the transposed names of the parent and the talk host. It was further updated October 9, 2012 to reflect the corrected spelling of the parent's surname.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

"LIVING IN SIN IS THE NEW THING": TORONTO SCHOOLS PROMOTE GENDER-BENDING AND POLYGAMY TO GRADE SCHOOL KIDS

You may remember a ridiculous Canadian couple that in 2011 announced they were going to stand athwart logic and human biology, and refuse to identify the gender of "Storm," their newborn child.

Kathy Witterick, 38, and David Stocker, 39, have only allowed their midwives and two older sons to peek beneath the diaper of 4-month-old Storm.
When Storm came into the world in a birthing pool on New Year's Day, they sent out this email: "We decided not to share Storm's sex for now -- a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation, a standup to what the world could become in Storm's lifetime."
Even Storm's brothers, 2-year-old Kio and 5-year-old Jazz, have been sworn to secrecy, as well as one close family friend. The family, while not hiding their sex of their oldest sons, also allows them to explore their gender identity. Jazz wears his hair in pigtails.
Oy.

Apparently they weren't completely alone among folks in the frozen north; they have kindred spirits making decisions in the Toronto District School Board.  As Mark Steyn -- himself a victim of Canadian political correctness vigilantism -- observed September 22, 2012 at National Review Online:

A few years ago, when the gay-marriage bandwagon got rolling, some of us argued that “if the sex of the participants is no longer relevant, why should the number be?” The same-sex-marriage crowd swatted the polygamy shtick aside as utterly irrelevant, even though there are far more takers for polygamy than there will ever be for gay marriage, and it is, de facto, already recognized to one degree or another by multiculti types in the British Government pensions department and the French welfare system. 
So here we are in 2012, and the Toronto District School Board has a new poster called “Love Has No Gender", full of happy couples but also happy triples. This poster is in every Toronto grade school.
Heather Has Two Mommies. Heather Has Two Mommies And A Big Bearded Daddy Who Wants To Marry Her Off To Her Cousin In Pakistan. Who are we to judge?

Here's how Michael Coren -- who has been referred to as the Canadian version of Bill O'Reilly -- tackled the issue with a spokesman from a pro-family group.



My few regular readers may remember my alarm when former Mouseketeer and former self-declared virgin Britney Spears went completely over the opposite end with her 2009 smash hit comeback single, "3," which was a plainly-spoken tribute to group sex.  The title of this post ("Living In Sin Is The New Thing") references the lyrics of the song, which also included:

1, 2, 3
 Not only you and me
 Got one eighty degrees
 And I'm caught in between

 1, 2, 3
 Peter, Paul & Mary
 Gettin' down with 3P
 Everybody loves [edited]

I've seen a lot of changes in my life, which spans five decades.  But I never thought I'd see the day when parents so blithely leave child-raising decisions to public school bureaucrats.  It's not as bad in America as it is in Canada yet, but there doesn't seem to be a significant number of people who are standing up to say, "Enough's enough!"

Friday, September 21, 2012

LIFE IMITATES THE BAD NEWS BEARS:
TV REPORTER INVITES LITTLE LEAGUE PLAYER TO HAVE A BEER


KPIX-TV (San Francisco) anchor-reporter Ken Bastida, in a live remote at AT&T Park with the Petaluma, CA Little League team that finished 3rd in the 2012 Little League World Series, quizzed 12-year-old pitcher/first baseman Daniel Marzo about how the local girls are reacting to his newfound celebrity.  
 


He concluded the interview by inviting the presumably pubescent ballplayer to have a beer with him, to which Marzo replied, "Sounds good!"  It's clear that Bastida was joking, but his colleagues in the KPIX studio didn't risk letting his words float out without registering their disapproval.  Allen Martin said be heard saying "No, Ken, we're not going to allow that," followed up by his mumbling "Contributing to the delinquency..." 

It reminded me of the then-controversial 1976 hit movie "The Bad News Bears," starring Walter Matthau as Morris Buttermaker, an alcoholic former minor league pitcher who keeps his one foot out of the grave in the baseball world by coaching a hapless group of youngsters.  SPOILER ALERT: After the Bears narrowly lose the league championship game, Buttermaker dips into his ever-present cooler and tosses bottles of beer to the kids, some of whom partake, although most just poured it on their teammates.

Friday, August 24, 2012

DO YOU KNOW THE WAY TO CHICK-FIL-A? FAST FOOD GIANT SHOWS NO FEAR OF FRISCO'S FASCIST FOOL

Chick-Fil-A is in San Jose!


 
That's right, folks!  The $4 billion fast food force is rapidly expanding to the Pacific Coast, with a new outlet in Northern California's largest, most populous city (yes, bigger than San Francisco, which gets all the publicity).  That means the Grand Opening camp-out for a year of free weekly meals for the first hundred patrons has brought those dreaded fans of waffle fries closer to San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, who, in support of similar intolerant and fascistic remarks about banning Chick-Fil-A by Democrat Mayors in Boston and Chicago, sent these tweets on July 26, 2012:


Click here to view full size
Click here to view full size
 
Well, it looks like Chick-Fil-A is calling the messy-mustached Mayor's bluff.  

