Friday, April 27, 2007
Friday, April 20, 2007
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Take this report from Huffpo:
McCain Says He Favors "No Gun Control" After Shootings"
No whoh...that sounds pretty exteme, even for McCain. But let's read further:
"The Arizona senator said in Summerville, S.C., that the country needs better ways to identify dangerous people like the gunman who killed 32 people and himself in the Blacksburg, Va., rampage. But he opposed weakening gun rights and, when asked whether ammunition clips sold to the public should be limited in size, said, "I don't think that's necessary at all.""
So he "opposed weakening gun rights" not ending them and said don't limit the sale of ammunition--that's a far cry from "No Gun Control". And a note to Huffpo, when you put something in quotes it usually means that he actually said it.
By the way, here's title of the same story on MSNBC.com:
"McCain stands firm on gun rights after tragedy/ Senator says Va. rampage doesn't change his view on Second Amendment"
Looks like the liberals have learned a few tricks from FOX on how to spin a story. Regardless it's still a dirty trick. If they want to see McCain say something dumb they could have just waited a few hours for his American Idol audition.
Katherine Reardon over at Huffpo makes another excellent point when she asks:
"It makes you wonder about normal? When we return to it, what will it look like? Can we ever get back? And if we do, will we find that normal has become bizarre? We can't see the coffins of soldiers coming back from Iraq, but there's no problem seeing the ravings of a murdering maniac repeated on nearly every station, printed in nearly every newspaper. Is that normal?"
Why is it more important to the media to show us the images of the VA massacre but to censor the bodies of the suffering and dying in Iraq, both US troops and Iraqis? Does the answer lie in our politicized media who's pockets are lined with GOP loot? Or does it lie within our American consciousness and the desire to turn our news into an Eli Roth movie where the evil is represented as the "bogeyman"? Something "out there" that is tragic, but can be wrapped up in a simple term like "madman" or "nut"?
Yes, it is the media's responsibility to show us things that are important to our life, but as time has gone by the parental responsibility of the media has melted into an allegiance to the market, and like any child offered tons of candy we greedily eat up the most saccharine images of gore and gossip we can find for the shock value and not enlightenment. Some of it is the media's fault but often the reason lies within ourselves and our desires. Only by demanding more of your news will you every get real journalism, and only be demanding more of your leaders will you ever get real leadership.
"BAGHDAD - Grieving relatives retrieved bodies from hospital morgues Thursday, and passers-by gawked at the giant crater left by a market bomb in one of four attacks that killed 183 people on the bloodiest day since the U.S. troop increase began nine weeks ago.
"But violence did not abate Thursday, as a suicide bomber exploded in another mostly Shiite district, killing at least 11 people and wounding 28, police said. The car bomb exploded next to a fuel tanker in Karradah, setting fire to the truck. The death toll was expected to rise."
I'm literally dumbstruck.
"CONCORD, N.H. - Governor John Lynch told The Associated Press on Thursday he will sign legislation establishing civil unions in New Hampshire.
"New Hampshire thus will become the fourth state to adopt civil unions and the first to do so without first having a court fight over denying gays the right to marry.
"In an interview, Lynch told the AP the bill is a matter of fairness, conscience and preventing discrimination."
Trying to think of something snarky to say, but I can't. Seems to be this is an advance for civil rights. Good work NH.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
"BAGHDAD - Four large bombs exploded across Baghdad on Wednesday, killing at least 127 people and wounding scores as violence climbed toward levels seen before the U.S.-Iraqi campaign to pacify the capital began two months ago.
"In the deadliest of the attacks, a parked car bomb detonated in a crowd of workers at the Sadriyah market in central Baghdad, killing at least 82 people and wounding 94, said Raad Muhsin, an official at Al-Kindi Hospital where the victims were taken."
In the wake of the VA shootings I find that Sully puts this all in perspective:
"Imagine that this kind of massacre happened every day. Imagine a police force that was far too small to even respond to most of them. Imagine this occurring repeatedly for years until the perpetrators and their accomplices became the de facto power-brokers throughout the land. Imagine the shootings also being accompanied by the brutal torture of victims. Imagine families never having finality on whether their own siblings or parents or children have been murdered or not.
"This is Iraq today. Now think of the justified rage many feel at the VT campus police chief and university president for misjudgments. Now imagine them presiding over several more massacres in the same place. Ask yourself: why do we not feel as enraged by those responsible for security in Iraq? Are those victims not human beings too? Are they not children and mothers and fathers and sons? Are we not ultimately responsible for them, having destroyed the institutions of order in their country?"
