Monday, December 31, 2007

Billary Clinton and Kelsey Clinton: Campaign in Iowa

In Iowa, Hillary Clinton order the "Ole Iowa Breakfast" with eggs, buttered toast, and hash browns. Reporters said she took two bites. Chelsea was a lot more nutrition minded and had the egg-white omelette, clearly showing the pedegree of private high schools and Stanford University. And now, to the roll of drums, we continue our saga:


During our last series episode, we anxiously awaited Billary's appearance on Pablum TV, the highest rated liberal talk show in America. Prior to that interview, Billary was chided by her alter-persona BILL CLINTON (no relation to the former U.S. President) for her indecisiveness. Reacting in anger, BILLARY CLINTON threatens her Spanish maid with termination. Having composed herself, however, she is driven in a black carbon-emitting large-footprint stretch limousine to Pablum TV headquarters in Fort Lee, New Jersey where she appears on the set with PETER PUNDIT and GROTILDA.

PETER PUNDIT (smiling)
So glad you could be with us here today, Billary.

BILLARY CLINTON
Thanks for having me.

GROTILDA
Let me begin by asking you a tough question, Billary....
(pauses for effect)
You have often been criticized for your lack of fashion taste, yet we can see that your hair is freshly combed and your pantsuit is tasteful, though a bit understated....

BILLARY CLINTON (tight-lipped)
That's right....

GROTILDA
I'm sorry, Billary, but I've got to ask you...what are your favorite colors for the outfits you wear on the campaign trail?

Billary raises her eyebrows and smiles, surprised by the question. She waits exactly 2.5 seconds and then begins to laugh heartily.

BILLARY CLINTON
Well...ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.... I've got to admit I'm taken a little back by your question. I'd have to think about that one...ha-ha-ha... And I know that my opponents have refused to answer that very question. Mr. Edwards often wears blue and often says he likes blue but then again he was head of the Trial Lawyers Federation so...
(pausing, leans toward Grotilda)
Well I'll let you in on a little secret about Mr. Biden's favorite colors...he always wears that nauseating red tie...but I've heard from...uh....

OFF SCREEN V.O:

VOICE OF BILL CLINTON
Unnh-uunnh!..Billary!...You didn't hear it from me. Big mistake!...Don't say it! It'll play on an endless loop 24/7 and will put your panties into a bunch...

PETER PUNDIT
Yes, Mrs. Clinton...we are here.

GROTILDA
Yes, Billary...we're listening.

PETER PUNDIT
Can you hear us okay, Mrs. Clinton?

GROTILDA
Is your mike working?

BILLARY CLINTON
Yes, yes...oh, well...we were momentarily disconnected. But now I can hear you fine. We were talking about....

PETER PUNDIT
Mr. Biden's nauseating red ties, I know, but let me interject with one question, this one from a viewer in...
(looks to Grotilda)
The viewer from...

GROTILDA
Wisconsin...The viewer from Wisconsin asks this question: Was it your idea to have Kelsey working the campaign trail with you in Iowa this morning? Or was it...
BILLARY CLINTON
Oh!..Oh!...Poor child. I couldn't stop her. Kelsey, she just glued herself to my side and said "Mom, I want to help." She insisted on Iowa...poor child...our only child, in fact. I'm not a breeder like that Mormon character...he's got a regular dynasty in the making there. Christ, I don't bake cookies, either...I think I already told you that...

GROTILDA
Yes, you did. That was during your husband's...

BILLARY CLINTON
Who?...You mean, Bill? When Bill was President? So what of it?

PETER PUNDIT
We have some clips of Kelsey talking to a group in Iowa.
(looks out off-camera)
Can we roll that clip right now?

DISSOLVE TO:

A meeting hall in Iowa. The room is filled with social workers and retired librarians. There are a few children. Billary is working the crowd, talking, shaking hands. Kelsey is right beside her, a smile frozen in place and her hands on the shoulders of a blonde, ten-year-old girl facing front.

BILLARY CLINTON
George Bush has said that Democrats don't have a foreign policy. Well, I'll tell you about George Bush. George Bush has been a disaster for America. America is no longer loved in the Middle East as it was loved when Bill Clinton was president. America is no longer loved by the North Koreans nor by the Iranians.

KELSEY (muttering)
I can't say anything.
BILLARY CLINTON
When I'm president, I promise I'll restore the love that America had from the governments in Germany, and in Spain, and in Syria, too.

KELSEY
I'm told not to say anything.

BILLARY CLINTON
As for Al Qaeda, I'm going to show them another way, the way of diplomacy. The Bush administration has given Al Qaeda no choice but to fight. George Bush says they want to establish a Caliphate which extends from Kabul to Kokomo. Is that any way to conduct foreign policy?

KELSEY
The Bush girls can talk all they want but I can't talk. The Romney boys can talk all over the place but I can't talk.

BILLARY CLINTON (aside)
Shut up, Kelsey...stop muttering!

KELSEY
Mommy and Daddy told me not to talk, not to say a word.
(sadly)
I can't give you an interview, little girl. Mommy's orders. Daddy's orders. Trippi's orders. Howard Dean's orders.

GROTILDA (gushing)
Well...Kelsey sure does seem to add youth to your campaign. What exuberance!

PETER PUNDIT
My, what a precocious child! And at the tender age of 27....

FADE OUT:

To be continued. Any resemblance to characters living or dead is purely coincidental. The "Bill Clinton" referred to in the current production is not the former "Bill Clinton, President of the United States."

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Billary Clinton Searches Her Soul for Answers to Tough Questions



Scene I

A television anchor team consisting of a man and a woman. The women is pretty. The male anchor is pretty, too.