While the San Jose location is still roughly 40 miles from San Francisco's City Hall, it is closer than that to the city limits.  Furthermore, there are three new locations that are completing the process of opening: One 37 miles away in the peninsula town of Mountain View (home of the first "Silicon Valley" firm) , a second opening October 11 in the East Bay city of Walnut Creek (26.9 miles away), and a third scheduled to open at a current Carl's Jr. outlet across the Golden Gate in Novato (26.5 miles).

A couple of notes about the Novato location:  Novato is the second largest city in Marin County, domain of doctrinaire liberal lawmakers such as Senator Barbara Boxer, radical gay State Senator Mark Leno, and the thankfully-retiring Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey.  Even in the thick of negative publicity from the gay activist-supporting mainstream media -- including widespread Bay Area news outlets' coverage of gactivist attempts to stop the Mountain View location using concerns about bicyclists and pedestrians as a fig leaf -- Chick-Fil-A closed the deal on the purchase of the Novato Carl's Jr. on...wait for it...July 25th! The day before his tweets!


Those evil, discriminatory chickens bound for consumption clearly fear no man, including the Mayor of San Francisco.  Those spicy chicken  sandwiches are marching on the City By The Bay from the North, East, and South, hoping to drive marriage equality advocates into the Pacific!  They're closing in on Mayor Lee. They're circling.  You can almost hear them ... Cluck, cluck.  Cluck, cluck. Cluck cluck, cluck cluck, cluck cluck ... Cluck! CLUCK CLUCK CLUCK!



Friday, July 27, 2012

LONDON 2012: THE WORST OLYMPICS LOGO EVER DESIGNED LIMPS ACROSS THE FINISH LINE

After it was introduced to the public five years ago, UK comedienne Holly Walsh said everything there is to say about the hideous, horrendous logo designed for the Olympic Summer Games in London. I was hoping that the IOC would come to its senses and dump it for something less scratch-your-eyes-out ugly. No such luck. Oh well, at least we can laugh about it.




Saturday, May 26, 2012

"ARE YOU PROUD OF ME?" CHOOM GANG LEADER CROWNS HIMSELF "TWOOSH MASTER"



View and observe: The Leader of the Free World, already surrounded by young, worshipful campaign workers, can't resist soliciting one more suck-up for the road. As the woman on the right bubbles with enthusiasm over the President's "perfect tweet," she shakes his hand at :33 seconds in. His response: "Are you proud of me?"

Huh? Ain't too much already enough?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

TWO-TIME EMMY-WINNER JIM PARSONS ON BEING GAY: "WHO GIVES A SH!T?"

Have you heard the news? The two-time Emmy-winning star of The Big Bang Theory is GAY!

The source of the excitement -- such as it is -- is an article in the May 23, 2012 edition of the New York Times about Parsons' upcoming starring role as Elwood P. Dowd in the Broadway revival of Harvey.


But it's funny -- when something is in "the news," you would think that it was actually "new" information, as in something that people hadn't perceived for years, or that had been confirmed since December 2011.

That's right, folks! If you had been paying close attention to Parsons, you would have known for a certainty for six months what people who read "the news" are just waking up to.

 We pick up the text of a Parsons profile ("The Man With the Golden Statue(s)") in the Winter 2011 edition of now-defunct Antenna magazine in the final two paragraphs, as the topic is turning from the diversity of male lead characters in TV sitcoms (Parsons' fellow Emmy nominees Louis C.K., Steve Carell, and Alec Baldwin) to his personal life (bold mine):

If there is one indicator of television adapting to the times, it's perhaps not this hodgepodge of shows and the success of one over another, but the presence and treatment of homosexuality.  Parsons, who's out, doesn't play a homosexual; Sheldon is straight.

"I've been watching television for years.  We've come a long way.  It's beyond just being more common -- or maybe that's the good point about it.  It's common, it's ordinary.  It's unremarkable.  I don't think we're there just yet, necessarily, but it's getting close.  I'm sure there's a segment that it is still a big deal with, but it doesn't seem to be a large enough number anymore to make it stop happening.  The larger number is with those who either feel a) I like this, or b) who gives a sh!t? And on some level, I think that 'who gives a sh!t 'is the best place in the world."
It was amusing to see the Twitterverse and the blogosphere buzzing that Parsons had come out of the closet when it was doubtful that he has been in it since he debuted on Big Bang six years ago.  As way, way, way out gay actor Alec Mapa tweeted in reaction to the relay of the "news" by People.com: "It was also on the cover of DUH! Magazine."

Monday, May 21, 2012

NEWS CREW CHEERLEADS AS S.F. TENANT WHINES LANDLORD WON'T LET HIM CHARGE HIS CHEVY VOLT IN GARAGE


KGO-TV in San Francisco is usually pretty even-handed in its coverage of local news, as long as the stories are not about causes that skew doctrinaire left.  When it does, you get something like this, in which Michael Finney, the resident crusading consumer reporter ("7 On Your Side") bangs his head against the wall on behalf of Richard Wiesner, a Chevy Volt owner who figures that everybody in San Francisco ought to bow down to the Green Gods because ... uh ... it's San Francisco!

