Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
- 1. University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.
- 2. University of Mississippi, University, Miss.
- 3. Penn State University, University Park, Pa.
- 4. West Virginia University, Morgantown, W.Va.
- 5. Ohio University, Athens, Ohio.
- 6. Randolph-Macon College, Ashland, Va.
- 7. University of Georgia, Athens, Ga.
- 8. University of Texas, Austin, Texas.
- 9. University of California-Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, Calif.
- 10. Florida State University, Tallahassee, Fla.
- 11. University of New Hampshire, Durham, N.H.
- 12. University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.
- 13. University of Colorado, Boulder, Co.
- 14. Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind.
- 15. Tulane University, New Orleans, La.
- 16. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Ill.
- 17. Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz.
- 18. University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tenn.
- 19. University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
- 20. Loyola University-New Orleans, New Orleans, La.
However, I congratulate alum and Sundries reader, José Aguirre, on the finish!
I simply do not understand the University of Miami not making the top 20, though. That's like listing the 20 coolest people on late night television, and failing to cite Red Eye's, Andy Levy, and his surgically-altered, cynically-raised eyebrow.
Monday, July 28, 2008
The Biggest Loser After Obama's World Tour
The biggest loser following Senator Barack Obama's triumphal foreign tour (one might even call it a procession) is actually Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Just imagine for a second, seeing this international Love Parade for Obama, through her eyes.
She was a mere 5 months away from having precisely the same kind of treatment accorded to Obama, herself, but for a few Super Tuesdays along the thorny way.
Don't think foreign media wouldn't have treated her any less fawningly had she, and not he, been the presumptive Democratic nominee.
If Americans are tired of the Clintons, something which contributed to her inability to seal the deal in June, Europeans and other foreigners are emphatically not.
The Clintons are still seen through a rosier prism of admiration by others than Americans view them -- a not uncommon phenomenon in geopolitics, which Mikhail Gorbachev as one example, can attest to.
It's simple why this happens, actually. Whilst foreigners can admire certain aspects of a foreign leader, they do not have to live the daily realities of being governed by them.
When we see Glasnost, they see Soviet degradation and collapse. Similarly, whilst we see Bill's needy historionics, and hear Hillary's cackle of entitlement, they see the ultimate liberal power couple of the Boomer generation.
So put yourself in her shoes for a minute, as this past week unfolded itself.
How many times do you think this woman thought to herself:
- Hey, that could've been me being driven by King Abdullah himself in his fly Mercedes 600 to the airport.
- That could've been me being greeted by throngs of (if not adoring, at least appreciative) Berliners, happy to see a Clinton in charge again.
- That could've been me, schmoozing with Sarkozy at the Elysée; me with Merkel just like when I glowingly received a German media award, a scant 3 years ago.
Me inspecting the troops with a jaunty jacket over my shoulder; me caught by a hot mic chit-chatting with Gordon Brown about my future plans back in 1600. Even Bill might've been gladhanding his way through the throngs again, happy to bask in the reflected glory.
On and on and on. One heart-stabbing visual popping up with every turn of the newspaper page, staring at her in the face.
It really must have been absolutely gruelling to have been Hillary Clinton this past week.
That exclamation point after Hillary! was like a limpid wet flag flying in the wind, during a washed out rock concert. A reminder of what fun times were to be had, if only fate hadn't decided to laugh in her face.
If Barack is the world's exciting new boyfriend, Hillary is the run down, nagging first wife finally got rid of, at last.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Something along the lines of Pope Benedict XVI and Pam Anderson...or Pam Dawber and your high school cafeteria lunch lady.
Now think of trying to connect that upright Christian diplomat, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, to say Gene Simmons of KISS fame.
Well, today's your lucky day, Kevin Baconators!
Yeah, I have no idea how this happened either. But I'm dying to know what exactly Gene Simmons is looking at.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Why Didn't They Kill Bush Instead?
The original poster was complaining about an argument he had with his next-door neighbour, about Barack Obama. She uttered the worst thing you can imagine about him. No, not that. Not the word Jesse Jackson used for black people like Obama.
Something worse, if that's possible:
That, if he is elected, that she hoped he would be killed within 24 hours. A disgusting thought, and I hope that person rues the day she uttered such a horrible wish.
But the problem with some people is that they cannot see that their side has just as many, if not more people who wish the exact same thing to President Bush.
As evidence, I give you this reply in the same thread.
I CAN'T BELIEVE NO ONE HERE HAS EVER WONDERED
if the world wouldn't be instantly better off if Bush disappeared, why of all the people in the world to be assassinated he hasn't been. Or Cheney, like when the shell landed near him when he went to the Middle East but didn't hurt him? Did no one think "Darn!"? Really? Did you see the story about the little Iraqi girl who came to the states to have her foot amputated? Her sister lost both her legs below the knees and her brother died when the US dropped a bomb? You STILL never even thought of it?
Look, I'm about as nonkiller as you can get. I'm a vegetarian. I fought city government when they wanted me to decapitate my meadow (you would call it mowing). One of my favorite lines in Star Trek that I remember still 30 years later: "NO KILL I" (the rock mother horta). But when I see the deaths and misery and destruction he has caused -- any one of them! even Supreme Court assh*les like Scalia, Thomas, Alito, Roberts -- and their infuriating refusal to acknowledge the harm and shame in what they've done -- seriously, nobody ever wished someone would put a dent in that? I don't know, maybe I've got more in common with that woman than is nice to admit. Will no one rid us of this pestilence?
It doesn't stop there, when you start wondering, you zigzag back and forth like you were patching a hole in your jeans with a sewing machine, and eventually you get past it. And you want a trial, and public discourse and asterisks and subterranean fonts of shame in future history books. But there is nothing that can balance the scales of justice now and make the wronged whole. Nothing. Not even that. Don't look away, face it."
Apart from the unintended moonbat hilarity of calling mowing a lawn "decapitating his meadow" (and having fought City Hall for the right not to), he ripped off a page from Henry II, and cowardly wished death on the sitting President of the United States, and his Vice-President, by hoping someone would step up and do the deed.