"A gun-rights advocate said yesterday that if Virginia Tech students and employees had been armed they would have been able to defend themselves against the rampaging killer.
"The only person who is responsible to defend you is you - the police are incapable of defending each and every one of us all the time," said Mike Stollenwerk, 44, co-founder of OpenCarry.org, a Virginia-based gun-rights networking group."
I just wonder if these guys understand that the same rational can be used by Middle Eastern countries (say...Iran) in their attempts to gain nuclear weapons. Sure it sounds nice, but what happens when your campus turns into the OK Corral?
"I don't feel I'm responsible, but I just feel terrible he used one of our guns," Markell told the Daily News in a barely audible whisper.
He showed a Virginia driver's license, his checkbook and his immigration card and was approved by the FBI's instant check crime computer, Markell said."
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
"WHAT TO DO IN MASS SHOOTINGS: Lots of people are emailing and want to talk about this subject. Maybe later. But here's a book on self-defense that some people like. And you can't go wrong with Jeff Cooper's Principles of Personal Defense. And here are some thoughts from the Insta-Wife on the pyschology of self-defense."
Hey Rambo, got any tips how to survive a nuclear war? How about an anthrax attack? By the way, the Word of the People answer to what to do in mass shootings? Cry, wet your pants, and kiss your ass goodbye. If you're still alive after you've done all three then you're a winner.
South Korea. But police and university officials offered no clue to his motive.
Col. Steve Flaherty, superintendent of the Virginia State Police, said it was reasonable to assume that Cho was the shooter in both attacks but that the link was not yet definitive. "There's no evidence of any accomplice at either event, but we're exploring the possibility," he said.
Monday, April 16, 2007
"BLACKSBURG, Va. - A gunman killed 32 people in two shooting incidents Monday at a college in Virginia in one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history. The gunman also was killed, and at least 15 other people were injured.
The shootings, which rang out just four days before the eighth anniversary of the Columbine High School bloodbath near Littleton, Colo., spread panic and confusion at the college, where students and employees angrily asked why the first e-mail warning of the shootings did not go out to them until after the rampage was over."
This is a horrible tragedy, and our condolences go out to those wounded and killed in this rampage.
PS: By the way Klein, if you wanna talk about a disgrace you might want to look at how some other pundits such as Torture-First-Shoot-Second Reynolds and Oaths-Are-Sexy Malkin are spinning this horror into a case against gun control. Now that's something Charlton Heston can really sink his dentures into.
"A friend notes, over IM, that "the reason the system worked in the Duke case was because these were upper-middle class white folk with good lawyers." Exactly. I should have said that in the initial post. This is precisely what makes the sense of beseigement, persecution, and systematic abuse that's surrounded this controversy so baffling. Obviously, what happened to those kids wasn't right and I feel bad for them over what they've been through. That said, on the whole prosperous white men are treated very well by the criminal justice system.
"Poor defendants -- especially minority ones -- are railroaded regularly thanks to desperately inadequate legal representation. Nobody speaks up for these people. George W. Bush for years quite literally signed their death warrants. But I don't see any of the Duke-agitators pressing for increased funding of public defenders offices or any other reforms that would address the real systemic problems facing criminal defendants who don't deserve to have the finger pointed at them. The Duke case attracts attention precisely because it's so un-representative of how sexual assault and the criminal justice system play out in the United States. It's a man bites dog story. In the real world, though, we don't demand that attention be paid to the urgent problem of men biting dogs."
I'd like to add something to this. I feel that the above critique of the Duke situation could also be said, nearly verbatim about the Imus situation. In the Duke case the media jumped the shark and turned this into a "war against the white middle-class," and in the Imus situation they turned Imus into the embodiment of racism. Thus if you're for Imus you're for racism and if you're against Imus you're against racism. But, in truth, both situations had less to deal with their starring characters than they dealt with the problems within the system. Getting rid of Imus didn't get rid of racism just like calling the Duke scandal a "war vs. white people" doesn't get rid of the problems in the criminal justice system. All it does is ignore and distract from the real issues, which are complex and call for a real dialogue. Unfortunately that's not what the MSM is interested in.
Take his comment here for example:
"Michael Moore is a disgrace."
Follow the link:
"The production company of filmmaker Michael Moore has taken ill Ground Zero workers to Cuba to highlight the US's inferior health-care system.
"The stunt was filmed as part of the controversial director's latest documentary, Sicko, which attacks American drug companies and health organisations.