The KGO anchors are, center to right, Dan Ashley and Carolyn Johnson. From May 9, 2012:








"Can you imagine just ten years from now, if you were to go back, and replay this entire video, I think people would smile and say 'How archaic were we back then, that we actually told people they couldn't plug their electric cars in?'"

After Wiesner's video testimony ends with that remark, Finney solicits more such cases from rechargeable car owners, adding "We may need legislation! We'll see."  Johnson chimes in: "It would be nice if we could quantify how much a charge costs."  Ashley tosses in a prediction: "Legislation is probably coming eventually."  By that, of course, he means that the city of San Francisco and other progressive municipalities will eventually require landlords to eat the cost of fuel for electric vehicle drivers, as well as assume the risks that comes with operating a fueling station as well as living quarters.

Strangely enough, a website dedicated to "green" vehicles was more rational about the situation, and didn't treat the folks at Trinity Properties as if they are (all together now) "On The Wrong Side of History."  Whodathunk?

While taking up the cause of Wiesner and his Canadian counterpart Mike Nemat (CBC-TV video here), GreenCarReports.com weighed the property rights of the landlord more equitably:
Wiesner's challenges are eerily reminiscent of Ottawa Volt owner Mike Nemat's situation in January, when his landlord refused to allow him to plug in his car in the parking structure attached to his condo. These kinds of confrontations are likely to spread as plug-in car sales rise. But here are the challenges:
  • Standard 110-Volt plugs in garages may be of widely varying qualities and not sufficiently robust for the power draw of continuous plug-in car charging; 
  • In California and elsewhere, landlords must install a sub-meter if they are legally to charge tenants for electricity used--which costs money; 
  • If one tenant is allowed to charge a plug-in car, that same privilege may have to be extended to all tenants; Depending on the building's rate plan, additional use could kick it into a higher-cost rate bracket; and 
  • Landlords do not provide fuel for gasoline vehicles, so why should they provide it for electric cars? 
At the moment, it appears that Wiesner in San Francisco and Hemat in Ottawa are out of luck--as others in multiple dwellings may be as well.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

MARK CUBAN'S CELEBRITY "CROSSHAIRS": DEADLY REDACTED_DEBACLE DOESN'T STOP BILLIONAIRE BRAT FROM MAKING MOVIES APPROVING OF ASSASSINATION

Before getting into the meat of this issue, I want to make sure you understand who the principal characters are.

Look at the photo on the left. If you're a basketball fan, you know what that trophy with its own seat in a private jet is.  And you also know whose jet it's flying in. For those who are not hoops fans: It is the Larry O'Brien Trophy, which is handed to the owner of the championship team in the National Basketball Association (NBA).  Alongside it is the owner of the recently-dethroned 2011  World Champion Dallas Mavericks, dot-com tycoon Mark Cuban.

Cuban cashed out of the insanely over-inflated
internet market at precisely the right moment.  He and his partner Todd Wagner sold the now-defunct Broadcast.com to Yahoo! for nearly $6 billion in stock. In 2000, he used a chunk of it to buy the historically unimpressive Mavs.  He persevered through many seasons dominated by star-studded powerhouse teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs, who between them won eight world titles in the first ten years of Cuban's ownership.  The one time the Mavs made it to the finals in 2006, they lost to the Miami Heat.  But led by standout forward/center Dirk Nowitzki -- who decided to stay in Texas with Cuban rather than sign as a free agent with one of the richer, higher-profile coastal clubs -- they brought a world championship to the Metroplex by avenging their loss to the highly-favored Heat.

In addition to being one of the true genius investors of the early internet era, Cuban is known throughout the nation and the world as kind of a brat.  He regularly is fined by the NBA for the angry, often profane verbal abuse he has rained upon league officials in remarks to the press as well as to game officials from his front-row seats. Over his tenure as owner, he's racked up an unprecedented estimated $1.65 million in fines for statements found to be detrimental to the league (which he always counterbalances by equal donations to charities). While even his own players have rolled their eyes at his rants, Cuban relishes his abrasive reputation. The name of the team was "Mavericks" before he bought it, but he thinks the name fits him perfectly.  Nothing says that more than the smug look in the above photo, which accompanies his Twitter feed.

Among the other businesses Cuban & Wagner have begun since their cash coup is their media conglomerate 2929 Entertainment, which includes their TV network HDNet, Landmark Movie Theaters, and their independent motion picture production companies, Magnolia Films and Magnet Releasing.