He even echoed the King's famous words about Thomas à Becket and cried, "Will no one rid us of this pestilence?".
(Such a shame he was later canonised, and the King did penitence for his death wish)
If he had done it, himself, I would've personally directed this reply to the Secret Service, whether a death threat was levelled to President Bush, or a presumptive President Obama. Presidents of the United States can be reviled, abhorred and frothed in rabid hatred over, but they cannot be threatened with death without consequences.
But who on the extreme Left would do same as I would, for President Bush?
One person even up-ticked the post, in agreement!
That's two people who find nothing wrong in offing their own head of State. And a whole lot of agreement by tacit approval of the post, since it wasn't deleted, by one of the most visited blogs in the world.
Just in case, though, I've kept the post so that if someone at that sputum-hocking blog gets a conscience and makes it disappear, you can see it in its entirety here.
Die Goldelse Bleibt In Berlin
Thursday, July 24, 2008
I Finally Figured Out Who McCain Reminded Me Of
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Hype vs. W
But so will Oliver Stone's "W" movie, on President George W. Bush, due out on 22 October.
One can say many things about both films.
One has a credible, Oscar-winning director behind it, the other a group of concerned conservatives who call themselves "Citizens United".
One is going to be released after the Democratic National Convention. The other days before the US Presidential election (the better to remind people what they went through for 8 years, or so Stone and his co-ideologues hope).
If Senator Obama loses, be sure this completely unheralded, minor, badly distributed film on the Democratic nominee will be blamed for his demise. It'll be the 2008 equivalent of the Swiftboat Veterans ad.
But if Senator McCain loses, no one will point to the cynically-debuted, hatchet job film on a Republican by Oliver Stone.
Republicans don't blame the messengers. They just pay attention to the message.
The king of Jordan personally drove the prince of Chicago from the palace to the airport on Tuesday night to catch his flight to Israel, leading a motorcade in his slate Mercedes 600 across the tarmac and right up to O-Force One, as The Chicago Sun Times mockingly calls the candidate’s freshly branded 757, with the captain’s chair embroidered with “Obama-’08/President.” As the senator got out of the passenger seat, King Abdullah jumped out to chat some more, as though the two, who had only met in passing on the Hill, were old pals.
Obama finally found a Muslim with whom he’s willing to be photographed.
Quite. Wonder if any veiled women were removed from sitting behind him in Jordan, like say, Queen Rania.
Dowd also reveals the McCain campaign internally refers to Obama as "The One", an allusion to The Matrix character, Neo.
Perhaps when you replace the US flag that originally came with the plane:
...with your campaign logo, a circle which resembles Senator Obama's surname's initial:
Maybe you have been serving notice you've been flying high on yourself for a while.
UPDATE: As this post is getting a lot of hits, some more info. Turns out there's a comic book "team" called O-Force already. Aww, shucks! See if this sounds familiar, though.
"An army of the undead, raised by Arnie, attacks the team. Ocean's legs are blown off. She begs Overkill for help but he abandons her. The Orphan parachutes in and saves Ocean. The rest of X-Statix quickly arrive as backup, thus saving the lives of O-Force. Arnie Lundberg is convinced to use his powers for good and heals Ocean's legs and the team is carted off by the ambulances.
Other members not listed include Ocelot, Orbit, Ooze, Oracle, Orifice, and Oink."
Fittingly, Obama oozes like an oracle whenever you get into his orbit. He might think he ocelot to his wife, but other women just think he's an orifice. "Call me sweetie again." Oink.
Obama's "Mile High Club"
Labels: Cult Of Obama
To date, he's still in the pokey.
All because Andy Dick yanked down a 17-year old girl's top, in an unintended Girls Gone Wild moment, and was found to be anything but a Joker...
Though his mugshot certainly makes me think he's a terrorist stand-in. Yikes.
And who can forget his groping Donald's little girl on the Jimmy Kimmel show?
Of course, this is Andy Dick we're talking about. If it had been über-creep legend, Milton Berle, he would've been allowed to stay put.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Before William Hung
South Park already dedicated a whole episode to her, and you know how much they hate Barbra Streisand -- so they have great taste.
Unfortunately, I can't find the version I purchased (yes, actually purchased) on iTunes, which was Wing's interpretation of "Coal Miner's Daughter", the best song ever written.
Oh God, I was rolling in the aisles for hours.
Do yourselves a favour and go to iTunes, search for Wing, and just let your mind be blown away.
Her best known song is AC/DC's "Back in Black" so I bought that too! Check out these folks' reactions, especially the two rather butch girls' at 1:03.
What is it about our love of hearing Asians mangle songs? Is it racist, or that "singers" like Hung and Wing are slightly geeky and therefore adorably camp?
Monday, July 21, 2008
Summer '08 Film Guide
Although I'll just say here and now that I loved Catman! Kitty Ledger stole the show, though.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Come With Your A Game
That was a fun video remake of Shania Twain's "That Don't Impress Me Much" -- for what has been a very fun, relaxed Saturday, at least on my end.
How was your Saturday?
1-95's Sunpass Lanes
Whose bright idea was it to make two Sunpass lanes on 1-95 North?
Because I just came back yesterday from having entered my usual "speed" lane, going to Boca Raton, and found myself happy to escape with my life. This will be a daily traffic accident catastrophe waiting to happen.
It looks something like this (yes, I had my camera, but I didn't dare take any photos. This is in Seattle):
Imagine white plastic cones where the red arrows are, at about 5 foot intervals. These two lanes are buttressed by a concrete barrier which separates the opposing routes of 1-95.
Only those plastic cones (temporary?) prevent Sunpass lane riders from attempting to move out from the two lanes unto the third lane, which I presume has now become the "speed" lane, i.e., the unofficial lane where you're allowed to go faster than usual. It varies, but it's usually 80 MPH/130 KPH.
Well, Friday afternoon, the Sunpass lanes were moving at a crawl. Not just the driver in front of me, but three ahead decided they couldn't wait. Finding a lull in the third lane's traffic, they decided to hurtle themselves there, running over the cones.