PETER PUNDIT (smiling)
Good morning. I'm glad you could join us here on Pablum TV.
(turning to female anchor)
And a good morning to you, too, Grotilda. My, you're looking sexy today.
(leering, Peter turns to Grotilda)

GROTILDA (smiling)

GROTILDA faces the camera but she has one arm extended beneath the desk. She appears to be struggling but forces the smile into the camera. PETER'S face is flushed.

GROTILDA (smiling)
Good morning, Peter, and good morning, America. We're glad you could be here with us today. Also with us a little later on will be Billary Clinton, presidential candidate and we'll be discussing the new book "Why America Needs Billary Clinton."

CUT TO:

Billary Clinton sitting in a hall of mirrors. Her reflection is multiplied a thousand times. Interspersed with the visage formerly known as the "first lady" is another male visage who looks oddly enough like the "former president."

BILLARY CLINTON (soliloquizing)
Well, if I say that then somebody will say this. If I say this, somebody will say that. On the other hand, if I say nothing, no one can say anything.
(pausing)
But if I say nothing, my opponents might say something and I'll be screwed...damn it all!
Billary Clinton pats her cheeks tentatively and frowns. A Spanish maidservant rushes up to her from off-camera with a hairbrush and begins brushing Billary's hair. Meanwhile, a sonorous male voice is heard off-screen.



OFF SCREEN V.O:

VOICE OF BILL CLINTON
Dang it, Billary...you're beginning to sound like John Kerry.

BILLARY CLINTON
Ouch!

VOICE OF BILL CLINTON
Why don't you just tell them you have a headache? That's what you always told me.
(chuckles)
I din't mean that, Billary...Shucks, I was joshin' ya' and I just know that sounds slippery as deer-guts on a door-knob.

BILLARY CLINTON
But who am I? Where am I going? Why am I here? And with whom?

SPANISH MAID (entreating)
Can you please sit straight, Senora?

BILLARY CLINTON (suddenly wild with anger)
Sit straight? You mind your manners if you want to get paid! I'll have you sitting straight on a steamship heading back to Argentina.

SPANISH MAID
Oh!...Aieee...Lo siento!..so sorry...
(to be continued)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Battle for Iowa : Caucus Count


The Battle for Iowa falls strangely silent except for John McCain’s even-toned frontal assault on the issue of Benazir Bhutto’s murder. It’s a good time to listen to a presidential candidate, with the crucial moments of world history, yet the Democratic candidates are unable to come up with anything that passes for a leadership statement.

Billary Clinton remarked that Bhutto was her friend and she had lost someone akin to a sorority sister.

Barak Obama was smart enough to issue a canned statement since anything he might say would have the decided ring of irrelevancy. Billary Clinton recently referred to Obama’s “naivete” in a recent barbed statement.

I haven’t been able to find anything about John Edwards’ comments—John Edwards…call me!....

The clearest statement on the Republican side, of course, comes from John McCain. Maybe you’re not voting for McCain (as I am) but let’s admit that we need a president whose experience of foreign affairs hasn’t come from a college textbook (otherwise, I might be president) or from riding the coattails of a president with a failed foreign policy. According to a recent book, it was Billary who made Hill Clinton appoint Madeleine Albright as Secretary of State and Janet Reno as AG. No matter that Madeleine Albright blew the communications so much that Saddam Hussein thought she’d given him the green light to invade Kuwait (precipitating the 1st Gulf War). You didn’t know that? You’ll find corroboration in Newsweek magazine of that era if you really need to know.

Bhutto Assassinated: Cui Bono?

The assassination of Benazir Bhutto has all the markings of a right-wing Islamic fascist attempt to destabilize western leaning governments. Having seen the assassination of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat by right-wing Islamic fascists after he’d signed a peace treaty with Israel, you already know this. Yet, there are elements in the world media who would rather play into the politics of the day than face the facts. This assassination is for you, says Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

The idea that Musharraf might have aided the assassins in any way is patently absurd, and the only people who won’t admit this are outright liars and propagandists. To believe this, you have to believe that Musharraf is about as dumb as a turnip. And you have to be naïve enough to believe that a turnip seed will grow into a Crown Prince. How will the death of the popular opposition leader help Musharaff stay in power? By causing widespread unrest?

Benazir Bhutto was warned away from the area where she was murdered, along with 15 or 20 others. It should come as no surprise that parts of Pakistan, especially the part in the North which is close to the Taliban sanctuaries, cannot be effectively controlled by any military force. Bhutto survived an assassination attempt by suicide bomber on the day she arrived in Pakistan. The Islamo-fascists thrive on the divided factions of the western democracies who are more inclined to shoot at each other than the real enemies of freedom. Do the right thing—don’t play into it.

Friday, December 21, 2007

CNBC Interview with Senator Charles Schumer of New York

The following interview dates from November 27, 2007 and features my reporters Mark Haynes and Erin Burnett who also moonlight on CNBC (first in business). This clip got my attention because, as Joe Schmuck American, I am often baffled by government policy advocates and representatives who seem to contradict themselves, especially in the area of foreign ownership of American assets like banks, ports, investment firms, and stock markets (NASDAQ). Mark Haynes noted the contradiction, too, and he asked Senator Schumer about it. It's the kind of stuff I didn't pay attention to for about two centuries. These two reporters know how to double-team a broken-field runner like Schumer. Watch how's he's checked by Erin Burnett and forced to run into a strong tackle by chubby-cheeked, sarcastic, but jolly Mark Haynes. Click the link below:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=600173497

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Neo-Jesus: Huckabee is Thee

I got a Christmas card from Mike Huckabee. It was on TV. In a seasonal red sweater and with a camera shot passed through a warm filter, Neo-Jesus looked like the kind of guy you could trust to watch your kids while you were out to caucus in Iowa.

With a cross in the background of the campaign ad, the Arkansas governor entreats you to forget all about the nastiness of politics. Don’t get turned off by the process. Focus on warmth and the Christmas season. Iowa next stop, don’t worry about it.