Now, let's turn our attention to Bristol Palin, the daughter of conservative firebrand Sarah Palin, 2008 Vice Presidential candidate and former Governor of Alaska. As you know unless you've been in a coma for the past three and a half years, Bristol is the young, unmarried mother of her son Tripp, whose father is her former fiancee Levi Johnston. Having acknowledged that their liaison was ill-advised, she now is heavily involved (and compensated) for being an advocate for single-mom celibacy, portraying herself as a living example of overcoming previous mistakes using the Bible as her path to stability. After her turn on Dancing With the Stars that had millions of Palin family fans keeping her on the show until the season's final night (perhaps undeservedly -- I don't watch DWTS, so I don't know), she's ever-so-slowly stretched out beyond her mother's shadow into her own celebrity.

Her new blog is in support of her first book, Not Afraid of Life; My Journey So Far, and her reality program about responsible single motherhood, Life's a Tripp, which is a sort of antidote to MTV's tabloid-fodder Teen Moms.

On that blog, Bristol reacted to the news that President Obama has now, as the MSM tells us endlessly, "evolved," and is now in favor of same-sex marriage, whereas he was not when he ran for national office (set aside the fact for now that when running for the State Senate in Illinois, he was all for it). In his explanation to the strategically selected Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts, he cited conversations he's had with his teenage daughters Sasha and Malia when deciding how he felt  about the issue.

From the ABC News transcript of the Roberts interview:
You know, Malia and Sasha, they've got friends whose parents are same-sex couples. And I -- you know, there have been times where Michelle and I have been sittin' around the dinner table. And we've been talkin' and -- about their friends and their parents. And Malia and Sasha would -- it wouldn't dawn on them that somehow their friends' parents would be treated differently. It doesn't make sense to them. And -- and frankly -- that's the kind of thing that prompts -- a change of perspective. You know, not wanting to somehow explain to your child why somebody should be treated -- differently, when it comes to -- the eyes of the law.
Bristol wrote this in a somewhat snarky entry titled "Hail to the Chiefs: - Malia and Sasha Obama":


While it’s great to listen to your kids’ ideas, there’s also a time when dads simply need to be dads.  In this case, it would’ve been helpful for him to explain to Malia and Sasha that while her friends parents are no doubt lovely people, that’s not a reason to change thousands of years of thinking about marriage.  Or that – as great as her friends may be – we know that in general kids do better growing up in a mother/father home.  Ideally, fathers help shape their kids’ worldview.
[snip]
Sometimes dads should lead their family in the right ways of thinking.  In this case, it would’ve been nice if the President would’ve been an actual leader and helped shape their thoughts instead of merely reflecting what many teenagers think after one too many episodes of Glee.

You might imagine this didn't go over well with the Leftwaffe that has already told her -- to her face -- that they despise her and her mother.  Word that she dared disagree with Obama on same-sex marriage spread like wildfire on Fire Island, and she shot to the top of topics trending worldwide on Twitter.

Dare I say, Bristol was "#1 with a bullet"?

That brings us back to Cuban's Magnet Releasing, which is in the midst of promoting God Bless America, the latest film from director Bob "Bobcat" Goldthwait (below, left). It's supposedly a satirical film, but it's so dark, it might qualify as a black hole.  Here is the description of the film on the Magnet website (bold mine):
Bobcat Goldthwait, director of GOD BLESS AMERICA, a Magnet Release. Photo courtesy of Magnet Releasing
Frank (Joel Murray) has had enough of the downward spiral of American culture, which he sees as overrun with cruelty, stupidity and intolerance. Divorced, recently fired, and possibly terminally ill, Frank truly has nothing left to live for. But instead of taking his own life, he buys a gun and decides to take out his frustration on the cruelest, stupidest, most intolerant people he can imagine—starting with some particularly odious reality television stars. Frank finds an unusual accomplice in a high-school student named Roxy (Tara Lynne Barr), who shares his sense of rage and disenfranchisement, and together they embark on a nation-wide assault on our country’s dumbest, most irritating celebrities.

Written and directed by taboo-busting filmmaker and comedian Bobcat Goldthwait (Shakes the Clown, Sleeping Dogs Lie, World's Greatest Dad), GOD BLESS AMERICA a truly dark and very funny comedy for anyone who’s had enough of the dumbing down of our society.

So, let's be clear -- "Frank," a guy who's frustrated with America being overrun with cruel, stupid, and intolerant people, goes about solving this problem by killing everyone he thinks fits that description in his estimation. Yeah, that'll just be the trick against "the dumbing down of our society." It makes perfect nonsense.

Whoever is responsible for Magnet's Facebook page took criticism of Bristol Palin's same-sex marriage stance to a deadly level this past weekend (h/t Breitbart.com's Big Hollywood):


"Get out your guns"? What's that about? If you need it to be explained, look above at the screencap of "Chloe." Now, here is the portion of the God Bless America trailer pertaining to that character.

video


"Awesome."

Do you get it yet?  OK, for the barely-literate holdouts: Consider this part of Goldthwait's screenplay, as transcribed on IMDB.com (bold mine):
 
Roxy: Who you're killing next? Do you take requests? Because I was thinking maybe some Kardashians, my gym coach. People who give high fives. Really, any jock. Twihards. People who talk about punk rock. Who else really rips my cock off? ... Oh, Mormons and other religious a**holes who won't let gay people be married...]