God, what a nightmare.
I thought I was a goner one time for sure, as an SUV right in front of me just barely missed being ploughed into by a car who had just turned from the fourth lane, not realising he was going to attempt this horrific manoeuvre. If the SUV had been a fraction of a second off in timing, I think people would've died in clumps.
Once you get into those Sunpass lanes, they'll take you straight to the Golden Glades exit (Exit 45), with no chance to get away, if you please!
The way I knew that, since in typical Miami fashion there's been little or NO advertising about this, is that I actually called Florida Highway Patrol on my mobile at one point.
The lady officer who answered calmed me about the situation, but did confirm that there had been many accidents so far, exactly due to the situation I just described above:
Unalerted drivers not realising once you take these Sunpass lanes, there's no getting out for miles.
In fact, there is a junction which liberates drivers to decide to continue on 1-95 North, or to take 595 or 836. I presume that'll be an overpass, and the option will be cutoff at one point.
You must be wondering if I, in a moment of desperation that our two lanes were moving at a crawl, decided to follow suit and run over the cones?
Yes, I did. I thought about it a lot. But I didn't do it. I was scared not just for my life, but in human fashion, for totalling my car.
It was only later, after we got to the end, that we realised a traffic accident had shut down one of these two Sunpass lanes, effectively nullifying their intended purpose: speed.
Maybe it'll be fine in a few years, and I'm just overreacting today.
But good God, what a dangerous transformation of 1-95 this has proven to be.
Iraq Is Won
Who knew? Well, George W. Bush, for one. And John McCain.
There is precious little similarity between these two men but when it comes to America's strengths, especially in its military, they are made of the same cloth.
May the 4000 plus miliarity personnel who gave their lives for this cause, a tally which was a good 30 minutes of casualities in one day of World War I, have their legacy praised rather than buttressed for political ends by anyone.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Nope, Still Not Elitist
“You're getting $600 - what can you do with that? [i.e., the Stimulus Refund]” Mrs. Obama said in Pontiac, Michigan last week. “Not to be ungrateful or anything, but maybe it pays down a bill, but it doesn't pay down every bill every month. The short-term quick fix kinda stuff sounds good, and it may even feel good that first month when you get that check, and then you go out and you buy a pair of earrings."
~ Michelle Obama, the gift that keeps on giving. (Via JSU)
I realise they have a virtual stranglehold on the title, akin to all those Miss Mississippis of Miss America's yesteryear, which isn't easy either to pronounce or to actually do. "Miss Mississippi". Nope. Real hard.
But the Miss Venezuelas are actually a lock to win any and all beauty pageants, despite sharing the same airspace as the UGLIEST MAN ALIVE, Hugo Chavez.
What galls me is that Miss USA didn't even give herself a chance. For the second time in a row, the loveliest damsel this country had to offer slipped and fell on her keister.
Well, at least no one asked her about geography, unlike Miss Teen South Carolina, of US-America, who currently are liberating The Iraq.
No, Miss Texas aka Miss USA, Crystle Stewart, later said she felt she was on Rollerblades.
Lady, this is your 5th attempt at the Miss Texas USA title, and you've probably been "pageanting" since one of your scary parents decided you were cuter than other cute-as-muffins kids.
Come on now. Represent!
Here she is, falling on her backside to the delight of almost every single human being alive who wishes her country would follow suit.
That's right! Clap for yourself, sweetheart!
Miss Venezuela just smirked: "Amateur".
If I were on the Miss USA committee, I'd insist we give the next gal a pair of Oxford saddle shoes instead of those stiletto Jimmy Choos.
You may look like a klutz, à la Ruth Buzzi, but at least you wouldn't ACT like a klutz.
If I'm Blogging At Midnight
I passed by my local cinema at around 4 PM, and the queues were already AROUND THE BLOCK. I tried to approach it again at 10:00, but it looked like Elvira Does Early Halloween. It was wall-to-wall Heath Ledger make-up wearing Jokers, and their emo girlfriends.
So here I am, blogging about not having attended the premiere. I'm going tomorrow night to the Premier in Boca, though. It's worth the one hour trip to do it in the lap of luxury.
Stay tuned for a review, this weekend.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Just Call Me
When time came to name the royal tot, her otherwise very staid parents were about to astonish the entire world when they revealed the chosen name. She would be called:
Even today it sounds like a stripper name.
Fortunately, that man with intimate knowledge of all things female, her philandering grandfather Edward VII, intervened and with great wisdom ixnayed the choice.
"Would any woman want to be so marked by a name whose birth year was instantly known?"
In other words, she would never be able to lie about her age, like any respectable woman does when she hits 32. Trust me on this.
It seems the children born since the heady mid-80s and especially the logo-conscious 90s could've done with a grandpa or two like King Edward.
Some of the jaw-droppingly awful and yet so giggle-making names chosen during this time, by parents both in the US and in the UK, include:
- - Lexus
- - Chardonnay
- - Jaguar
- - Prada
- - Porsche
- - Evian
Yeesh...remind me to hug my parents today.
This article, fittingly named "Look Nivea, it's your little sister, Porsche", has some of the tallies:
Among the other popular names in the United States in 2000 -- Chanel (269 girls), Timberland (six boys), Porsche (24 girls) and Armani (273 boys and 298 girls).
Obviously, the first thing that comes to mind is a lot of these kids come from backgrounds where owning a Porsche or Lexus is not just fashion-forward, but lifestyle-forward.
I can't help but thinking that no matter how "forward" these parents might think they are, that they are actually following a trend, and therefore backwards.
Much more impressive are parents who pounce on names which become a part of daily life...but didn't even exist when their baby was born.
I don't know about you, but I sure would like to have met this guy's parents.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
God Be With U
Ahead of the World Youth Day conference in Sydney, Australia, comes word that Pope Benedict XVI will be sending out his first ever mobile phone sms to the assembled youth.
"Young friend, God and his people expect much from u because u have within you the Fathers supreme gift: the Spirit of Jesus - BXVI."