Neo-Jesus saves. Neo-Jesus forgives. As governor of Iowa, he’s issued over a thousand pardons or commuted sentences. It’s in the Bible—remember Barabbas? Barabbas was a burglar. Neo-Jesus goes one step further than Real Jesus and pardons a murderer and a rapist, the papers say. Neo-Jesus is a nice guy. He forgives and spends money. The Morning Joe cast on MSNBC adores him. Democrats adore him because they can beat him down later when it counts.

Neo-Jesus is with me always...

Neo-Jesus: Huckabee is Thee

A Christmas card from presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Election 2008: Billary Leads in New Hampshire

If Billary wins the presidency, it’s going to be very weird. The media will have to separate itself into two separate armies. One media army will cover actual news events while the other will be assigned to the permanent job of sorting out the origins of any ideas which emanate from the Office of the President. Did such and such idea come from Bill? Or was that Hillary? Both will be interrogated in separate interrogation rooms but, engaging the political acumen for which they are both renowned, neither will confess. America will be doomed to a harmonious fictional concordance the real danger of which will be mostly to the American psyche. If the Clintons can stand it, they will not go mad. America may bristle at government by a committee of two but, in the end, they will accept Billary as a single monoorganism capable of expressing both the Yin and the Yang of government. All will be well in America. All will be twice as good as things were before. There will be no need to worry. Billary will be there for you.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Election 2008: Painting Targets on Your Toes

Election Year 2008 is dismal if not completely depressing. The Democratic candidates are adrift in a sea of pacifism and the Republican candidates (with one exception) are busy painting targets on their toes.

That Huckabee guy creeps me out a little bit with his insinuations about Romney’s religion. And Romney creeped me out with that televised speech about how we should look at him no differently than JFK with his Catholicism. I wasn’t, I wouldn’t, I’m not interested in any of that. But the whole thing makes you feel uncomfortable.

I could get along with that Obama guy if he weren’t such a pacifist. I expect his foreign policy would be much like Hillary’s or Chris Dodd’s or Biden’s or Bill Clinton’s. I could suffer just about any one of those Democrats in terms of domestic policy (even Lawyer Edwards) but I positively freak at the things they want me to believe about foreign affairs. If I were an Al Qaeda operative, I’d be putting my money behind one of them for sure. I’d be planning my next move during the Democratic administration, after they’ve stopped the Feds from bugging the phones when I’m contacting my peeps in the U.S. terror cells.

I’d vote for any Republican who supports the war on terror, even if a gay black female Republican was top of the ticket. Actually, a gay, black female Republican who understood foreign policy and understands that we need to fight the phony Islamo-nazis would probably really kick some ass.

Just about every president has faced a military test in the early months of the presidency. What would Hillary do? Asking Bill won’t help much, considering how he played it during his presidency. Edwards will worry about messing up his hair.
Dodd will offer some kind of financial deal.

I have trouble seeing anyone except McCain as a war president. Besides, Senator McCain seems very sensible. He has lots of government experience. Plus there’s the added benefit he’s not a punk. The bastard enemies who want to kill us know that. They’ll think…McCain, hmmmh….

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I Like You But Not After I Get to Know You

Krakovsky muses about a Harvard Business School study of online dating, which found that first impressions are generous and that second looks change considerably -- for the worse. During first impressions, daters usually responded positively because the information they received is ambiguous. Later, when they get to know their mates better, they tended to give lower grades. However, college-age research subjects bucked the trend, mostly saying they'd like someone more after getting to know them. Krakovsky gets to the crux of the research quickly in this bare-bones summary.
in The New York Times Magazine by Marina Krakovsky, 9 December 2007
This abstract was edited by Brijit. Read more here...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Maureen Dowd Plays Dowdy Dorothy in Wizard of Washington

Maureen Dowd wrote an almost-good article about Mitt Romney’s recent speech regarding Mormonism and how it should or shouldn’t figure into the vote for the U.S. president. Not wanting to take the weight of opinion entirely upon herself, she quoted some lines from a conversation she had with John Krakauer , the best-selling author of a book about the Mormon religion called “Under the Banner of Heaven.”

“J.F.K.’s speech was to reassure Americans that he wasn’t a religious fanatic,” she quotes Krakauer. “Mitt’s was to tell evangelical Christians, ‘I’m a religious fanatic just like you.’

The drift of Dowd’s editorial was that Romney wasn’t exactly like the first Catholic president, JFK, who also faced religious disapprobation. That’s true if you interpret the concept as narrowly as she does, but it’s an interesting editorial nonetheless and makes for interesting reading.

The reason Dowd’s article is not entirely good is that all of the Jacks Jump Out of the Boxes when she attacks Republicans by declaring:

The world is globalizing, nuclear weapons are proliferating, the Middle East is seething, but Republicans are still arguing the Scopes trial.”

Correct me if I’m wrong but aren’t Democrats (with the notable exception of Joe Lieberman) embarked on a campaign of appeasement, acquiescence, and surrender on nuclear weapons and the Middle East? As to why “globalizing” is a demon which must be addressed, I’m completely puzzled by her inclusion of that concept in the same breath and sentence as nuclear weapons. Doesn’t a rising tide lift most, if not all, boats? Maybe Maureen’s the Dowdy Dorothy from the Backward Province she mentions in the first line of her partisan attack.

As for the Scopes trial illusion, I would say that arguing about Surrender Monkeys is not the same thing as arguing about evolution.

Someone should tell her.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/09/opinion/09dowd.html?em&ex=1197435600&en=cdb5632d6325115b&ei=5087%0A

Is Voting for President Anything Like On-Line Dating?