The implication of "Get out your guns..." when it comes to Bristol Palin is obvious: She ought to be killed because she's one of those "religious a**holes."

Now, Magnet Releasing is the Cuban-Wagner imprint for action and horror films, some of them produced by the company, some foreign flicks distributed in North America.  Some of them are obviously gory and violent -- many, if not most, are rated "R."  But what's shocking about publicity for a film from the Cuban camp using assassination of actual people as a hook is that one of his films is already directly linked to an assassination.

Two assassinations, in fact -- out of an attempted four murders.

I explain in my comment to a Breitbart.com Big Hollywood thread titled "Film Company Owned By Obama Supporter Promotes Violence Against Bristol Palin":
You would think that people who work in Mark Cuban's motion picture divisions would be more cautious about using film to depict assassinations in light of the fact that a Muslim terrorist has already cited a clip from one of the films he's produced as inspiration for his multi-murderous act.
Do you remember that incident in Frankfurt, Germany in March 2011 when a young Albanian man shot four American soldiers just because they were American soldiers? Likely, you don't -- that sort of thing''s not an unusual occurrence. Here's a reminder of how the murderer, 21-year-old Arid Uka, was inspired. From the Associated Press, February 10, 2012 (bold mine):

Prosecutors said Uka was an example of a lone-wolf extremist who became radicalized on his own by reading and watching jihadist propaganda on the Internet. During the trial, they introduced as evidence dozens of files containing songs and written material pulled from his cell phone, music player and computer. Uka, who worked as a temporary mail sorter at the airport, testified that he wanted to stop U.S. service personnel from going to Afghanistan after viewing a video on Facebook that purported to show American soldiers raping a teenage Muslim girl. It turned out to be a scene from the 2007 Brian De Palma anti-war film "Redacted," taken out of context....
....As they loaded their bus in front of the airport, Uka approached the soldiers and asked for a cigarette, then asked if the group was headed for Afghanistan. Told that it was, Uka pulled a pistol from his backpack and shot the unarmed Alden point blank in the back of the head.
Convicted Islamist terrorist Arid Uka's Facebook Page. Uka was convinced a scene taken from Brian DePalma's Redacted depicting the rape of a Muslim girl by U.S. troops was amateur footage of an actual event.
He then boarded the bus and fatally shot Cuddeback, the driver, before turning the gun on two more airmen, Staff Sgt. Kristoffer Schneider and Edgar Veguilla. The weapon jammed as he pointed it at Staff Sgt. Trevor Brewer, who testified that Uka had "hate in his eyes" and said "Allahu akbar" — Arabic for "God is great."
Schneider, who testified by video link from an Air Force base in Grand Forks, North Dakota, was shot in the right temple and lost the sight in one eye. The right side of his face had to be rebuilt with titanium and titanium mesh, and he testified he suffers continuing eye and head pain and has had a seizure. Part of his skull had to be removed after an infection.
Veguilla was hit in the jaw and arm and testified he has numb fingers because of nerve damage.

Four men's lives were changed because of the Mark Cuban-produced, Brian De Palma-directed Redacted, and for what? Redacted was one of the biggest bombs in the cluster of movies written and produced in protest of U.S. military action in the Middle East.  Its estimated budget was $5,000,000.00, its total U.S. gross $65,388, its worldwide gross [], $781,441.  But because it made it to celluloid, a scene was uploaded to Facebook and spurred a lunatic to maim and murder.
Somehow, those facts didn't stop people in Cuban's employ from suggesting that Bristol Palin ought to be killed "IRL" in the same manner a reality starlet is assassinated in Cuban's latest release, former spastic comedian Bobcat Goldthwait's God Bless America

Neither, apparently, did the fact that an unhinged idiot in Wisconsin shot his own television, threatened his own family's lives and his own, and had a 15-hour standoff with police because he didn't think Bristol should have made it to the semifinals of Dancing With The Stars.  Or the fact that -- among others -- a father and son threatened to slaughter Palin, rape her teenage  daughter Willow, and kill members of Palin's staff.  Unlike most death threats, those two did more just talk; Shawn Christy of McAdoo, PA actually flew to Anchorage, AK -- as he warned Palin he would by sending her a copy of his one-way airline ticket -- earning him an arrest and a restraining order.  Shawn's father Craig Christy was also arrested for making hundreds of profanity-filled, anti-Semitic threats via telephone from his home 4,200 miles away.

(After initially pleading "not guilty," the two pleaded "guilty" to charges of telephone harassment, facing as long as two years in Federal prison. They are still awaiting final sentencing pending psychological evaluation.)

In a September 4, 2007 email response to a request for comment after Bill O'Reilly's remarks condemning Redacted,Cuban wrote this to O'Reilly Factor producer Jesse Watters (bold mine):
"[To] pre empt some of the stupidity coming from bloggers, I am fully Pro Troops, Pro America.  I think that the concept that the enemy will see these films and use it as motivation is total nonsense..."
Cuban also said in that email that he had not read the script for Redacted, saying "I didn't read the script or know all that much about it before we greenlit it." In that, he seems to be the complete opposite of the control freak he depicts himself as in his management of the [now-dethroned World Champion] Dallas Mavericks or on one of the few reality shows that are truly educational, ABC's Shark Tank.