I think it's a combination of imagining the Pope furiously texting with both his thumbs, like any Crackberry addict; his snappy usage of "u" for you; and his casual signoff, "BXVI".
(It's like you almost expect an extra little something after it, like maybe "BXVI Diddy")
Believe me, I am not just being irreverent, so much as pleasantly surprised at how sweet this man is -- how much he tries in his own shy little way, to be relevant, and to engage the youth he so evidently loves to interact with.
Far from being the cold, reactionary, ex-Nazi intellectual ogre he was predicted to be (mainstream media as ever misreading a Conservative for their own ends), he has quietly established himself as his own man with his own endearing qualities, which are human and therefore, excusable.
Today, after 3 years of sometimes seeing a photo of the late John Paul the Great and having to catch myself, as my throat constricts and I suddenly feel a wave of weepiness come over me, a similar phenomenon is occuring with Benedetto the Good.
It's like every time I see him, I just want to hug the guy, you know?
Or in the language of the day:
I luv u 2, BXVI.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
The Unspoken Reasons
If you listened to NPR on Monday, poor David Remnick was raked over the coals over his editorial position regarding the now infamous New Yorker-BHO/MO cover.
Michelle Norris, the "All Things Considered" host, asked him to take the viewers through a behind-the-scenes look at how the cover actually came to be. Listen to it, because it's fascinating.
But there's a moment where he mentions the emails he's been getting (around minute 3:00):
"The kind of email I get is telling me, I get it, but I don't think so-and-so is going to get it. I don't think so-and-so in W. Virginia, or out there in the Middle West, and that to me is a false argument -- that if you can get it, why can't other people get it?
I don't think this notion that, you know, only Upper West Side Manhattan elitists can get satire. I don't think that's the case at all."
In Friendly Fire, my post on the fallout, I mentioned a Time magazine forum member mentioning precisely this State -- W. Virginia. If you were to read the left-leaning blogs, W. Virginia is mentioned over and over again, precisely this way. "I get it, but W. Virginians won't."
W. Virginia symbolises a very powerful combination in American politics: Rural. Undereducated. Blue-collar. White.
The most positive thing I can say about this, is at least they are not claiming W. Virginians are too unsophisticated as actually not to subscribe to or read the New Yorker. You'd think by their reactions, that a large chunk who paid attention to the magazine hailed from the State -- which is, of course, nonsense given their dim view of their sophistication.
No, this reaction is code for "other Americans", but W. Virginia gets to be the target of their slams because they overwhelmingly voted for Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Primary.
The irony is that the W. Virginia leans heavily Democratic. Here are the April 2008 figures:
665234 Democrats, 347760 Republicans and 156199 who are unaffiliated.
The Democratic Party is like the Republican Party, in that it is comprised of people from all sides of the economic spectrum.
But the phenomenon you are seeing here, with this handwringing worry about "W. Virginians" believing the New Yorker cover to be true ("Hey, if a Liberal magazine puts it on their cover, it must be true!"), is really not about ignorant W. Virginians.
It's about the Left of America not comfortable in acknowledging that their Party contains people who are white, and yet don't think like them.
In their ideal world, where minorities are king, and intellectual elitism is something positive, rural blue-collar white folk are akin to Martians.
Here is a demographic they cannot control, because they cannot relate to them.
In turn, the W. Virginians (who are actually stand-ins at large for this phenomenon, and can live anywhere in the US) feel this, and react accordingly by not toeing the Party line come election time.
Protein Wisdom's Jeff Goldstein wrote about this just today (Via Bitmaelstrom):
What the progressive handwringers should be doing is gleefully and full-throatedly noting the satire, then preparing to laugh at anyone who sees this as an accurate depiction of Obama. What they should be doing is enjoying a wry smile at their next cocktail party over the (presumed) idiocy of the rightwingers who might take this cover at face value, so shallow is their understanding of the literary arts.
But the real irony here is they can’t do that — and that’s precisely because their worldview is predicated on being able to control “meaning” by consensus. And one of the problems with such an incoherent method for determining meaning (by way of reliance on a given interpretive community’s ability to shout down competing interpretations), is that, at least in theory, another interpretive community can come along and claim another, diametrically opposed meaning, and — if their will to power is stronger — control the narrative by way of severing any ties to original intent.
One can't analyse it any better than that.
On the one hand, they are playing a defensive game, in what was intended to be going on the offense. By all rights, they should be laughing and cheering about the cover, which is brilliant in its satirical intent, but they cannot do that.
They are literally outraged that someone has painted the devil on the wall, because they fear and misunderstsand not the intent of the cartoon -- but a section of their own Party members and their fellow Americans at large.
It is this sense of superiority twinned with suspicion of some of their own tribe that makes the Democrats liable to these contradictions, and weaker on the topic than most Republicans.
Republicans today, and for the past 30 years, constantly poke fun at political correctness, and its sacred cows -- feminism and women, race and blacks, class and the wealthy, intelligentsia or foreigners, etc.
The Democrats are constrained to keep to rather tame topics, fearing to say the wrong thing to the wrong people, unless of course they are Republicans, white, males, the rich, the religious, patriotic, or sometimes all six.
(Unsurprisingly, President Bush is their number one target, because amongst other things he just happens to be a walking Bingo card)
Althouse asked yesterday if Obama was funny (he is not -- he's unusually ill-at-ease in speeches; not just serious from the podium, but also elegantly stiff in private), and today she queried "Why Can't We Joke About Obama?".
And the answer is:
Because the field for satire is extremely narrow for Leftists, especially for one of their own who is a minority. The New Yorker cover incident is but a harbinger of what will happen if Obama is elected.
The stinging caricatures will lose their edge, the editorials will avoid deeper insight than is warranted, and everyone will give him a pass lest the dread word "racist" raise its ugly head again.
She put it best about the current climate:
"The real explanation for the lack of jokes is some combination of the desire for Obama to win and the fear of seeming racist."
Americans are not famous for self-censorship. That is often cited as a British cultural trait, with Americans being known for their frankness, to the point of being rather gauche in speaking their mind.