I was reading about a study conducted regarding on-line dating attitudes. Endemic to the research conducted by Michael I. Norton of the Harvard Business School is the conclusion that first impressions are generous and that second looks change considerably--for the worse. The research indicates that, during first impressions, we tend to respond positively because the information we receive is ambiguous. Later, when we experience the person, we tend to give them lower grades. No matter what, though, college age research subjects are optimistic about future prospects. We’re always hoping that our new acquaintances will turn out to be just like memory of that close friend we met a long time ago and with whom we are still friendly. Think about that when you’re voting for president.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

"Pound Puppy" Robert Hawkins Kills Eight



Duh on me! I just learned that mall security in Nebraska is unarmed. Or perhaps it was just that particular mall where a “pound puppy” of a teenager killed eight people with a rifle he took from his father’s house.

No doubt the kid was a lost soul but it sounds as if there are other lost souls involved in the incident. A New York Times story has it that Robert Hawkins got the rifle from his dad’s house. Another story had it that he got the rifle from his step-dad’s house. There’s not much difference there, certainly, but the fact is that Hawkins had been kicked out of the family home and had been living at the home of a friend.

According to the New York Times story, Hawkins told the people he was living with that he’d got the rifle to go target shooting. Apparently, this didn’t raise any red flags with anyone, nor were there any behavioral alerts which might have alarmed anyone. Of course, there was the last minute phone call, some cryptic notes, and a forlorn sort of apology to Mrs. Kovacs, the householder where Hawkins was living. No red flags there, either. We’re all just grooving along, minding our own business.

That’s the trouble with the way we do things these days. It’s another form of post-traumatic-stress-disorder only this form of it afflicts the media, parents, educational institutions, and society in general. We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings so we gild the lily.

The “pound puppy” murdered eight people. Can we assume Hawkins hurt their feelings as well? Hawkins’ parents probably had to kick him out but then, knowing their progeny was such a piece of work, why didn’t they lock up the family arsenal? It is implied, but never stated, that Mrs. Kovacs knew that Hawkins brought the rifle to her house. So you have a kid whom she knows is troubled bringing an AR-15 into her house and you do nothing about it? The cryptic phone call and goofy notes certainly must have given everyone a clue but, never mind, let’s make nice.

Contrast this to another mall shooting earlier this year where five people were killed in February. In that one, mall security was unarmed, too, but not an armed off-duty cop in civilian clothes who engaged the killer in a gunfight which kept the body count from mounting even higher. In that mall shooting, eighteen year-old Sulejman Talovic was said to have “no motive” though some reports say that the Bosnian refugee acted out of “Sudden Jihad Syndrome” inasmuch as he is said to have chanted a Muslim phrase while he was shooting people.

The point is not that Talovic was a Muslim but that the environment in which we currently live is such that we must always be spoon-fed a great deal of euphemistic Pablum. No problems are ever addressed by not speaking plainly. On the contrary, the lack of truth-telling in the media and elsewhere means we have a smile on our face while we have bad faith in our minds and hearts.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Supreme Court and The Supreme Clown Protest



Inexplicably, the Supreme Court is now listening to arguments that it had previously ruled out with regard to closing Guantanamo. It’s a brilliant idea, so brilliant that protesters outside the Court wore hoods over their heads so that they could remind us of the Salafist propensity for anonymous head-chopping. Apparently, two of these creeps in their orange suits have copied the Vietnam-era insignia for heroes missing in action. C’mon, take off your masks so that your mommies can see you. Or are you afraid you’ll have your weekly allowance cut back?

There’s a cop in the background. I wonder what he’s thinking. Give him my best wishes for exercising self-restraint. Maybe the protestors should be dropped off at Al-Qaeda headquarters with Teddy Bears named Mohammed.

The photo is from the Washington Post. Photo credit is to the New York Times.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Gillian's Island: A Sudanese Prison

British schoolteacher Gillian Gibbons is back in the U.K with some kind words to say about the Sudanese. I suppose the diplomacy will be appreciated by the government of a country where extremists try to exterminate people of more diverse beliefs. The real tragedy of Gibbons plight is that it’s not exactly helpful to improving conditions in the beleaguered countries of the Third World. Idealists like Gillian Gibbons will have think twice before going to parts of the world where their abilities and compassion are sorely needed. Imprisoning Gillian and threatening to chop off her head doesn’t help Sudanese school children.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Erin Burnett

Morning News Blitz

Morning News Blitz: Top Headline




New York’s mayor Bloomberg meeting with Barak Obama this morning. One of the tv’s talking heads was fueling speculation that Obama and Bloomberg might be hooking up some sort of political plan but she must have been desperate for ratings. More likely, Barak’s trying to get ahead with New York’s largely Democratic voters. The Clinton’s, of course, have established a fortress in New York—there’s Bill’s digs in the fashionable part of Harlem and of course Hillary is everywhere in NY. Barak’s behind Hillary in support, even among black voters. Hillary’s taking haircuts to a new level with her campaign plan to reach black voters in minority hair salons. It’s not a bad idea.

ABC was carrying the story about Amanda Knox, the American college student living in Italy who is accused of murder. Bizarre doesn’t begin to describe what happened to the young British victim. She had her throat slit after refusing to participate in group perversion activities. Yes, that’s a euphemism. The whole thing makes me too sick and I don’t want to lose my breakfast. There was nothing new about the ABC “news”—they focused this a.m.’s story on Amanda’s rough jail accommodations.

Sometimes those three on the Morning Joe are hitting things pretty well. Willie Geist and Joe Scarborough were burning up the track in the low key sort of way they have decided is “cool.” What really is “cool” about MSNBC is that they have Erin Burnett who makes cameo appearances and makes a lot of hearts beat. I couldn’t describe exactly why Erin Burnett is such a boy magnet but check her out. The voice, the tone, the facial expressions, the modest but slightly suggestive couture, coupled with a sublime intelligence…ah, my heart !…I need to get back to business….



