Debt Ceiling/Shutdown, and real journalism

I was a serious journalist a long time ago, inspired by Woodstein, Geraldo’s Bellevue expose, and 60 Minutes.  So I HATED doing press-release news and he said/he said.  But that’s all we get from mainstream news these days, not just broadcast/cable but also newspapers.  I guess you can’t get paid to tell THE TRUTH anymore, like this piece of debunking Reaganite mythology that underlies Republican government shutdown threats, and even Democratic compliance.

Journalism used to be called “the rough draft of history” or “the first draft of history” (or more correctly, of historiography).  Today it’s not even that — at least I hope not!

Investigate Murdoch here too

UPDATE: As Hamlet said, “O my prophetic soul…”: 9/11 implications.

If Rupert Murdoch’s reporters are hacking voicemails in Britain, given that much of his media investment here in the States is of similar, erm, quality, doesn’t it stand to reason that Congress, the FCC, police, etc., should look into it?

“That’s B.S.!”

Is Prince Charles crazy, or Maclean’s?

A ‘newsmagazine’ I hardly recognized, on the eve of the ‘critically panned’ Fall Homecoming of the Heir to the Throne (including of Canada), published an opinion that he’d taken leave of his senses.  Is it possible that His Royal Highness is just a Classic, ie Progressive, Conservative, such as I’ve tried to be*, rather than the U.S. regressive Republican (GOP) kind?

Is it also possible HRH is “becoming Orthodox“??  Certainly he has opportunity to reflect on the world he sits almost at the top of in terms of wealth, fame, and access to power.  And/Or just chat with our First Among Equals, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople (yes, that’s Istanbul in Turkish), “The Green Patriarch.”

But children must play … instead of providing reportage and analysis that knows what on earth it’s talking about.  Looks like I got out of journalism just in time – ‘My skills, it seems, are no longer required!’

(*–He said humbly!! ;) )

SWINE FLU, DAMMIT!

How many people have died, been impaired, sickened, because “Swine Flu” fell off the radar screen, replaced by the incomprehensible “H1N1″ … just to protect the pork industry?

For that matter, how many other industries suffered lost “productivity” to protect pork?

If you got SWINE FLU, DAMMIT!, because you didn’t know what the FLIP “H1N1″ was, send the bill to Hormel or Oscar Meyer or somebody like that, ’cause you saved their pork butts!!!!!  Or tell your employer or health carrier to do so.

Interesting barometer of the increase in business/corporate influence in our society, though: A generation ago when Swine Flu hit, nobody had a problem with just saying, “Oh and BTW, you can’t get it from eating pork products.”  PLAIN AND SIMPLE.

SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU!

Nor’easter II

In today’s Non Sequitur comic strip, Captain Eddie calls a storm he got caught in a “nahr-eastah,” in the cartoonist’s (respectful, affectionate) attempt at replicating a Down East Maine accent.  He’s relatively new to Maine as a resident, so I guess he’s still learning hard-core … but as you’ll remember from my recent post, he hasn’t got this one down yet.  But since the term is apparently not even native to New England, but Old, that doesn’t really matter!

Good fun, anyway — I highly recommend the strip!

“Overactive Bladder,” or Diabetes?!

Which condition is spreading like wildfire in America?  You don’t have to be fat, a person of color, or poor, to get diabetes.

Don’t wait till your feet fall off and you go blind, before you “ask your doctor”!

Massachusetts “Upset”?

Did the Repugs steal Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat?  Why are the MSM calling their win an “upset,” after telling us 24/7 right before it how it was a tossup?  Election fraud investigators say if there’s an otherwise inexplicable spike in polling numbers in the final days before an election, something fishy may be going on.

Maybe the Senate needs to investigate before letting the Democratic substitute go and seating the GOP “winner.”  Or even pull one from the Repugs’ playbook and just seat Coakley like they did in their own favor in the House a couple years ago.  But after 8 years of Republican shenanigans, Obama, Coakley, et al. still practically fell over themselves to declare defeat — very strange.  If this is “socialism,” basically it’s the kind where there’s just one party, or token opposition, and the one party governs even when it’s not technically in office … and pours taxpayers’ money into corporations, fixes elections under sham democracy, etc etc etc.

Terror, Health care

How long have we been running from (alleged) terrorists and lacking healthcare?:

THE QUESTION IS MOOT!

(For the blogger’s actual video, go here though.)

PS: Like Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ puffy shirt and hair there in 1984!  It’s eerie how young she sounds, though.  And God be good to Gilda…

“Nor’easter” b.s.

So I’m sitting watching a recent weathercast, wondering if it’s another effect of Global Warming that we seem to have tons more “Nor’easters” these days than when I was little, where maybe I remember reading the term only in Moby Dick dialogue or something.  Turns out the resident lexicographer* at The Boston Globe, appropriately enough, was a few years ahead of me (scroll down): It seems to be nothing more than a recent weather “journalist” fad.  Keep in mind she’s only referring to print usage.  I’d guess it’s even more prevalent in TV and radio: ‘Be afraid, be very afraid, here comes another Nor’easter!