If President Obama becomes fact, you can bet that Americans, no doubt led by those backwards "W. Virginians" of their worst imaginings, will tire of this need to tread carefully.
4 years is a long time to put a lid on the American lip, let alone 8.
Or is the lesson of this incident is that not just Upper West Side Manhattan elitists can project and predict about their fellow Americans?
UPDATE: Ruth Anne hits the commentary jackpot again. Here's the National Review's counterpoint cover.
"For all the irony-challenged literalists who were upset by the New Yorker's Obama-as-A-Muslim magazine cover"
So...why doesn't it hurt us as much as the New Yorker cover hurt Obama supporters?
I guess because being old and having been a pill-popping junkie, the most obvious negatives of John and Cindy McCain, are not nearly as egregious to America as being perceived a Muslim, and anti-American.
The possible realities projected by Obama and his wife are infinitely more damaging to them, and that's why you can slam McCain all you want -- the Obama slams will always be much more hurtful.
EDIT: To pre-empt the rebuttals, I realise that the NYer was pointing to the untruths about Obama being Muslim and that they hate America, whereas McCain IS old and Mrs. McCain DID have an addiction problem.
But his age doesn't prevent him from having run a vigourous campaign for 2 years, and Mrs. McCain long ago conquered her problem. If you think these are not being peddled as current facts by their opponents, though, you've clearly not been paying attention.
Both sides are doing their level best to slander the other.
But Senator Obama has a greater perception problem because his background is much more muddled.
Obama Can Keep His Waffle
Another Kind Of All-Star Game
However, yesterday 14 July also counted with another kind of All-Star game, in nearby Briarcliff Manor, New York, at the Trump National Golf Club.
The 2008 Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation Golf Classic.
Some of the list included ex-President Bill Clinton, ex-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, current NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, perennial Yankees fan Billy Crystal, and of course the course's owner, Donald Trump.
Here is a reunion photo showing this high-octane lineup, doing their bit for charity.
The thing that most struck me is that President Clinton, who once looked fantasticly slimmed-down after heart surgery...is back to being quite paunchy.
Who can't recall him in those Daisy Duke shorts of his, "jogging"...often to McDonalds. His pasty white legs make their appearance again here, and those ankle socks just aren't helping.
I used to play golf, and though I'm probably not as good as any of these guys, I know a bad swing when I see one. Slice...
Much better, your Honour!
Catty remarks aside, it's really good to see Yankees living legend, Yogi Berra. Not sure if he played, but that he leant his old buddy, Joe Torre, his support by his presence is joy enough.
IN THE COMMENTS: Ruth Anne is beginning to see Ann Althouse's point about men in shorts:
I'm beginning to side with Althouse on the [generally] anti men-in-shorts position. This might fall within her sports/weather exception, but dang. Just dang.
For the record, I myself have no problems with guys in shorts. I actually think Mayor Bloomberg looks rather good in them, and I've seen him off the course too.
The problem is Bill's taste in shorts, and his refusal to realise how god-awful he looks in them. He's like that ugly girl everyone knew in High School, who somehow thought she was hot stuff.
Monday, July 14, 2008
The New Yorker, a magazine whose editor David Remnick has been in Obama's camp since day one, is coming out with this satirical cover this week.
It shows a triumphantly afro'ed Michelle and turbaned Barack Obama in the Oval Office, giving each other "terrorist" fist dabs. The US flag is seen burning in the grate, and Osama bin Laden is smiling beatifically in the corner.
In one of the major understatements of this early century, it's not going down very well with his supporters.
The wink-wink nudge-nudge of satire often targets the powerful, to their detriment. When some take offence anyway, they get chided for lacking "a sense of humour".
The Left are in utter disarray over the piece, turning themselves inside-and-out in their attempts to understand the friendly fire.
From Daily Kos, we get everything from telephone numbers and emails to cancel subscriptions in protest, to behests to get out there and tear up the magazines in bookstores, rendering them unsaleable (that's a misdemeanour, by the way).
One voice of "reason" responds:
It would be a terrible, awful thing
if outraged citizens were to go to every bookstore and newstand in America and deface every copy of the New Yorker, rendering them unsalable.
I don't know how I would be able to sleep at night knowing that Obama bumper stickers were plastered on their covers, or their front covers were torn off and discarded, or the store's copies of the magazine were removed from the racks and hidden where other customers would not see them or find them.
I sure hope that no one acts this way. It would be a terrible, awful thing to happen.
For 8 years, the American public have been treated to unbelievable amounts of "satire" regarding the person of a sitting US President. There is not one Ted Rall or Daryl Cagle cartoon of President Bush that doesn't fall under the mantle of 'insulting'. Every CD burnt by outraged former fans of the Dixie Chicks was an assault against free speech, said the Left, and Michael Moore won awards by the dozens for his treacherous celluloid stabs at Bush and America.
When wayward satire hits Senator Obama, what do these defenders of free speech do?
Cancel subscriptions, urge defacement, and vent spleen on instant enemies to the cause. In short, they act like the very people they mocked only a few months ago. They were not for defending free speech at all, in their attacks -- they just wanted it to target the right guy. The hypocrisy is as glaring as it is predictable.
I don't know if you're enjoying this hubbub as much as I am, but I sure as heck am. This is the earliest Christmas present I've ever received and it's only July.
UPDATE: More reactions -- from a Time magazine forum member:
How can I put this?
Not only is this overreach to what will happen if McCain (a social moderate) is elected -- if it were a Republican saying something similar, such logic would be called 'fear mongering' -- but there is an incessant belief expressed in these rebuttals about certain people not getting the satire.
The people most often named are white hicks, as exist in W. Virginia. Oh, they rarely say "hicks" but the implication is there, and worst of all, is that they are as dumb as a signpost: an obvious consequence of being poor, rural and conservative.
I humbly put it to you that if Obama loses, it'll be due to this Democratic attitude of constantly looking down their noses at their own countrymen, like they do almost every election since 1952.