Unlike the 100% specious suggestion that Palin's so-called "crosshairs" election map similarly inspired Jared Loughner (who, as informed people are aware, intended to kill Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords long before Palin's emergence on the national scene), there was not only reason for believing Redacted might inspire murder, we have verification from the killer himself that it did. 

It would seem that at least one person on Cuban's payroll thinks Arid Uka is a fluke, and is willing to roll the dice on Bristol Palin's life.
It's true, this IS America. And Mark Cuban can produce just about any movie he wants. And Bobcat Goldthwait is backed by the First Amendment in saying he would like to see everyone ruining his life merely by existing get killed. But in doing so, they are being un-American.

I will explain why in my next entry.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

EXAMPLE 7,389 OF SOMETHING STEWART & COLBERT WOULD BE LAUGHING ABOUT IF SARAH PALIN HAD SAID IT

H/T Legal Insurrection via New York Sun: The most powerful woman in the United States, Health & Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius, gets schooled on Constitutional Law by Congressman Trey Gowdy of South Carolina.

Enjoy, if you're a conservative.  If you're a liberal, try not to sigh too loud.  

Friday, April 06, 2012

"WAY TOO COMMITTED TO STOP":
S.F. PSYCHO CYCLIST PLOWS INTO A CROSSWALK, KILLS A PEDESTRIAN ... AND MOURNS HIS BUSTED HELMET

For the second time in nine months, a San Francisco pedestrian who was walking legally in a crosswalk has been mowed down by a reckless bicyclist.  And thanks to the miracle of social networks that cause people to text, tweet, and post before they think, we know that in this case, what I and others suspected were the brainworkings of too many two-wheeled terrors is the absolute truth.

The previous victim was a visitor to the city, the lovely, deceptively young-looking 68-year-old Dionette "Didi" Cherney (left) from Washington, D.C.. On July 15, 2011, she stepped off the curb to cross the Embarcadero at the same time 23-year-old Randolph Ang -- as his story goes -- was late for work at his new job.  Ang decided he couldn't (or shouldn't have to) stop for the red light that was supposed to make it safe for Cherney to go, and the back of her head smacked the unforgiving asphalt in their collision. Ang was cited and released. Cherney died almost a month later in a San Francisco hospital bed, nearly 3,000 miles away from home.

In 1992, bike riders in San Francisco pioneered the disruptive monthly protest known as "Critical Mass" in which bicyclists blitz the streets, ignore stop signs and red lights, and cut off traffic to motor vehicles. Cyclists became a potent political force in the '90s then-newly elected Mayor Willie Brown decided -- after a riotous reaction to trying to rein in Critical Mass -- it was easier to suck up to them than stop them.  Since then, the bicycle lobby has used its clout to demand more bike lanes throughout the city, and in cooperation with elements of the so-called "sustainable cities" movement, is pushing for motor vehicles to be banned in some parts of downtown.  Perhaps those facts could explain why then-S.F.Chief of Police and now-S.F. District Attorney George Gascon, who can be seen in this 2009 video riding a bicycle along with the editor of the activist SFStreetsblog, didn't file charges against Ang until Thursday, November 10, the day after he officially won his re-election bid.  The official reason for the delay was that the city's Medical Examiner hadn't completed a report until three and a quarter months afterward.  City government is dysfunctional enough for that to be true, but in the words of the Church Lady, "How conveeenient."

Ang at first pleaded "Not guilty," but eventually agreed to plead guilty to misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter.  He was sentenced to three years probation, 500 hours of community service, and no jail time.  Ang was spared incarceration partly due to the mercy shown to him by powerful D.C. attorney Colburn "Coke" Cherney, Dionette's widower.

On August 11, 2011, Mrs. Cherney passed away. This is what I posted in the comments section of the San Francisco Chronicle that day about the arrogance, the pack mentality, and the callousness of Bay Area bicyclists (emphasis mine):

Over the decade or so I've worked in downtown S.F., I've known this sort of thing was inevitable.

While it would be hyperbole to compare them to the rampaging punks in London, those of us who were unlucky enough to be pedestrians (or "motorists") in the early days of Critical Mass have seen the erosion of the "Share The Road" mentality that the S.F. Bike Coalition putatively championed when it went "legit" vs. the "I'm Saving The Planet From Global Warming & And I'm Better Than You Are, Thus I Don't Need To Follow The Law" attitude that currently prevails.

What got us here? What always screws up California in general, and San Francisco in particular: Pandering to a pack of punks. Y'all will jam Market St. and bridge on-ramps if you don't get the bike lanes you demand? Fine, bike lanes, sprayed on the street. Then, bike racks on Muni vehicles. Then, green bike lanes with plastic barriers.