(In that post two years ago to the day — spooky! – I forgot to mention explicitly that weather hype is considered to boost audiences … hence they can charge more for advertising, for delivering more ears and/or eyes.)

Of course, bad ones are a PIA, almost like a hurricane, in some ways worse.  But what’s with all the hype about beach erosion, too?  Wasn’t there plenty in the billions of years before humanity came along and built beachfront condos and resorts?  You’d think the original U.S. eastern shore was halfway out in the Atlantic!  That’s right, it’s not plate tectonics, just beach erosion!  I say anyone who builds in such places deserves what they get.  Now we all enjoy a beach any time of year, and maintaining them in desert perfection costs coastal towns, states, and countries mondo bucks.  That’s gonna get more fun with Climate Change too….

(*–I’ll tell this joke on myself: Originally instead of lexicographer I wrote logothete.  Guess I’ve been reading too much Byzantine history in conjunction with my [informal] Orthodoxy studies!)

“Freedom of the Press belongs to the man who owns one.”

So said some wag famously.  There’s just one problem with that: “Presses” — as well as radio or TV stations, cable and satellite broadcasting outfits, etc. — in this day and age are usually owned by corporations.  Major ones, anyway.

AND CORPORATIONS HAVE NO RIGHTS, ONLY PRIVILEGES.  ONLY “NATURAL PERSONS” HAVE RIGHTS.  THE LEGAL PUBLISHING CLERK IN THE LATE 1800s WHO DECIDED TO GIVE CORPORATIONS RIGHTS COMMITTED A MONSTROSITY AGAINST THIS NATION AND THIS PLANET … A FRAUD, ARGUABLY EVEN A CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY.  THE SUPREME COURT NEVER GAVE CORPORATIONS RIGHTS!

…Though it found it convenient, in its corruption, to go along with that lying clerk and his lying employer-corporation.

Dennis Haysbert

Too funny!: Last night I saw a promo for The Unit, and I thought it was an insurance commercial!

Fox News Biden libel on economy

I have a journalism background (as opposed to what Fox News Channel serves up), and this fake edit just might be actionable, making VP Biden seem to claim last week that “the fundamentals of the economy are sound,” when the footage is actually from the campaign where he was quoting McCain and vigorously disagreeing with that assessment (as most of us then and now.  You’d think nobody would even use that particular expression after this past Election Day!).

Of course, nobody sues for libel or slander anymore, and so public discourse goes down the toilet where Reagan, the Repugs, and the Fundies sent it starting in the ’70s.

Obey!

What’s the deal with these online weight-loss ads that seem to slip the word “obey” in with hardly any grammatical sense at all?  It’s almost like they’re trying to hypnotize you, or make you feel guilty, one or the other (or both?)!

Or is it like “Obey your thirst”?!!

New Repug boss wants to be “Hip-Hop” Mussolini

I swear!  “Make the trains run on time“?!!!  “One-armed midgets”?!!  “Off the hook”: Does that mean he won’t answer his phone?  We can only hope….

Of course, the Republican Party isn’t “in the crapper.”  They just feel like they are because they don’t have (obvious) absolute power for the moment, like they have for most of the last 28 years.  But that’s true not because of “PR” or a dearth of young, Hispanic, or Black “messengers” in Virginia and North Carolina, but because they put THIS COUNTRY, INDEED, THE WORLD, IN THE CRAPPER, INCLUDING YOUNG PEOPLE, HISPANICS, BLACKS, NATIVE AMERICANS, WOMEN, AND EVERYBODY ELSE, INCLUDING THEMSELVES!!!  (Ever hear of cutting off your nose to spite your face?)

To think it’s PR, that substance doesn’t matter, is the ultimate in self-serving cynicism.  It’s kind of like Big Tobacco getting us hooked all those years they knew they were killing us.  Or Big Energy “putting lipstick on a pig,” pretending to be “green” — Please, “Clean Coal”?!!!  Hitler* had Goebbels and Riefenstahl, PR geniuses, “hip” messages and state of the art, and even held on for a while; but win or lose, they were equally wrong.

They’re gonna do “beyond cutting edge”?  That worries me, after a decade of stolen elections, stolen airwaves, stolen bookstore shelves, stolen bandwidth, stolen cable TV space, stolen newspapers, hijacked websites and campaigns, lies, racism, sexism, pseudo-religious bigotry, lock-step churches, wedge pseudo-issues, government funding of “conservative” religion, corruption we haven’t even begun to investigate and prosecute and fine and jail, one or maybe even two fake wars with real casualties, etc etc etc.  If we thought we could rest a little after 12:01pm EST Jan. 20, we may have been sorely mistaken.  Like the man said, I guess democracy and justice really do demand eternal vigilance.

Maybe the GOP picked this loon because his last name sounds like steal….