The sad part is that they do this towards a demographic which would be Democratic not just by conviction, but by tradition -- and THEY STILL DON'T GET WHY THEY ALIENATE THEM WITH THEIR INSULTING REMARKS.
It's mindboggling. I hope they do it forever.
Althouse Wonders "Why be Surly About It?"
Taylor Marsh Awaits The McCain in Wheelchair New Yorker Cover
Kevin Drum Calls Cartoonist "Gutless"
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Michelle Obama's Number 1 Fan
I came across this today, from a girl called Isabel:
How can I be more like Michelle Obama?
i luv this woman and i think she is the most beautiful potential first lady ever.. she is very gracious and i love her badass attitude.. how can i achieve her hairstyle and also how can i make America fall in love with me like she has? Mrs Obama gives me butterflies and makes me feel silly inside.. black pride! I'm only half black so im not as good as michelle but im almost there..
michelle makes me tingle.. how can i be just like her?
I understand the hero-worshipping behind this girl's statement. I also have no problems with the desire to imitate hairstyles (my first grown-up hairstyle was called a "Lady Di").
What I don't get, and what is the most troubling of all the statements is this:
"I'm only half black so im not as good as michelle but im almost there..".
Who told her this? Is this her own idea? And why are white people or biracial people particularly susceptible to this kind of attitude?
I'm reminded of the scores of white kids who have taken Senator Obama's middle name, Hussein, and started calling themselves that too:
“My name is such a vanilla, white-girl American name,” said Ashley Holmes of Indianapolis, who changed her name online “to show how little meaning ‘Hussein’ really has.”
There's a phenomenon around both Obamas, and it is about projection: the desirability of being black and therefore cooler than being what one is if white, or if black, of being BETTER than one is.
What is sad is that it's more than a little about self-hatred too: "I'm only half-black so I'm not as good as Michelle"..."a vanilla, white-girl".
If it were only the young, with their impressionable natures, that's one thing. But I've stopped counting the references I've read or heard personally, from much older people too.
With black people, one hears the term "mentoring" constantly.
"Michelle reminds me of the woman who mentored me", I have been told by an acquaintance. She absolutely adores Michelle Obama.
Whilst I've had influences in my life, I don't think I can say I've been mentored by anyone other than my family, particularly my mother and father.
Therefore, I wonder how much the destruction of the family structure within the black community has to do with this phenomenon.
They rely on outside influences to teach them the ways of the world (and a vital role they fulfill too), rather than just culling wisdom from observing those around them. It presupposes that those influences are not good, and hold very little good other than how NOT to behave.
I hope Isabel's emotional investment doesn't come crashing down, because if there is one thing people can count on, is their heroes will always be found to have feet of clay.
Labels: Cult Of Obama
Kenya Wants McCain
Senator Barack Hussein Obama or Senator John Sidney McCain III.
The current tally of votes didn't surprise me. An overwhelming 85% of the cybernauts want the Senator from Illinois.
That's when my eyes scrolled down to Kenya -- the birthplace of his daddy, home of his Luo tribe, and where his cousin, Raila Odinga, ran for President of Kenya in 2006. Obama even campaigned for him.
Could you imagine my astonishment -- for I just could't believe my eyes. 100% of voters for Kenya voted for McCain...
MY GOOD GOD!!
UPDATE 16 July 2008:
Barack Obama 86% (8169 votes)
John McCain 14% (1332 votes)
Total number of votes: 9501
Countries voted from: 91
Still 100% of Kenyans for McCain.
UPDATE 25 July 2008:
Still 100% of Kenyans for McCain.
4 Minutes To Save Lourdes' Eyebrows
But Sooner or Later she's going to have to face the Music (unless she's Frozen inside) and take care of her daughter Lourdes' nearly obscene unibrow.
Come on now, Madonna. That's Borderline rainforest.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
The AP Slams Tony Snow Even In Death
This comes at the very heels of the extremely abrupt death by NBC's Tim Russert. American journalism has lost two powerful, professional voices.
If you want to read a truly wonderful blogpost eulogising his life, get yourselves over to Optimistmom's blogpost about it:
"I took perhaps too much delight when he put Helen Thomas in her place. I know there won't be the outpouring of gushing praise for him like happened with Russert's death. But I didn't cry for Russert. I do for Tony."
Beautifully put, and me too, Ruth Anne.
But I had heard a lot of viewers felt the 24-hour coverage one got from ALL news media channels for Russert was a little excessive -- they wrote in by the hundreds. I've no sympathy with such feelings, but I knew if something similar happened (a newsman dying suddenly after Russert) next time, the coverage would be more muted.
Little did I realise the Associated Press would take this attitude of restraint, and transform it into a cheap shot at a dead colleague who just happened to lean Conservative.
Just take these few excerpted paragraphs on their article announcing his death:
With a quick-from-the-lip repartee, broadcaster's good looks and a relentlessly bright outlook — if not always a command of the facts — he became a popular figure around the country to the delight of his White House bosses.
During daily briefings, he challenged reporters, scolded them and questioned their motives as if he were starring in a TV show broadcast live from the West Wing.
Critics suggested that Snow was turning the traditionally informational daily briefing into a personality-driven media event short on facts and long on confrontation. He was the first press secretary, by his own accounting, to travel the country raising money for Republican candidates.
"If not always command of facts"? "First press secretary to travel the country raising money for Republican candidates"? Are you kidding me?
Did the AP mention that Russert worked for Democrat politicians, Moynihan and Cuomo, and was a life-long Democratic Party supporter AND draw some kind of smear from these facts? Never. It's not germaine THEN.
AP have completely lost whatever shred of neutrality they clung to, these past few months in 2008.
Doing so at the expense of a dead man whose politics they didn't agree with, and then cloak it with insidious little jabs at his legacy is just the last straw for me.
Tony, thanks for your life's work and dedication to your craft. You did it better than many others I can mention, but even when they pass, I won't snarkily point out their failings, real or imagined, in their obit. And I'm just an amateur.
UPDATE 14 July 2008: President and Mrs. Bush will be attending Tony Snow's funeral on Thursday. They were also present at Tim Russert's wake. I knew the President wouldn't let the very very discrete coverage of Snow's death go unmourned more officially.