Among the things the Morning Joes were talking about were Rudolph Giuliani’s long ago peccadilloes and fast play with the NYC budget. It wasn’t illegal stuff, I don’t think, but it was a little screwy. Apparently Rudy would get his bank accounts mixed up when he’d zip up to Long Island to visit his main squeeze, currently his wife. He billed the trips to the city budget and then the police budget would replenish the city fund. No doubt, there was a little “duck and cover” in Rudy’s actions but fast play in NYC is the rule. So if Rudy was playing a mayor’s version of three-card monte with the media, people should keep their eyes on everybody over there: Rudy, Hillary, Bill, Reverend Al….everybody! And while we’re doing that, a whole lot other crap will be going on there by people whose names we don’t know. The Post does a great job and so does the NY Daily News, but you can’t cover corruption in the NYC metropolitan area enough, and that includes NJ. And the Eastern part of Pennsylvania.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

CNN Blows the Big One


At a time when voters need to hear the candidates, a lot of attention is instead focused on a Hillary implant into the Republican presidential debate process. CNN, sometimes referred to as the Clinton News Network, failed to properly screen members of the audience when it permitted a gay retired military general who worked for the Clinton campaign to draw the candidates toward a discussion on Gay and Lesbian rights. There was nothing wrong with questioning the candidates about Gay & Lesbian rights, of course, but the gay reserve brigadier general in question, Keith Kerr, is on the gay and lesbian steering committee for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Acknowledging that our gay brothers and sisters have made a large contribution to our society in a variety of ways, I think the retired general’s work for the Hillary campaign should have been up-front, especially when they were tipped off to the Mr. Kerr’s political affiliations beforehand.

You wonder what kind of low-jinks the Hillary Network CNN will try to pull off next. Maybe James Carville disguised as a gay Santa Claus will team up with Anderson Cooper to kick off the next CNN debate.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Bernard Lewis Commentary in the Wall Street Journal

Bernard Lewis Pops the Question

One of my least favorite people in all the universe is Iran's Ahmadinajad. A true-to-form Nazi copy, Iran's president felt compelled to negatively comment on the Annapolis Mideast Peace Conference--to no one's surprise. He's a complete idiot. No one expects any conventional progress on the issues, whatever they are. The real accomplishment is that Syria attended along with the other Arab states. Which brings me to one of my favorite people, professor emeritus of Princeton University, the aged sage, Bernard Lewis. Lewis had a short piece in the Wall Street Journal the other day. You should read the entire article; I'll put in the link at the end. Lewis' greatest contribution to Middle Eastern difficulties is his clarity of thought. Here's a the nutshell view:



Herewith some thoughts about tomorrow's Annapolis peace conference, and the larger problem of how to approach the Israel-Palestine conflict. The first question (one might think it is obvious but apparently not) is, "What is the conflict about?" There are basically two possibilities: that it is about the size of Israel, or about its existence.

If the issue is about the size of Israel, then we have a straightforward border problem, like Alsace-Lorraine or Texas. That is to say, not easy, but possible to solve in the long run, and to live with in the meantime.

If, on the other hand, the issue is the existence of Israel, then clearly it is insoluble by negotiation. There is no compromise position between existing and not existing, and no conceivable government of Israel is going to negotiate on whether that country should or should not exist.



And now you must go on to read the entire article. It is short but here is an area where greater mind's than pea-brain Ahmadinajad must prevail.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hillary Stalls: Zogby Polls Indicate ABH (Anybody But Hillary)


Democrats have a problem. The latest Zogby poll shows that Hillary Clinton falls behind every single one of the Republican candidates by significant margins.

http://www.zogby.com/Soundbites/ReadClips.dbm?ID=16107

Worse, the polls show that Barak Obama is the candidate who would defeat Republican Party frontrunners. It’s not only Barak who runs first in the latest polls against Republicans; John Edwards’ numbers show that he would also defeat the Republican candidates.

So don’t shoot the messenger. It’s not my fault that a fanatical group of Democrats runs the party as a closely held cabal which ostracizes maverick social Democrats like Joe Lieberman. I said long ago that Hillary was ordained, anointed, chosen by the divine right of queens to be the candidate. Terry McAuliffe is reported to have wet the bed at hearing the news of the latest Zogby polls. Now the problem is this:

1) How to foist candidate Hillary upon naïve democrats who believe that their opinions matter to Democrat cabalists in New York.

2) How to get Barak and John Edwards to lie down and acquiesce to the party’s pre-ordained Hillary-choice for “the good of the nation”.
Democrats have a problem. The latest Zogby poll shows that Hillary Clinton falls behind every single one of the Republican candidates by significant margins.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Blackboard Jungle

Attempting to make contact with a sense of humor, I've obtained permission from the editor to repeat a joke which was sent to me. You've probably heard it before in some version or other:

A grade school teacher in upstate New York asked her class how many of them were 'Hillary fans'. All the kids raised their hands except one boy named Johnny. The teacher asked Johnny why he decided to be different.

Johnny: 'I'm not a Hillary fan.'

Teacher: 'Why aren't you a Hillary fan?'

Johnny: 'I'm a George Bush fan.'

Teacher: Can you tell the class why you are a George Bush fan?

Johnny: 'Well, my mom's a George Bush fan and my dad's a GeorgeBush fan, so I'm a George Bush fan!'

Teacher (sardonically) : 'If your mom was a moron and your dad was an idiot ,what would that make you?'

Johnny: That would make me a Hillary fan.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Taking a Leak and Turning It into a Flood

Our era is a bit confused and journalists often see themselves as representatives of countries without borders. Naturally, I appreciated reading a story in The Weekly Standard (Oct 22 2007) by Gabriel Schoenfeld. Coming out of congressional committees are versions of a journalist's "shield law" which might be more properly called "license to betray" legislation. The "free press" is afflicted by group-think and is not so free at all as they jump off journalistic cliffs with the enthusiasm of lemmings.