This new ad campaign is gonna look like that tokenist national convention they had in 2004, where just about the only People of Color were on-stage in front of the cameras.  “Hip-hop” Repugs, can you imagine?!  They won’t touch us.  Now, if they cared about more than just the votes of youth, Blacks, and Hispanics, etc., we might be seriously worried.  But all they really want to do is make their next big stolen election look credible where folks don’t typically vote GOP — that’s what really concerns me.

(*–Don’t blame me, he started it by quoting Mussolini!)

Detroit Bailout: A Modest Proposal

How about if Washington bails-out Ford, GM, and Chrysler (How many times do we get to bail-out Chrysler?!!) the way it bailed-out the TV-makers?  Ban all existing motor vehicles from the road as of February, and allow only new Fords, GMs, and Chryslers from then on!  Congress can even give out coupons to help folks “make the transition.”

:|

(OTOH, it’d be great for Global Warming, improving our oil-independence, and we could dump the used cars on China and India so they don’t have to manufacture new ones for a while, helping their greenhouse emisions and our economics simultaneously – get back some of our money and “paper” from them!  Hmmm…!)

PS: Isn’t it weird that Repugs, including W., are OK with bailing-out banks and bankers and speculators, but not Union-dominated / Blue-State Ford, GM, and Chrysler?  Hmmm….

No more Highlanderz?

:(

When I was in the media, I wasn’t in sales, so it didn’t automatically occur to me that this was pursuant to a very-limited-time contract.  Nor OTOH that this would go on forever!  Brain just wasn’t engaged at all — pure pleasure!  At least the video clips are still available.

(Who are we kidding, anyway?: The Ford Flex is just a glorified station wagon.)

“Highlanderz” video available

Yes, it’s true!  They’ve added it to the Late Late Show video clip page now.  If you can, listen with headphones for the full audio effect, including all kinds of funny, subtle snippets you couldn’t hear on TV last week.  (Nothing dirty, just hilarious!  “I enjoy golf!”  Well, OK, “we’re packing so much heat that our kilts are extra long” … but that’s not subtle, and I already mentioned it last week….)

I nearly fell on the floor when Craig – er, “Angus” – stood in an alley with flip-sign messages like in that INXS video, saying things like “Braveheart is Australian,” “Scotty is Candian,” etc.!!

Report and Track Voting Problems

at Huffington Post, the NEW “most trusted name in news”!!!

McCain on Obama’s 30-minute commercial

Getting caught-up here, but if McCain can’t even tell the truth about the timing of the World Series — it WAS NOT affected by Obama’s commercial, as any regular viewer of baseball on Fox TV could have told him  –  and if McCain can’t accept the “market forces” or “free enterprise” that allowed Obama to air it, McCain is clearly not ready for prime time … just Leno and Saturday Night Live, real “celebrity” that he is!!!  Apparently market forces and free enterprise are only for SOME Americans, not all of us: rich, White, Republican, conservative, corporatist, anti-constitutionalist, above-the-law, etc. etc. etc.

Exit Poll plan

All networks’ “experts” locked up together all day Tuesday, no leaksI smell a coverup.  Collusion.  Probably in favor of the Republicans who sign their paychecks.  They sound more concerned about their own embarassment than about the shredding of the Constitution and of the Rule of Law.  But no, millions of us ‘just misunderstood, didn’t know’ in 2000 and ’04, we’re all just ‘too dumb.’  Well, we’re not too dumb to know when the wool is being pulled over our eyes; when formally published, supposedly complete exit poll data change before our eyes.

Why only one exit poll, anyway?  This is like the lazy science we’re also increasingly subjected to, where one experiment is considered proof of something new.  Every experiment should be duplicated before publication — isn’t that what they told us in elementary school? – and every poll should be too, preferably by someone else.

Increasingly in this country, voting becomes a ‘religious’ act: we do the right thing even if it might not have any effect in this space and time, simply because it’s right, even if McCain eerily predicts a ‘miraculous’ comeback, like W. swearing Jeb promised him Florida in ’00, and Mr. E-voting pledging to deliver him Ohio in ’04.

So get ready for every excuse in the book: imperfect election systems, imperfect voting devices, lost ballots, imperfect ballots, not enough voting devices, lying Whites, cheating Blacks and Hispanics and Democrats and liberals, massive last-minute shifts in opinion, Republican judges and Justices, elite losers’ “civil right to a presumption of victory,” imperfect vote-counting devices, illiterate Democrats, analysts’ stupidity, yada yada yada.

But do the right thing anyway.  Even if McCain and the Repugs steal it again, “God who sees in secret will reward you.”  And He will not let us suffer all the way until He returns again in Glory….  “‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.”

Maybe it’d be better if we had a warm-weather change of government, rather than in the dead of winter, November-January, when people are less apt to come out and protest a coup d’etat in Washington and most of the rest of the country….  Elections just before Memorial Day, Inauguration Columbus Day weekend perhaps, also leaving more time, enough time to make sure the election was done right?