Good enough? Of course not. You're powerful. You're *special.* Nobody tells you guys what to do anymore, you tell them. So now, you go the wrong way down one-way streets or on the wrong side of the road. Where there are a half-dozen of you riding at a time, you practically dare drivers to take their legal place on the street -- you have the right-of-way granted by your moral superiority. You don't want to break your precious stride for stop signs or red lights, so you'll just charge thru intersections and barely miss unsuspecting pedestrians, or you'll zip onto sidewalks or into crosswalks, abusing the wheelchair ramps.

In Los Angeles, the board of Stupidvisors approved a measure that adds enhancements on charges against drivers who harass or assault someone because they are on a bicycle. In effect, in L.A. County, you potentially could be charged with a hate crime against a bicyclist. That's so stupid, I'm surprised S.F. didn't think of it first, and felt like it was inevitably going to be copycatted here. Maybe now that we've seen the deadly results of giving pedal-pushing punks too much power, the pols will have the courage to put on the brakes, which too many of you don't like to use. 
Think I was being too harsh? Think perhaps I was generalizing too much?  Painting with too broad a brush? Save it.  Dodge bicycle riders on the sidewalks of San Francisco in my shoes before judging me.  Anyway, I have nothing to prove, because the newest incident bears out what I wrote last summer.

The latest victim is Sutchi "Terry" Hui, aged 71, from San Bruno.  He ran a travel agency in Chinatown for some thirty years.  He leaves behind his wife of forty years, who was walking alongside him at the time. The man who mowed him down -- allegedly -- is Chris Bucchere. Unlike Ang, who was not immediately identified and stayed mum publicly until his first day in court, Bucchere -- allegedly -- was sharing the incident with friends in his social networking world.  From an April 5, 2012 report from KPIX-TV:






Here is a selection of the most detailed account Bucchere allegedly provided, originally posted March 29th on -- and then deleted from -- the forum of San Francisco's Mission Cycling Club (h/t SFist):
From Bucchere's post on March 29th:
[Emphasis, SFist]   
Around 8 a.m. I was descending Divisadero Street southbound and about to cross Market Street. The light turned yellow as I was approaching the intersection, but I was already way too committed to stop. The light turned red as I was cruising through the middle of the intersection and then, almost instantly, the southern crosswalk on Market and Castro filled up with people coming from both directions. The intersection very long and the width of Castro Street at that point is very short, so, in a nutshell, blammo.
The quote/unquote 'scene of the crime' was that intersection right by the landmark Castro Theatre - it leads from a really busy MUNI station to that little plaza where The Naked Guy always hangs out. It was commuter hour and it was crowded as all getup. I couldn't see a line through the crowd and I couldn't stop, so I laid it down and just plowed through the crowded crosswalk in the least-populated place I could find. 
I don't remember the next five minutes but when I came to, I was in a neck brace being loaded into an ambulance. I remember seeing a RIVER of blood on the asphalt, but it wasn't mine. Apparently I hit a 71-year-old male pedestrian and he ended up in the ICU with pretty serious head injuries. I really hope he ends up OK."
(snip; emphasis mine)
In the end, Bucchere says his bike was confiscated by the cops. Although he expressed some well wishes for the elderly victim who was expected to survive at the time but later died, Bucchere ended his note with an ode to his headgear, writing: "In closing, I want to dedicate this story to my late helmet. She died in heroic fashion today as my head slammed into the tarmac... The moral of this little story is: WYFH." Or, in other words: Wear your f**king helmet — a sentiment other commenters doubted, responding: "I'm not sure that's the moral of the story."

What IS the moral of the story, then?  Let's go back to the sentencing of Randolph Ang, attended by Didi Cherney's loving husband, Coke.  According to Gascon's office, Mr. Cherney's courtroom statement included this:
Our loss is done. [But] this city has a real problem.  Unless people start obeying the law or it gets enforced, more people are going to have to go through this."
You hear that, Mr. D.A.?  You don't want to go into your next re-election campaign with an army of widowers, widows, and photographs of chalk outlines in crosswalks, do you?  If so, maybe Mr. Cherney -- one of the best lawyers in America -- would be motivated to help find someone in San Francisco who isn't afraid of pedal-pushing punks, and could actually get your job done.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

RONALD REAGAN WAS A GREAT PRESIDENT. HE IS NOT GOD. DON'T TREAT HIM AS IF HE IS.

The following is my reaction to a story written by Jamie Weinstein of The Daily Caller, the right-leaning news site founded by conservative pundit Tucker Carlson.

Jamie Weinstein, Senior Editor of the Daily Caller, was covering a Wednesday speech by fast-rising GOP Presidential candidate Rick Santorum in the run-up to the New Hampshire primaries.  The report, shockingly headlined "Santorum Commits Republican Sacrilege: Attacks Ronald Reagan," began thusly:
BRENTWOOD, N.H. — Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum committed one of the gravest sins in Republican politics on Wednesday evening by knocking the revered former President Ronald Reagan at a packed town hall meeting.
Oh, noes!  What did Santorum say? Did he call Reagan "a useful idiot"?  Did he say that Reagan was an "amiable dunce"?  Did he launch into a television appearance by calling Reagan "an airhead"?