You ought to read the story yourself but the jist of it is that:

a) Bureaucrats in Washington illegally leak stories to the press to further their own agendas.

b) In their hunger for journalistic fame, reporters are only too anxious to rush such stories into print no matter who gets whacked.

c) Foreign intelligence services and terrorist enemies would wrap themselves in the cloak of a journalistic shield law to "turn" disloyal Americans into collectors of information for adverse interests.

Is there anything so dumb as that. If you're finding this writing too blunt and perhaps simple, read the article yourself to discern the subtle distinctions.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/014/229mqmdz.asp

Monday, November 19, 2007

George Will Gets a Star in his Bonnet

Media watching me enjoyed the view in The Washington Post 'Outlook' section. George Will's column is worth reading. It's called Setting the Bar for Corruption .


The column begins with an unkind cut at John Edwards’ “slight public career” and pillories indicted law firm Milberg-Weiss, a “racketeering enterprise” accused of bribery, perjury, and fraud. This sardonic and biting piece details a scam wherein corrupt lawyers pay phony plaintiffs to file class-action lawsuits against companies whose stocks have lost value. The companies are forced to “settle”, avoiding costly legal battles. Guilty pleas and jail sentences await Milberg-Weis attorneys like Bill Zerach who contributed $100,000 to the Clinton Library and raised money for Edwards bid. “Democrats were rewarded for their devotion to trial lawyers,” Will writes, “when Clinton vetoed legislation that would have restricted class-action lawsuits.”

For perspicacious reporting of an unusually high standard, Will gets a star in his bonnet from me.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Bunker Hillary

I was drawn to a story in New Republic. The title is eponymous and the subtitle equally blunt. Michael Crowley describes how Clinton campaigners have interposed an aggressive strategy for deflecting negative press. Crowley details accounts of bruised reporters who get in the way of the Hillary press express, led by fuzzy attack dog Howard Wolfson. Crowley tells how Senator Clinton’s publicity team joins the battle, refusing access to some reporters, punishing others by rapid backspin and complaints to editors. This acrid account comes from a publication having a center-left orientation, making it all the more interesting. If what Crowley says is true, the Clintonites threaten, the press collaborates.



http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=6e01fdce-ad97-4dab-a07d-bf98dc52f681

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

CNN means the Clinton News Network?

"How do we beat the bitch?" asked a female South Carolina voter of John McCain at a campaign event.

That sally into the unexpected gave the Clinton News Network incentive to dutifully step up its attacks on John McCain, a man of unquestionable honesty and integrity. McCain recovered from laughter and embarrassment sufficiently to announce his respect for Hillary but it's really not his job to carry water for the Democrat's presidential bid. If CNN wants so much to pander and patronize Hillary Clinton, they should leave McCain out of it. The way the played the incident, CNN reporters sounded like a bunch of defiant bed-wetters, peeing their pants in their petulance.

Here's the clip. Take a look. It's kind of funny. If you haven't heard one woman calling another woman a bitch ever in your life, you're living in an ivory tower. I wouldn't use the word to describe Clinton. John McCain wouldn't use the word to describe Clinton. The point is not whether Hillary Clinton is a bitch. The real issue is why CNN is acting like such a bitch....


Tipped Toward Recession?

James C. Cooper's article in Business Week caught my eye as the stock market dips, rallies, and dips again. It's only the brave who can weather the current volatility on Wall Street. For the rest of us, it's just an interesting academic game. Hell, the business economy affects us in invisible ways, doesn't it?

Whereas you don't have to have graduated from the Wharton School of Business to know what the Dollar Dive means. Means you can't buy nuttin'.


Cooper reads the economic indicators and concludes that the scales have tipped toward recession; the view is contrary to the Federal Reserve's view that risks to the economy are balanced. Cooper implies the Fed may shift its stance on December 11, basing his forecast on labor-market trends and rising oil prices. He points to job growth continuing, but at a slower pace than the rise in unemployment claims; other downdrafts on the economy include tighter credit markets and the prospect of oil at $100 a barrel. Cooper's is a sobering outlook, and a convincing one.
in BusinessWeek by James C. Cooper, 19 November 2007
Read more here...

Friday, November 9, 2007

Legislative "Stagflation" is Embarrassment to Democratic Congress

Pay-as-you-go legislation was the rallying cry of the new Democratic congress but the legislation, designed to shrink budget deficits, hamstrings the congress. Fiscal discipline ala pay-go has prevented the passage of renewal energy bills and jeopardized Democratic Party legislative priorities. Lawmakers of both parties face a Sophie’s choice: spending cuts or tax increases. A third choice seems to be winning: doing nothing. Legislative “stagflation” has prompted angry outbursts in Congress. An encapsulated story in the Wall Street Journal tells it all with some deft flourishes. Stalled legislation includes SCHIP, AMT, and higher payments to Medicare doctors. The story's called : Fiscal Responsibility Proves Costly. You can check it out online for free (I think).

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Lions for Lambs, Goddam!



Top Gun Tom Cruise is now a producer and has a starring role in the breast-beating liberal piety called "Lions for Lambs."



One film I can’t wait to miss for reasons of predictability is Lions for Lambs, starring the great Meryl Streep, Tom Cruise, and Robert Redford. If the New Yorker Magazine can say about this film that it “winces with liberal self-chastisement”, then you’d better believe it. Anthony Lane is the reviewer, and no one’s ever accused him of being a Republican Party shill.

You’ve got every liberal ingredient imaginable: a ranting anti-war former college professor of two young men caught on a hillside in Afghanistan as the Taliban attacks. You’ve got wide-eyed liberal reporters (played by Streep) being afflicted with guilty liberal self-aggrandizement. And you’ve got the screw-up pal from college who does “yeah, whatever”….

Tom Cruise plays a warmongering congressmen and that’s the single person whom Lane compliments for a searing performance in the role.