Discover “The Highlanderz”

They’re a paid bit(?) on The CBS Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, pushing “the new Ford Flex,” a supposed Scottish hip-hop group — the Highlanderz, not the Flex — featuring Craig’s “cousins Angus [himself] and Philip Ferguson,” and a cute Black woman who sometimes speaks Scottish-English and sometimes American — “Aye!”  It’s inspired lunacy.  Tonight (Thursday / early AM Friday) they aired a whole music video — adding a couple backup dancers — based on the “We Are the Highlanderz” ditty which is all you can hear on the website for the moment.

It’s over, Hornymanatee.com….

Bubbles, marry me!!!  (Love the hat!)  “We are the Highlanderz, mighty and strong, We’re packing so much heat that our kilts are extra long!”

Undercounting Obama survey support?

So suggests this article.  But watch the GOP scream “voter fraud” if it happens!

Bitter? Hell yes!

At least according to this guy and this guy, who claim to know better than I.  Will the MSM cover it?  Pretty much, NOT!  (WARNING: Strong language.)

(BTW: I can tag “white trash” and “poor white trash” because that’s my own background, understand?  Same with the others down there.  It’s just that my background isn’t small-town.)

They should call you MADAME YUP.

I’m surprised nobody else has jumped on this, after her People interview.  Maybe The Man Called FLINTSTONE (as it happens, being released in time for Xmas!) made more of an impression on me than generally!

The Man Called FLINTSTONE was a feature-length Flintstones cartoon spoof of James Bond and similar movies.  “The Man” comes from The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (as it happens, supposedly being released in stores as we speak!).  (In fact a couple of us remembered the title as The Man from F.L.I.N.T.S.T.O.N.E.!)  One of the perplexing characters in the movie for Fred and Barney was a mysterious, hypnotic, Russian-sounding woman whose name was evocative of Doctor No from Bond, “Madame Yes” (and whose hat, of Secret Squirrel and Cosby Kid Dumb Donald*!).

In the same way, Sarah Palin seems to have hypnotized the Right and the MSM.  As if we won’t mind more stolen elections and fascist dictatorship if we have Her Hotness to gaze upon for the next 16 years or more!

(*–Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids gave the rest of the world the “They should call you” put-downs, hence my headline.  Today of course we have the “Your mama so” put-downs.)

The Vonage chick is growing on me.

The Pentagon Channel

Good Classical Conservatives respect and honor servicemen and women who serve with honor, in spite of the politics around different wars and other military activities.  It goes back to Monarchies and service under the command of the Sovereign.

However, should The Pentagon Channel be available on U.S. territory?  The same law that forbade the Bushies from paying domestic journalists (and pseudo-journalists) and pundits for favorable coverage (for which they have not been prosecuted to my knowledge), also forbids them from directly broadcasting domestically (which is why we can’t listen over the air to Voice of America Radio, FWIU a classy, relatively-independent and professional source of U.S. and international news and cultural broadcasting).  The United States government is not permitted to disseminate propaganda internally, ie, to propagandize its own citizens.  The government as such is not allowed to attempt to influence internal political views one way or another (though politicians and officeholders of course are).  That would put government and taxpayer dollars flagrantly at the service of the party or persons in power.  Of course, so does the Congressional franking privilege, ie, free postage to constituents, usually maximized during reelection campaigns!  But theoretically that’s not its purpose.

Sorry I missed SNL!

Great open with help from “Tina Fey glasses“!!! “Sexy librarian thing”!!!!

(How come Palin has a Chicago-Milwaukee accent, anyway?!)

MSNBC caves

Palin, ‘the rest of the story’?

One never knows what to make of something like this, but it paints a much darker picture of Sarah Palin than we’re being allowed through the MSM.  This purports to be from someone who knows her well in Wasilla.  It seems to echo some bits and pieces I’ve glimpsed elsewhere, as well as alot I have not.  So, for what it’s worth….

Something else I remember from college politics majors (like she was – well, a minor – along with her journalism major): Some of them were really nasty.  Coups d’etat in the Politics Club?!!  Some others were two-faced.  “Politicians,” IOW, in the bad sense.  But not all.

(And apologies to Paul Harvey.  Good day!)

Obama “celebrity” attack is racist.

As if a Black man can only get diverse votes in America if he’s a football or basketball player, a TV or movie star, a network TV newsman, a singer or an author.  This from the man – McCain – who’s been on Leno no fewer than 13 times, as many as Jennifer Love Hewitt!  They say Obama’s the media’s darling, but really it’s McCain, Leno’s “good friend.”

Totally Without Class

Time was not too long ago when our political parties let each other have their weeklong TV commercial, er, party convention, to themselves.  But this minute-by-minute media-contesting of the Democrats’ ‘pre-convention VP Day’ today by the McSame / Rove / Swiftboat campaign is a new low in what had been a tradition of brief respite from all the partisan BS, our “quadrennial national civics lesson” — now down the toilet with the rest of the McCain offal.  So much for that “maverick” image.  He must be really running scared.  Today’s performance is totally without dignity or honor.  I’m torn between whether Obama / Biden should “go and do likewise,” or stick to the high road.  After all, it is apparently a way to get the “news” channels to air your instant ads for free nationwide and worldwide….