"Moore also wanted to highlight that health care in the communist country is free. Cuban doctors are also said to have developed new techniques for treating lung cancer and other respiratory illnesses."
Look, I'm not defending MM here. I happen to think his movies are illuminating, much like some of Klein's commentaries are illuminating. But personally these guys are probably like every other pundit around who thinks that they are illuminated in the divine light of wisdom. What I do have a problem with is Klein's language, a disgrace? MM is, a) getting Ground Zero workers help where their government has abandoned them, and b) outlining the problems in the American Health industry--problems that we all agree exist. Was it a political move? Sure, but a disgrace? No. Michael Moore may lack tack, but Ted Haggard, now that's a disgrace.
"BLACKSBURG, Va. - A shooting at a Virginia Tech dormitory on Monday left at least one person dead, a state government official with knowledge of the case told The Associated Press. One suspect is said to be in custody, with another suspect still at large.
Meantime, officials said there were seven to eight additional casualties.
"Earlier, the university said on its Web site that a gunman was “loose on the campus.” The advisory said a shooting had occurred at a residence hall and that students should stay in their homes away from windows."
The sad part about this is this wasn't the first time a crazed gunman has roamed VT:
"In August 2006, the opening day of classes was canceled and the campus closed when an escaped jail inmate allegedly killed a hospital guard off campus and fled to the Tech area. A sheriff’s deputy involved in the manhunt was killed on a trail just off campus.
The accused gunman, William Morva, faces capital murder charges."
I would hate to have to work in the admissions department here. But the ROTC program must provide the best in urban warfare techniques.
Friday, April 13, 2007
From the NYTimes:
Kurt Vonnegut, whose dark comic talent and urgent moral vision in novels like “Slaughterhouse-Five,” “Cat’s Cradle” and “God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater” caught the temper of his times and the imagination of a generation, died last night in Manhattan. He was 84 and had homes in Manhattan and in Sagaponack on Long Island. "
Besides Stephen King, no other writer, and for that matter, man, has had such a greater impact in my life as Kurt Vonnegut. I leaned in college that the novel, as a form of writing, came into creation as a way of emulating reality. In that case no one was as great a novelist as Kurt. That may sound ridiculous if you've read his novels and figure him to be a science-fiction or fantasy writer, and yes his writing certainly shared those attributes. But Vonnegut understood that life and the human condition was so complex, so weird, and so absurd that they can only be expressed through those themes. How else can we understand Hitler, or Pol Pot, or Saddam Hussein, or Henry Kissinger, or George W. Bush? How else can we comprehend the endless, bitter vicissitudes in life? Many people looked to the Bible for answers to these questions but I happened to read Breakfast of Champions and the latter provided a more rational and satisfactory conclusion. This world will be a much more desolate place without him, but fortunately his works, his genius will live on.
And he was in Back To School playing himself. How cool is that?
"WASHINGTON - As many as 6 million prepared meals stockpiled near potential victims of the 2006 hurricane season spoiled in the Gulf Coast heat last summer when the Federal Emergency Management Agency ran short of warehouse and refrigeration space, according to agency officials.
"In all, hundreds of truckloads of food worth more than $40 million are being thrown away or scavenged for unspoiled contents to be offered to domestic hunger-relief groups, FEMA officials said. Most of the meals were commercial versions of the military's Meals Ready to Eat, which were ruined despite being engineered to withstand the demands of desert and jungle climates."
Only FEMA could spoil an MRE. Seriously though, what FEMA suffers from is the exact problem the US suffers from, in every aspect: Competent leadership. Competent leadership means saying, "hey--hurricane season's over? Gee, let's give this food away before it spoils!" Hell the night manager of Friday's at least knows enough to let the staff take home the extra helpings of Parmesan-Crusted Sicilian Quesadillas. Um...that sounds good.
And Imus? Well my friend Henry Mena--talented musician, and songwriter--pretty much sums up how I feel:
"Um, I dunno…
Throughout all those years I argued with and complained to fans of Howard Stern—friends, acquaintances and even my last girlfriend—about his racist and misogynist shtick it never occurred to me that he should be taken off the air. I elected to turn the dial.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson once called New York “Hymietown”. No real fallout from that. The Rev. Al Sharpton has never been called to task for his ultra-divisiveness during the Tawana Brawley affair nor after it was learned she had concocted most, if not all, of her story. So why is Don Imus getting canned? Is it the timing? The close proximity to the Michael Richards incident? Right after her death, didn’t Stern say worse things about Selena and her fans before the body even got cold?