Tim Russert -- Dead
In One Year
Friday, July 11, 2008
Joran's Latest Douchebaggery
(Unfortunately, they were slow to the point of non-existent about picking up the legality of another story, which is much more important in the scheme of things...)
The alleged murderer of poor Natalee Holloway, Joran van der Sloot, tried to trick his ex-girlfriend into "smuggling" 34,000 Euros he had in a poker account (he can't be that good, can he?). With the proceeds, the confessed pothead apparently is opening up an Amsterdam-style coffeeshop in Thailand.
You know, there are some people that one can say without any shadow of a doubt that they are "bad news". Joran van der Sloot is definitely one of them.
He's scum personified, and such people end up very badly.
If you read Dutch, here is an excerpt from the Geen Stijl (the Netherlands' #1 online site) post on the topic:
Joran begint coffeeshop in Thailand
"Mannen die van hun hobby hun beroep maken. Daar hebben we bij GeenStijl repsetc voor. Handjes op elkaar dus voor die vieze coño van een Joran van der Sloot. Meneer wordt entrepreneur in verdovende middelen! Volgens een rancuneuze - dus 100% betrouwbare - tipgever van Radio 538 staat onze meisjeswegmoffelaar op het punt een coffeeshop in Thailand te beginnen. De hele dag Bacardi 151 wegslaan op een bountystrandje begint ook te vervelen. Bovendien is het leven op het tropisch paradijsje Koh Tao ook niet gratis. Daarom heeft Joran geprobeerd zijn pokerwinsten in lokale bahts om te zetten. De anonieme tipgever zou met ruim 34.000 euries de grens over moeten zodat Joran zijn handeltje in zoete thaise wietjes kan opstarten."
The accompanying article photo shows a naked Joran on some godforsaken beach, mooning tourists and waving like a fool.
What a piece of work.
UPDATED: A hilarious (if it weren't so pathetic) Youtube video on the only thing that matters to Joran: having fun explaining what happened to Natalee. "My name is Sloot" is a riff on his surname, "Of the Ditch". Well, he is as dull as ditch water, and just as clean.
Natalee Holloway Discussion Thread
Spike Lee's Plymouth Rock
Oh, how wrong we are.
For in mildly denouncing Jackson's words, filmmaker Spike Lee made sure everyone understood just how important President Obama will be to this world:
"Lee predicted Obama would be elected in November.
When that happens, it will change everything. ... You'll have to measure time by `Before Obama' and `After Obama,'" Lee said during the panel."
There is a phenomenon that is tied to Senator Obama that is really hard for average Americans to overlook:
Each and everyone tied to his candidacy has foot-in-mouth disease. They say the most egregiously arrogant, almost creepy things, and think they are merely stating God's honest truth.
Before Obama? After Obama?
This is the kind of talk that makes people vote against candidates, just to see their supporters skulk away in mortification.
I hope Spike has a better mosaic and message planned, than Michael Moore's 3 November 2004 utterly pathetic, "We're not Going Away".
I laughed for days.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Celle Qui A Dit Non
French language and culture holds a loving place in my heart, which I attribute to my German background. If there is one thing a German feels attracted to, it is France -- not the least of which because of the breadth of their competing intellect.
Unlike the French, though, Germans are only just now feeling at home with patriotism. In France, it is quite different.
France is an ideal that even the most Leftist of French can adore without shame, without feeling as if they have committed a bourgeois bêtise. "Vive la France!" is an emotional outpouring of support, but also of ideological purity, after all.
This is droned into all schoolchildren, who then enter the prestigious schools and universities which form their elite bureaucracy. The hand-wringing which American patriotism evokes in their bureaucratic counterparts, is practically non-existent in France.
In a few days, during quatorze juillet, France will be celebrating her 219 years of independence. Yes, they are on their Fifth Republic, with many monarchical fits and starts in between.
But the idea of France, that glorious place where reason and logic, elegance and good taste, intelligence and dignity reigns supreme, is immutable.
Or is it?
The problem which plagues the Old World is their immigration issue, most particularly where the immigrant is of a different race. Integration is not coming easily to Europe, but not at all.
To hear them speak of America, as television channel France2 did with the Clinton-Obama campaign, as they gleefully reported the rejection of Obama by voters "because he was black" (and giving no other reason), you would think such a scolding attitude belies a nation which has no such problems.
Why, if a French black man were to run for President of France, he would win in a landslide! Right?
Actually, a black presidential French candidate is so unthinkable today, as to be almost laughable. His chances for Elysée consideration stand at exactly nil.
There is but one black representative in 555 sitting in the French National Assembly. There are 11 minorities in total. There is no black Senator. There are no black mayors in France amongst 36,000. There are no black French CEOs. The very first black newsreader was elevated to his position two whole years ago.
In short, the French power structure is lily-white.
Much much more than America's is, or ever was.
Yes, the French love France. But I wonder how much they would love it, if France encountered the same negativity towards their love of country, as Americans do from certain quarters.
This is where French rap comes in, at last. You must've been wondering.
Because just on the eve of these 219 years of "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité", comes word that a French rapper may just be going to prison.
No, not because of his off-music shenanigans. There's no drive-by shooting, gangland club or East Coast-West Coast rivalry involved.
His freedom is at stake because he wrote this in a rap song:
"France is a bitch, don’t forget to f*ck her 'til she’s exhausted/You have to treat her like a slut, man."
And just in case you didn't get his intent, he included this rhetorical flourish:
"Moi, je pisse sur Napoléon et le général de Gaulle."
Watch it here. (Due to female nudity, NSFW)
This song is what the French government says has incited riots, and therefore to the pokey Monsieur R (Richard Makelela, as he is in real-life) might go.
"If convicted, the rapper faces up to three years in prison and a fine of €75,000 (£51,000)."
This story isn't new. The rap song isn't new. I've heard it for some time. But the climate in France changed dramatically after the riots in Paris 2 years ago, and now the elevation of the chap who called the rioters "racaille" to the Presidency of France.