Incidentally, Lane does a nice review of “No Country for Old Men”, based on the Cormac MacCarthy novel of the same name. Gee, maybe I’ll subscribe to the New Yorker for a change.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Giuliani Trips on Firm's Secrecy

The entanglements of running a private sector legal firm may trip up Rudy Giuliani. Republican candidate for presidents who bill themselves as “anti-terror” foes can expect questions about their legal representation of the Qatar government. Qatar has had a checkerboard relationship with U.S. Qatar is ambivalent in its cooperation with U.S. anti-terror initiatives. Neither Giuliani nor his law firm is answering questions about Giuliani Partners’ arrangement with state-run Qatar Petroleum. Watchdogs groups worry about influence-peddling from former business clients. The WSJ pinned down Chase Untermeyer and asked him about the Giuliani firm’s involvement in “important contracts” in Qatar. All that’s in the Wall Street Journal today.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Mount Airy Casino: A Pocono Gamble




At the risk of shameless self-promotion, I mention that I write occasionally for other internet websites. Here's a story I wrote recently about the new Mount Airy Casino. Click on the headline (Mount Airy Casino: A Pocono Gamble), why don't you? Thanks. Feel free to comment on the Associated Content site. Or on here if you like.

Waiting for a Slow Train: The Poconos Today

There’s an old David Mamet play called “Things Change.” Nowhere have things changed so much as in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Bucolic, serene, gentle on the eye and sparsely populated has given way to population growth, traffic, long commutes and the attendant problems. The New Poconos is characterized by rising crime, larger police departments, high real estate taxes due to overburdened schools, and a rudeness and lack of civility which would have been unthinkable thirty years ago.

The forces of economics and human nature which have catalyzed this change are a story in themselves but let’s cut to the chase. It is estimated that about twenty to thirty thousand people commute by car or bus every day to New York City or to the nearby metropolitan communities in New Jersey.

The Poconos long ago had excellent train service to Hoboken, NJ and from there it was easy to take a ferry or other transport to NYC. The trains went bust in the sixties, but now the stopped trains have been recognized as a misstep and several groups are pushing hard for renewed train service. That’s so far been a matter of putting your shoulders to the Rock of Gibralter bureaucracy and pushing hard against the immoveable object: federal and state bureaucracy. It’s also touched off some conflict between different factions, including some who oppose the resurgence of public transportation in the form of trains. Here’s a sampling of public opinions in regard to train service from the local newspaper, the Pocono Record:

Guess Who posted: Everyone's' learned to play the "game" and now everything's caught up in unprecedented layers of inefficient bureaucracy. It's hard anymore to tell the forest from the trees. Or the pork-barrel projects from the ones that really ought to be done. Harry Reid doesn't have any trouble building a pork-barrel road through the desert so that his real estate properties can have access to the casinos, but over here where we have thousands of people who have to get to NY and NJ for work, it will take about 20 years to do what simply needs to be done. As sniper says, gas prices will go to $4.00 per gal but I'd have no trouble believing you're looking at $5.00 per gallon gas a year from now. Outside the U.S., people have been paying those high petrol prices for years. There's no hope in the bio-fuels direction, either, since ethanol producers are competing with cereal producers.

This from a poster named “cabin”: Rip up 80 and 33 and put high speed trains in the right of way. The highway right of ways were designed for higher speeds then the rails.

And this from “Reyered”: If we ever get a train it will be no good the bad guys from Bloombergs ville will come up to sell there drugs and steal our cars for the trip back to the city to sell them and get ready for there next trip up on the train.The train will cost to much and be to slow so if it was any good the slot and turnpike sellers would be pushing it.

Not to leave out OICDB: Well at least you commuters will have an option other than driving your gas guzzelling SUV's 100 miles to work everyday. If you weren't squandering fuel maybe our kids wouldn't be over there dying.

Or Wazup: Has anybody factored-in that global warming will cause the east coast (incoluding Hoboken) to be under water within 20 years? I for one do not want to fund a train to nowhere.


So there you have it…in a nutshell, so to speak. With the emphasis, of course, on “nutshell.”

Friday, November 2, 2007

Economics: The Silent Killer

Some of the most entertaining television these days has been coming from the business sector. Having ignored economics for so many years, I slowly began to realize how much it affects us in our daily lives. Make fun of me if you need to, but that's how it is for many people who come from a state of what some erudite writers have called "chill penury." There's little sense in studying what your belly tells you. So the thinking goes...

But now things are much better for us in this great country of ours, and I'm having to play catch-up ball with the rest of world. So I'm fascinated by the DJIA which went over the 14,000 mark a few months ago, dipped, bounced, dipped, and then was buoyed up by a half-percent cut in the federal rate, followed by another quarter point cut just two days ago. Yesterday, there was a fast and sudden drop which triggered a tradiing halt on Wall Street.

The Wall Street Journal broke it down pretty well and I'll paraphrase:

* The down pressure on Wall Street was caused by worries about the credit markets. With so many investment vehicles bundled from mortgages and other credit financing, the effect of irresponsible loans in the credit markets was widespread.

* Having seen the credit markets buoyed up by the half-percent cut, the Wall Street money-lenders expected further support from the Fed. One WSJ writer said that the expectation of another quarter point cut was so great that Fed Chairman Bernanke was locked into it. Otherwise, the thinking goes, the sky would fall. That writer commented to the effect that the Fed had to give in to Wall Street's "tantrum" in order to prevent larger and more violent tantrums later.


Overall, the big picture is fuzzy to me as it is to everyone else. The third quarter growth is up in the U.S, counter to the last quarter point cut. Global growth remains strong. Bernanke told the world that inflation and growth were in balance. Bulk oil prices are heading toward the one hundred dollar mark. Consumer spending has been reasonably strong. Many think that these factors will cause the economy to veer away from the big "R" that some bear market types see tatooed into the ghost of the economy. Others think that high oil prices and geopolitical instability (that's what they call it, honest!) will put a dent into consumer spending in the fourth quarter. A sharp decline in consumer spending followed by an well-timed terror threat (or actuality) could cause serious havoc and have a large impact on the impending presidential elections.