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never been a fan of Imus’ nor am I defending or excusing him now. The remarks that eventually did him in were racist, misogynist, tasteless and deplorable. But it was a joke. One that I personally did not find amusing but a joke, nonetheless. A suspension was probably in order. Too late. My question is, do we really want to regulate “asshole-ism”? (Yes, I know: it wasn't the government or the FCC that booted Imus, but still…)
O’Reilly, Hannity, Limbaugh etc. spout some nasty stuff on a daily basis that makes my
blood boil. Would I want them off the air? Yes. But as a result of people turning off their radios or turning the dial, realizing by their own conviction that this is nasty, ignorant stuff that should not be supported. Let the public decide. Needless to say I’m not crazy about any group regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality etc exert undue pressure when offended. This isn’t some City College professor going on to his/her students about the inherent intellectual shortcomings of people of color or how those of the Caucasian persuasion are the root of all evil, is it? (And those guys would probably STILL have their jobs! That’s f’d up.) Now, those are situations worth looking into and taking serious action because of their being within the context of higher learning. But bringing out the heavy guns every time one is offended sets a much worse precedent than letting some jackass make ignorant remarks on the air.
Does anyone really think that the people who enjoy Imus’ show and found these recent remarks humorous have changed their minds over his subsequent firing? Doubt it. All it creates is a climate of resentment and divide. You don’t truly change things with heavy-handed intimidation in my humble opinion. Actually, you do. But only on the surface. And haven’t we had enough of that already?
(I wonder what would’ve happened if Imus had simply said “Hey, it was a joke. Sorry if you got offended but it was a joke. Next.” He showed signs of this sort of attitude when he stated he’d apologized enough and wasn’t gonna do the requisite talk show apology tour that normally accompanies the fallout from these situations.)
By the way, Dick Cheney was finally right about one thing: Watch what you say."
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Damm, I'm stuck at my desk for six more hours...some one finish me off...
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
American University students protest Karl Rove appearance:
"WASHINGTON -- White House Advisor Karl Rove was the target of a protest on the American University campus Tuesday night, News4 reported.
"Rove was on the campus to talk to the College Republicans, but when he got outside more than a dozen students began throwing things at his car, an American University spokesperson said.
"The students then got on the ground and lay down in front of his car as a protest. The students said security officials picked them up and carried them away so Rove could leave.
"Police said they have dealt with a lot of protests on campus and this one was handled peacefully. No one was arrested."
I guess there are a few people who wouldn't mind seeing him hauled before Congress, huh Ricky?
Hat Tip: Rude Pundit
"So let me get this straight. Bush remonstrates dastardly Nancy for her passage through Damascus, at the very time the Israelis are reportedly using her to pass a message to Bashar Assad to help avoid a possible conflagration with the Syrians. Soon, Bush will be telling Bibi Netanyahu or Avigdor Lieberman they're wimps, and to hang Crawford tough against the 'Palis' or such. This is all so pitiable, isn't it? How many more months left of this bungling amateurism and fake machismo do we have left?"
If it doesn't go Boom! Bush no like.
"Astounding. Obama rakes in $25 million, nearly tying Hillary's record haul.
Update: Obama received contributions from over 100,000 individuals.
Late update: Obama had more donors online than Hillary had in total."
He still has ground to make up in NH.
"TEHRAN, Iran - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that his government would release the detained 15 British sailors and marines Wednesday as an Easter gift to the British people.
"Iranian state television later showed the British sailors talking to Ahmadinejad at the country's presidential palace apparently minutes before they were to be freed."
What Ahmadinejad didn't mention was that they would all be covered in milk chocolate, wrapped in gold foil and would come filled with a creamy center of anthrax. Seriously, in terms of PR these guys need to hire those GEICO guys. I can see it now:
"Middle East policy: so easy even an Iranian can do it."
And then cut with scenes from 300. Iranians LOVED that movie.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
"A day after members of an American Congressional delegation led by Senator John McCain pointed to their brief visit to Baghdad’s central market as evidence that the new security plan for the city was working, the merchants there were incredulous about the Americans’ conclusions.
“What are they talking about?” Ali Jassim Faiyad, the owner of an electrical appliances shop in the market, said Monday. “The security procedures were abnormal!...“They paralyzed the market when they came,” Mr. Faiyad said during an interview in his shop on Monday. “This was only for the media.”
"He added, “This will not change anything.”"
Dressing up a grave situation to look good for the cameras...does that remind you of anyone?