I have to add that CNN’s performance today is worthy of Fox News Channel, “loyally” getting all those McCain minute-by-minute retorts on the air.  I wonder if they’ll keep hammering at his “I don’t know how many homes I have”….  After all, he is the MSM darling….

BTW: So Biden once ran against Obama?  From what they’re saying, McSame may be about to nominate a mate who ran against *him.*  So let’s dredge that up too, OK guys?!!  That’s politics in a democracy: temporary rivals band together in party unity in the end: Our base isn’t thinking of bailing on the party in the fall, while theirs is.  It may be easy to forget during the last 8 years or more of non-democracy in America!  But we are a “democratic” party; the Republicans are a “religious” party.  We had a primary season; they had a traveling revival show, even with a bona fide preacher running!!!  Make your choice, America.  Just be sure and let everybody vote, and let every vote count, no matter race or party or class or liberal religion or no religion or sexual orientation or neighborhood or anything else.

And McCain “congratulating” Biden on the phone while at the same time releasing his classless ad?  Totally insincere and cynical.  %#@* him and the horse he rode in on!

About these insta-ads: Should we really be shown them before they air on paid TV?  Don’t we risk a fiasco like that ad one of the GOPs “unveiled” during the primaries, only to pull it the same day before it aired?  Are we newsmedia, journalists, or YouTube-on-the Air?!!!  Is it an ad, or just a campaign video?!!!  We don’t know yet!!!

For that matter, are they “journalists”?  Jour is French for day, as in daily.  French for moment is moment, oddly enough, so maybe they’re momentarists instead of journalists!  Does that really serve the public interest or the Common Good?  In some disaster, coup d’etat (like 2000 or ’04), or traffic jam, yes; otherwise, let’s stop and think a few hours once in a while….

(And no, I don’t speak French, I had to look it up.  I did take four years of Spanish, but  r e a l   s l o w  ! ! !   I catch about every fifth word on Spanish-language TV news!)

Do we really know McCain?

McCain is touting America’s familiarity with him over Obama.  I guess it’s the devil you know over the devil you don’t know?!!  If that’s the best he has against the Democratic nominee, this’ll be a slam dunk!

But seriously, does the McCain America knows really exist?  The “maverick” buddy of the Religious Right and Bush/Cheney?  The “maverick” beloved of the MSM who votes mostly with the Hard Right?

Who’s zoomin’ who, Senator?  America is having the wool pulled over its eyes, I think.

Al Franken in trouble?

This doesn’t sound like it should be a big deal, but you know the Repug Smear Machine will make it into one.  But maybe writers can fix it….  After all, he’s still “Me … Al Franken!”

Peak Oil breaks into MSM

He said it, I didn’t.  (Not since October anyway.)  The analyst in the video accompanying this page 1 WSJ article (link will probably break) wondered if the Oil Market is already factoring-in Peak Oil as part of its skyrocketing prices (being passed along to us in everything from the gas pump to the fresh food section, ie, widespread inflation with no end in sight!).  Farther down, the Journal itself says P.O. theory is spreading among industry executives, who I imagine don’t tend to put much trust in miracles like the PO-denial crowd does.  WSJ also points out that in November the International Energy Agency (not to be confused with the Intl Atomic Energy Agency) – in a story I don’t remember hearing about! – forecast that by 2015 – 7 years from *now* – the world could fall 12 million barrels a day short of demand.  “By” means BEFORE!!!

What could be worse?  Well, according to the Journal, the IEA tends to be optimistic, driven by politics vs. science (kind of like the Global Warming committee, the Intl Panel on Climate Change!), which means if they predict bad news, it’s gonna be WORSE!!!  (They missed China, and the current spikes.)

Even worse?  They say even the oil-owned U.S. government’s own forecaster is also pessimistic if you read between the lines!  (Though I note the Journal wants us to believe there’s “political turmoil in Venezuela,” probably anticipating a U.S. invasion.  They also strove mightily to end on a positive note, as I said, trusting in miracles.  As an Orthodox Christian, I believe in miracles.  I just don’t think you can plan on or expect them, like Western Chrstians do!)

Worse yet?  ABC World News Tonight picked up the story.  Look out world!

One thing PO theorists don’t seem to factor-in is noted in the ABC AP version of the story, quoting a source:

Up to now, we have seen that the international oil companies were responsible for bringing a big chunk of the oil to the markets. Now, in many cases, since existing reserves are declining, a big part of oil will need to come from national oil companies. And they have their own conditions, their own context.

They don’t say why this should be, but I believe it’s because governments that own oil companies aren’t about to go off the “Olduvai Cliff” – or let their high-paying customers do so – if they can help it.  Governments will invest taxes both in energy companies they own and in those they charter or regulate (ie, subsidize those that own them!) in an attempt to keep up and increase production beyond what is “profitable,” the immediate driver of the PO cliff.  The thing is, we’ll all pay for it one way or another, and the politics of it will be increasingly rough.  As for poorer countries without energy resources, they’ll slide downward sooner and/or faster, with even worse consequences, without international help – which will cost everyone else even more.