Here's what Santorum said, as Weinstein continues:
“If Rick Santorum gets elected and we do what I said that we need to do, which is to deal with the entitlement programs now, not 10 to 20 years from now,” Santorum said.
“You’ll know — unlike Ronald Reagan who maybe was a better politician than me — you’ll know that it was Rick Santorum that worked together and got the American public to gather together to fix this problem. Why? Because it is our problem.”
Santorum was walking the audience through what he called the “ancient days of yesteryear” in a interminable and incredibly detailed response to a questioner. He explained that in the 1983 deal Reagan brokered with Democratic Speaker of the House Tip O’Neil to fix Social Security, the retirement age was moved back to 67, but that change wasn’t slated to be enacted until the politicians responsible were out of office.
“This was the brilliance of the politicians that did this,” Santorum said sarcastically.
“They were absolutely brilliant. They passed a bill that didn’t take effect for 20 years so nobody blames them. It was brilliant. They increased the Social Security age by two years back in 1983 and it didn’t start phasing in, it doesn’t fully phase in for almost 40 years. And so Ronald Reagan did that. Most people have no idea — no one associates Ronald Reagan with raising the retirement age. Why? Because all of the people it affected were nowhere near retirement and they didn’t know about it.”

The irritating third-person talk aside, is there anything improper about what Santorum said?  Absolutely not.  Social Security is a sacred cow entitlement that was fatally flawed from its very inception.  People have lived their entire lives thinking that it is the recouping of what the government has set aside for their retirement.  It is not.  People are under the impression that there is a bank account somewhere in Washington, D.C. from which all Social Security payments are issued.  There is no such place.  And the last six Presidents have each had to take emergency measures to "fix" Social Security.  They haven't -- all their fixes were temporary Band-Aid kick-the-can solutions.

Is Santorum's "fix" idea any better than the rest of them?  I honestly don't know.  But criticizing what we already know didn't work is certainly no "sin," Jamie Weinstein.


___________________________________


Here's what I posted in the comment section of this article:
Good lord, people, get a freaking grip.

I was born in the early sixties.  Ronald Reagan was the Governor of California when I first became aware of the existence of government.  My parents didn't like him at all, and said that he was probably a racist (we're black).  I bought the nonsense about him that he was a "warmonger" when he vied for the GOP nomination in 1976. I vividly remember a commercial for Gerald Ford's campaign that said, "Governor Reagan can't start a nuclear war. President Reagan can." 

By the time he laid waste to all Republican opponents in the 1980 campaign, I was convinced by the MSM portrayal of him that he was a megalomaniacal Hollywood has-been who failed at being a poor man's John Wayne, and figured being President would be bigger than any role he may not have gotten.  When he won, I and many of my peers thought an atomic conflagration was only months away.  When I graduated from high school, whenever plans for a ten-year reunion would be discussed, it was common to hear, "The world's gonna be blown up by then."

Needless to say, everything I had been taught to think about Ronald Reagan was dead wrong, and I didn't really realize it until after he had been termed out.  He was the driving force behind the end of the Cold War, having helped weaken the Soviet bloc to the point where it collapsed without a single missile leaving a U.S. silo.  In his wake, over thirty years later, there are still liberals who will never forgive Reagan for not blowing the
world to smithereens like they swore he would if they didn't stop him.

Ronald Wilson Reagan is the greatest U.S. President of my lifetime, and it's unlikely that will change (unfortunately).

Now...Does that mean he was perfect? Of course not. He wasn't. Whatever you think of the motivation behind Iran-Contra, that was a blunder that taints Reagan's legacy and might have cost the GOP the White House (it didn't -- George H.W. Bush won, largely because he was facing Michael "The Tank" Dukakis). The fact that Reagan granted amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants is used as a weapon to justify the drive by modern-day Democrats (and many Republicans) to expand on an action that they won't admit has failed.  Even when he was Governor of California, Reagan -- who endured a contentious divorce with actress Jane Wyman -- signed the trend-setting no-fault divorce bill.  It is my humble opinion that California's adoption of no-fault divorce damaged the institution (and thus, the nuclear family unit itself) more than any other single action.

In order [to make] the changes necessary to fix the broken entitlement systems, one needs to clearly state what led up to the mess it has become.  It seems to me that Rick Santorum decided if he was going to make a solid case, he couldn't dance around the fact that Reagan was one of the steady string of POTUSes who played a part in screwing the pooch.   Santorum shouldn't be intimidated into revering Reagan so much that he won't dare address fixing a problem that Reagan -- among many others -- left to future generations.

That having been said, at this point I don't think Santorum could beat Obama.  But what I like about Santorum is that more than any other remaining candidate, he says what needs to be said, damn the torpedoes.  In this time when the GOP establishment seeks out people who will do their best not to offend casual voters with short attention spans that unthinkingly swallow headlines, that ought to count for something.