Of course, not all countries would consider such a complaint to be valid.
As another blogger remembers, West Indian-born British dub artist, Linton Kwesi Johnson, once wrote this about his new homeland:
Inglan is a bitch
Dere’s no escapin it
Inglan is a bitch
Y´u haffi know how fi survive in it
(Incidentally, I'm not sure if this constant misogynist language and intent is a frustrated male thing, or a frustrated black culture thing or what, but I find it despicable. It makes supporting their position nearly impossible)
Needless-to-say, Mr. Johnson was not imprisoned for his anti-patriotic lyrics.
He may have incited riots, as certainly his tenure with the British Black Panthers could not have gone unnoticed, but we in Britain have a tradition of free speech. The French only think they have.
In a startling piece yesterday on the nature of Patriotism, Eric S. Raymond reminded us:
"Embedded deep in the American model of patriotism is the notion that it may be expressed by a passionate determination to reform or even completely upend American institutions in service to the ideals behind them. This is not, as far as I can tell, true anywhere else in the world. It would seem an alien idea even in modern France, where the excesses of the Jacobins irreversibly tainted that sort of fervor with blood."
That's it, exactly.
Their revolution is rooted, steeped and nurtured in blood. Violence is its afterbirth.
Freedom of speech is not a thing won, or maintained like the American or British examples. It was killed for.
This is why an attack on France, its history and its leaders, however lame and lacking maturity, is not something which can be ignored.
And the native French, particularly its elite, are determined not to be caught unaware by a revolution they didn't start.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Ingles Sin Barreras
Sundries regular and friend, Ruth Anne Adams, had mentioned the lisping tendencies of Spaniards. Well, maybe she and others would like to hear Generalissimo Francisco Franco attempting to speak the Queen's English.
Well, I understood Viva España.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Learn 'Em Young
Young 16-year old Hamza Bin Laden, who Wikipedia says is a "senior member of Al-Qaeda", must be the apple of his daddy's eye. To "commemorate" the 7/7 London bombings, he let forth with a charming poem composed on his own.
Watch it here.
(Trying to get the embed code)
One suspects, since the Sun says this is he speaking the verses himself, that he hasn't quite reached puberty yet. But his words are full of macho brio just the same.
"Accelerate the destruction of America, Britain, France and Denmark.
Oh God, reward the fighters hitting the infidels and defectors. Oh God, guide the youth of the Islamic nation and let them assist with the fighters’ plans.
God, be pleased with those who want to go for jihad — and blind those who are watching and want to capture them.”
Grant victory to the Taliban over the gangs of infidels."
The voice of Al-Qaeda's future, ladies and gentlemen -- sounds atrociously like the present.
Obama In Magazines
Oh no. No blackening of the OJ face with Obama. Just pure, knee-bending adulation.
Here is a list of magazine and other media portraits which have graced their covers with the junior Senator's likeness.
I was waiting in the interminable queue at Blockbuster's this Fourth of July (checking out "The Longest Day", in case you wondered) when my eye caught this enormous portrait of Obama in the magazine rack.
The message Rolling Stone wish to send by this magazine cover can be summed up by the words "Rockstar politician wears American flag pin. Vote for him or you're so uncool."
You might recall their President Bush edition, so no, it's not a fluke.
In fact, it's the second such cover Obama has featured in over at Rolling Stone. This was the first.
I'm guessing someone got to Rolling Stone and asked them to tone down the "Staring With Proletariat Determination into the Glorious Soviet Future" pose often associated with Socialist Realism, and its vomit-projectile Dear Leader iconography.
Just include Michelle Obama next to him next time, Rolling Stone. You know, maybe waving whilst floating on a cloud like Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu. That's pretty cool.
Do they call it that anymore? Well, either way, here is GQ's little contribution.
Notice the million-wattage smiley face, and the accidentally-on-purpose "All Hail The Young QBs -- The Future of the Game is Here" title superimposed on the right. A deeply subliminal message that GQ is imparting to say it's okay to be a metrosexual when you're young, black, hip and the nation's future QB.
Actually, I do believe he was lightened up a bit by Time here. Sure, I know he's as my black acquaintances keep telling me, "high yellow" (pronounced 'yella', apparently) but he's not THAT light.
I'm also not digging the penetrating Akhenaten stare of his, but hey, that's just me.
If you think there's no racial subliminal shenanigans going on by Time, think again. Here's another cover, where they hone the point about being half-white without any subtlety.
His mama made him who he is?
No, actually it was his equally white grandparents who partly raised him whilst his mother was in Indonesia with her second non-white husband.
But the spectre of his very black father haunted him enough to name his autobiography "Dreams From My Father" and another book for his father-substitute's sermon, "The Audacity of Hope". I don't see no mama there anywhere, Time.
I do, however, see what you want to suggest by this Kennedyesque pose.
Not to mention this constant subliminal message: Winner. Winner. Winner.
ESQUIRE AND NEWSWEEK
Both these mags get a dual mention because of the black-and-white shots they used. The first, the already shown crossed-arms pose that signifies defiance mixed with nouveau black power that is more elegant than Tommie Smith's black fist of rage.
Newsweek, like its rival Time, wants to make sure you understand Bush may have been manichean and seen things in terms black or white -- but this Obama fella, well he's really black AND white. It's the antithesis of Bush because it's the conjoining of the two, unlike the hated President's forced rejection of one or the other.
If there is ANYTHING which makes progressives cream themselves, it's inclusion. Rejection equates with marginalisation, and worst of all, intolerance -- the worst sin in the cannon of Left-Liberalism.
This man's a walking negation of negation.
Why, even the money idols that are Fortune magazine get in on the act.
Obama -- the guy who will fix the economy? Yes! With every molar he shows, the dollar rises and gas prices plunge.
Oh, I could go on and on, but I'm sure you get the...picture. And for the record, here is a gathering of the magazine covers with Senator Barack Obama on them.
How on earth did I miss that Radar one?
Rolling Stone Contributing Writer Loves The Cover
Cult of Obama
Party of Obama