What are we ready for?  What can we get ready for?

A new reason for economic growth?  Is that even possible without oil (and natural gas)???  As they say, we don’t know of a natural source of energy more potent than oil/gas.  Coal is up there, but even more controversial.  That’s it for hydrocarbons!  Nuclear, with all its dangers inherent (accidents, waste, etc.) and external (terrorism)?  Plus how long does it take to propose and bring a new reactor online – 20 years??? – and more controversial yet!

“The Real McCain II”

New video exposes MSM support for McCain despite his non-straight talking.  (If he’s not a straight-talker, is he a queer-talker?!!!  Inquiring minds wanna know!)

(Also includes a spoof Stephanopoulos interview that’s pretty funny!)

Wright = Lewinsky. Move on!

Yes, this Rev. Wright thing has been too long a distraction in the most important election in ages.  Media-driven, racist, religious persecution.  Or should we put all candidates’ preachers under the microscope?  They’re Protestants, so they’ve probably said a thing or two to pee-off half the country or more (PDF)!

There’s a reason why the Constitution outlaws “religious tests” for public office….

Boobs

Looks like it was female exposure week on Late Night with Conan O’Brien!  (Is it Sweeps again already?!!!)  It concluded last night with the Rennaissance Faire “tavern wenches,” then Tina Fey plugging her new movie Baby Mama … and, well, BABY, MAMA!!!  If things don’t work out with What’s-His-Name, *I’m* a nice Orthodox boy who always loved you on Update with those glasses…!*

It seems today we have not just cleavage, but various kinds of actual breast exposure: ‘top breast meat,’ ‘side breast meat,’ even ‘bottom breast meat.’  If you know what I mean!  At 1am it’s OK, but “not ready for prime time” IMHO.

(*–UPDATE … so to speak … 23 May 2008: I kid, of course.  God grant Many Years to Tina and family!)

Elitists

Where the well-paid, snooty, right-wing, corporate shills at Faux News Channel get off putting down anybody else as “elitists,” I’ll never guess!  And shame on Hillary Clinton for taking their talking points!

Fox Attacks Iran

Fox News Channel beats the drums for war against Iran, just like they did against Iraq a few years back, and with as little justification.  See this short video and sign a MoveOn petition to the real networks not to be bullied by Fox this time around!

(I wonder if the Republican National Committee and McCain campaign report as donations, all the air time they receive from FNC, AM radio, etc etc etc.?  Surely it’d put them way over the top: after all, it’s basically 24/7 free advertising!)

Violent Demonstrations

When did they start using the word violence to refer to demonstrations, rallies, etc., where nobody is hurt, just property is damaged?

Lessee now, corporations and property are people, but unborn babies aren’t, including embryonic stem cells that are called that because they basically are embryos?  And immigrants and the poor and workers and people of color aren’t much of people either?

WHO’S behind this Strange New World?!!!

Media spin against Democrats

Maybe I’m missing something.  MSM keep saying the Democratic race between Rodham Clinton and Obama is “mudslinging” and bitterness, etc.  I don’t see it or hear it.  I think they’re still mad at having to even follow primaries this “late,” that there really is a race rather than some foreordained outcome.

Look.  Just the facts, man, alright?

I even just heard Obama’s middle name for the first time.  I predicted it.  To say the Muslim world will be dancing in the streets because of his middle name is plainly stupid and ignorant.  He’s a liberal Protestant, OK?  What about his first name, Barack?  It’s an Arabic form of the Proto-Semitic for some principle part of “blessing,” the same as Egyptian President Mubarak and Israeli politician Ehud Barak.  Big woop.  There was Saddam Hussein, but there was also King Hussein of Jordan, OK?  It’s a common Arabic name; his father was a secular Muslim from Kenya.  Ironic, but no big deal.

Using Government for Partisan Purposes?

It’s being alleged in Canada that theocon minority pseudo-Tory Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s chief of staff leaked the information about the conversation between a Barack Obama aide and a Canadian diplomat in Chicago implying Obama’s tough talk on the North American Free Trade Agreement – wanting to amend it to help U.S. workers, or pull out(!) - was just talk.

‘There was another leak on Wednesday. CTV News — which tends to get leaks from the Tories as CBC tends to get leaks from the Liberals — reported that Barack Obama representatives had quietly told Canadian diplomats that the anti-NAFTA rhetoric being spun out in the Ohio Democratic primary is just rhetoric. When CTV broke the story, it was embarrassing to Mr. Obama, who faces voters in the make-or-break primary today.

According to ABC News, the story was leaked to CTV by Ian Brodie, Mr. Harper’s chief of staff. This angered the Democrats, who accused Canada’s Tories of interfering in their election to the benefit of Republican John McCain, although Hillary Clinton actually looks more likely to profit from this story.

Mr. Harper’s spokeswoman issued a denial, saying Mr. Brodie “doesn’t recall” leaking the story, which seems odd, since you’d think he could remember whether he leaked secret diplomatic talks just last week.

So, did Harper’s people hope to embarrass Mr. Obama by revealing his double-talk on NAFTA?’  {Emphasis added.}

If true, this behavior by the Harpies would cross the line that should exist between Her Majesty’s Canadian diplomatic corps and the partisan political process – not to mention once again  meddling in U.S. politics.  It dishonours The Crown, imperils diplomacy, endangers Canada(!), is filthy filthy dirty, and tries to glorify the party in “power” like the American republic does in the White House.  Canada’s Monarchy separates politics from the honourable duties of the Crown such as diplomacy; unlike the U.S., it’s said to be rare in Canada that diplomatic postings are doled out to big campaign donors or turfed incumbents of the “ruling” party.  If Canadian diplomats routinely sound-out U.S. candidates, it’s not to interfere – God knows U.S. anti-Canadianism would bite them in the rear – but to keep their masters informed of potential changes down here.  For Harper to politicize that diplomatic factfinding would be disgraceful and unbefitting the office of HM Canadian Prime Minister.

Soda kills

Just in case you missed the new research about diet soda (yes, diet) recently, there’s this.  And diet was supposed to be better than regular!

Think about it: liquid sugar by the gallon, all those bubbles to mess with your gastrointestinal tract and environs, bigger and bigger cups – some now look like mini kegs! – and we expected to get away with it?!!!

Think of soda like candy – it is, after all, liquid candy: a little bit, once in a while.  Otherwise, just “obey your thirst.”

Or … there’s always beer, wine, liquor!

Another Decency Rant

This is definitely not a commercial for the show, but I just saw a tease for Big Brother.  They’re now showing us actual fornication footage from the house?!!

Maybe they always have; I’ve never actually watched the show.  But IIUC, they’re turning it into an intentional soap opera, matching up residents they think might “hit it off,” apparently including sleeping together.  In front of cameras, for all the world to see.

MTV, of course, did this a long time ago on The (un)Real World, but we expect this from MTV.  Anyway, they’re cable/satellite; CBS ain’t.  You can be watching a perfectly OK program over-the-air, and all of a sudden there’s two kids going at it in bed.  I’m not a prude; I’m as pruriently interested as the next guy; but I prefer to choose when I see that sort of thing, often based on who else is in the room with me, the hour of late night – emphasizing late night – etc.

Superdelegates

I, as a registered Democrat, don’t have a problem with them.  We’re a small-D as well as a big-D democratic party, and AFAIK all the so-called Superdelegates got there by election, whether by the general electorate in the case of public officials, or by registered Democrats or their elected party representatives in the case of party officials.  What they are basically is ex officio convention delegates not committed to any candidate via the process of State primaries or caucuses.  They’re Democrats chosen by other people, mostly other Democrats, for positions of trust and leadership.  The MSM call them disparagingly – trying to start a fight I haven’t heard anyone else waging previously in this election cycle – “party insiders,” but really, they’re our leadership, chosen by us to help advance our goals fulltime or significantly-part-time, while the rest of us work our day-jobs or fight for Disability or whatever.

Especially if it’s gonna be Clinton-Obama down to the wire, I see it as a toss-up.  It literally doesn’t matter to me which one gets it – but if our “professionals” have insight I lack, after seeing all of us vote in the primaries and caucuses, I’d certainly welcome it, because this could be the biggest Federal election for this nation since Vietnam, if not ever, as we try to carry out our own Operation Restore Democracy, Operation American Freedom, etc etc.  The MSM are falling all over themselves to evoke “smoke-filled rooms” and “back-room deals” of bygone eras when “party bosses” ruled the roost, and every other cliche you can throw in there.  But they seem to forget that the party itself is a democracy, even a representative one, and its voters – as well as, in many cases, Independent and temporary crossover Republican voters – account for the overwhelming number of delegates at the convention.

And, horrors, a convention that actually means something, rather than just a week-long commercial that the networks are breaking into regular programming less and less for anyway – a meeting where our leaders and delegates actual confer and make decisions and some of the compromises that keep us a party, this nation’s “patchwork-quilt majority” coalition, and arguably, that keeps America a nation!  Heaven forbid!  It’s like when the nominations weren’t decided by Week 3 of the primaries, and they were calling it chaos and muddled, just because they were gonna have to work more, or because the fix wasn’t already in – and they turn around and talk about smoke-filled rooms?!!!  “I piped you a tune, but you did not dance; I sang you a dirge, but you did not wail.”  There’s no pleasing some people!

Rolling Stone: FBI-induced Terrorism in the ‘homeland’?

You saw it here a year and a half ago.

God help us.

PS: RS’s writer says the FBI’s alleged behaviour is almost entrapment.  Maybe he knows law better than I do, but it ‘looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and talks like a duck’ as far as I can see….

Speaking of Star Trek

I have a bad feeling about the next movie, now filming in California for a Christmas release, supposedly a prequel about the Original Series crew as somewhat younger.*  (Here’s Wikipedia.)  The best thing about Trek before Enterprise was that it was about moving forward, hope, the future … and fun!  That’s why I think Enterprise died and Deep Space 9 didn’t catch on.  (DS9 was in the same time and space as The Next Generation, and mostly sedentary there around Bajor.  *I* loved it actually, for delving more into the human condition in quirky ways, kind of like TOS did, less like TNG.  But cerebral.  Voyager, of course, was at the other end of the galaxy.)  Also why the Nemesis movie flopped – too dark and brooding, basically a glorified episode rather than ‘a major motion picture.’  DS9, Enterprise, and Nemesis were what you might call Trekkie porn,** and I think mostly only Trekkies – and Winona Ryder fans! – will trip out to Star Trek XI.  I only saw Nemesis once(!), and I’ll be really (pleasantly) surprised if I see this one more than once.  Though I try to see everything once….  Even mediocre Trek is better than Faux News at its best!

Maybe they should’ve stuck with Damon/Affleck.  But I guess “Affleck is no Damon!”

I think the next Trek projects have to go ‘BACK TO THE FUTURE’!  Hey, TOS debuted in 1966 … TNG in 1987 … looks about time for another “generation.”  Remember that the title of TNG didn’t originally refer to the next character generation – it took place nearly a century after TOS – but the next generation of viewers.  Nevertheless, we could probably use another leap of a century or more into the fictional future, and who knows what else to make it appeal broadly.  What about the 29th century, of which we’ve seen tantalizing glimpses???  Or else a freaky ‘concept thing’ across space and time ala 2001: A Space Odyssey?

(*–That’s not easy, because remember Ensign Pavel Chekov was just 22 in TOS, right out of the Academy.  Starfleet JROTC, anybody?!!) 

(**–Spare us the Saturday Night Live jokes! ;)  )

Time/Putin, ‘the rest of the story’

With apologies to Paul Harvey, this commenter on another blog offers useful counterpoint to the Bu’ushist propaganda we’re getting on Russian President Vladimir Putin from Time Magazine and other sources official and (supposedly) unofficial.  Prior commitments delay any analysis I may contribute here myself on Time’s “Person of the Year” edition.

By way of preview (maybe), I don’t wanna channel Samuel Huntington here, but Russia IS different from the Catholic (Latin) and Protestant West, the Rationalized Capitalist West, the earlier-industrialized – and longer-suffering therefrom - West, the Classical Liberal West, etc. … and many Russians like the difference overall!  You know what Russians have always called contiguous land to their west?: EUROPE!  Now, (Western) geologists consider the ethnic heartland of Russia part of the continent of Europe, but Russians have always been conscious of a difference, Westernizing influences of such Western “heroes” as Peter and Catherine “the Great” - equally “Autocrats” with Ivan the Stern (whom the West never fails to call “Terrible”), Nicholas II, and everyone else in-between – notwithstanding.  But seemingly even “neocons” think a little autocracy, pogrom, persecution, purge, repression, national betrayal, apostasy, anti-democracy, etc., in pursuit of Westernization – or at least pro-Americanism – is AOK – just like in newly-Democratic Iraq, newly-Democratic Palestine, newly-Democratic Afghanistan, Democratic Kenya, “Liberalizing” China, the “Republic” of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, formerly-dictatorial Taiwan and South Korea and the Philippines and South Vietnam and Nicaragua and Panama and Argentina and Chile and Brazil and so on and so on and so on.

If there’s no objectivity involved in such allegedly professional analysis, let’s not pretend, but be up-front about our biases, OK?  But then aren’t you playing into the hands of the “post-modernists” who say there’s no objective truth?!!

One thing Russia does have, as they’re reminding us to their chagrin, is Orthodox Christianity, which isn’t afraid of objective truth, unlike their hardline Catholicism and Protestantism and “militant secularism.”  Their own Orthodox heritage, that of the West, generally ended around 1,000 years ago, just as Russia’s began in earnest.  And many of their ancestors hadn’t been Christian long enough to be Orthodox more than a fraction of the time most Russians have been.

I will say this for now: Orthodoxy’s role in a country is no more to stand up for Westernization / Americanism – what they sometimes call Snickerization (Russ. snickerizatsiya, similar to other cultures’ Disneyfication, etc.) – than for anything else other than The Truth, The Faith, The Common Good as they, limited human beings, see it, experientially guided by the All-Holy Spirit of God, One of the Trinity.  And many Russians have had quite enough of Western innovations – the Filioque, Papal supremacy, Uniatism, philosophizing, high-falutin intelligentsia of the West’s left OR right, Marxism, industrial slavery, Communism (aka “militant atheism”), the constant threat of American nuclear annihilation known as the (First) Cold War, Rationalized Capitalism, “militant secularism,” the current Second Cold War(?), etc etc etc.

Maybe I really am starting to become Orthodox, because I read Putin quotes and know what he’s talking about or hinting at, when it’s clear over their heads!  Maybe they should consult Orthodox when covering or analyzing Orthodox countries, cultures, histories, leaders, persons … and The Church itself of course!!!

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