What I really think is that people should start paying more attention to economics. The poor as well as the middle class. The deeper the understanding one has of the forces influencing one's life, the less likely it will be for us to be enslaved by the machinations of demigods.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Something to Cheer About

I'm full of joy today that a judge awarded an $11 million settlement to the parents of a marine who was killed in Iraq. The organization which must pay calls itself a church but it must be the Church of the Poisoned Mind. They're the characters who show up at military funerals to harrass and taunt the grieving relatives. Long live that judge.

It's important for families which have sacrificed so much to know that there is a remedy in law for dealing with such morons. The legal judgement won't compensate for the loss of a son in the cause of freedom but it may be some small comfort to know that American law won't tolerate the psychological torture of those who have given so much.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Moeursalen Rails Against Big Cliche: The Democratic Debate



I watched part of the Democratic forum last night on MSNBC. As many of you know, I’m virtually clueless when it comes to the politics of the presidential primaries, but I was an English Major and I have stayed at a Holiday Inn.

Both those things, of course, qualify me to render this commentary on the use of cliché. The first thing an English Major is taught is to avoid the cliché in writing and in oratory.

“Walk through the world of the cliché as you would a minefield,” said my 8th grade English teacher.

So I noticed that many of the Democratic candidates must have taken electives (in social activism?) in lieu of English. And the unfortunate thing is that all these viral clichés are now spreading through the universe of media.

CNN reports one of John Edwards’ clichés:

“The American people ... deserve a president of the United States that they know will tell them the truth…blah, blah, blah….etc. “

We’ve heard that one before. God, I hope he’s not serious though. Telling the American people the truth is likely to cause mass hysteria.

Hand it to Hillary, though. She knows the power of the cliché. I don’t know how many times she used the now time-worn and dusty phrase “George Bush and his failed policies.” Taking the advice of her handlers, she repeatedly bludgeoned the high notes in a broad attempt at spiritual communion with the nutty Bush haters.

That roly poly and jolly guy from New Mexico, Richardson? He knows how to turn a phrase, excoriating the other candidates for their “holier than thou” attitudes in daring to criticize Hillary C. Wow, exhilarating. Philologists are still dazzled by the subtle irony of the governor’s verbal flourishes.

That horrid little dwarf, Kucinich, was not to be outdone in reciting his litany against “Big Health, Big Oil, Big Banking, Big Legal, Big Polluter, Big Everything” but you’ve got to hand it to him. There was nothing cliched in his thrilling narrative of chilling at Shirley MacClaine’s house and watching Big Flying Saucers hover in the sky. Where does Shirley MacClaine live anyway? Was that in Big Hollywood?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Million Dollar Woodstock Memorial Project Okayed By Hillary Clinton




I guess I would still be a Democrat if the party I had supported for many years would have made Joe Lieberman their candidate for president. However, the fuzzy drift that was occurring in the Dem Party was not what I signed on for.

Yeah, now I'm registered Republican and supporting John McCain for President. McCain's tough. You've got to be tough to be president. Every president since I've been alive has been challenged in the first months of their term. Who's going to answer the call? Who's going to talk tough, fold the cards, and then spoon-feed you pablum? Some of the dinosaurs on the Democratic side are showing signs of soft-headedness. They're hoping that the millions of baby-boomers set to retire just next year will wax nostalgic about their lost youth and vote for a "return to Woodstock..wooohooo!" Cut us a break, Hillary...we're not ready for Pampers-Gate, not just yet. We don't need to spend a million dollars of tax money for a monument to a music concert a couple of million people couldn't go to because they were in the Army or the other military services.

Besides, John McCain's funny as hell. I got a big kick out of his response to Hillary's support of the Woodstock monument. McCain didn't make it to Woodstock.

"I was tied up at the time," said the presidential candidate wryly.

Tied up in the Hanoi Hilton, the notorious North Viet communist prison camp. Tortured.

McCain's his own man. He likes the things I like: Boxing. Serving his country. America. He's always been inclined to go his own way. As a tortured prisoner of war, he's vocal about decent treatment of prisoners. He's even inclined to poke fun at President Bush when the conditions warrant it. He recently jabbed at the President for the Bush comments about "looking into Putin's eyes and into his soul."

"I looked into Putin's eyes, too," he says, "and I saw three letters: K - G - B."

If McCain's service to America isn't enough for y'all, you ought to donate him some money just so he can keep those wry remarks coming on an otherwise dull campaign trail. Get on over to johnmccain.com and help yourself and America out.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bank Smelli and the Russian-Iran Pact


Melli Bank in London: Proudly Supporting Terrorists Since 1967

What’s up with Comrade Putin? Yesterday, when the U.S. announced new sanctions against Iranian banks, companies, officials and agencies, Putin mounts the dais in some kind of hyperbolic diatribe to attack the U.S. for “running around like a madman with a razor blade, waving it around” and saying the new sanctions are “not the best way to resolve the situation."

Putin ought to have a shot at the Jerry Springer show in reaching for that metaphor. Since when is applying financial pressure akin to “running around like a madman with a razor blade…” ? Apparently, he’s worried about an interruption off trade and weapons deals with the Iranian Nazi Party and its Revolutionary Guards and Quds Subsidiaries.

You’ve got to get a big kick out of the Iranian denials of active support of terrorism and the killing of U.S. troops. A recent ABC Frontline special featured an interview with an Iranian propaganda flak. When questioned about Iran’s pernicious and murderous meddling, the guy just clams up and tells the interviewer that the question wasn’t in the agreed upon script. A highly indignant little prig, too. Of course, they can afford to be smug, having no queers in Iran as Ahmadinajad said during his U.N visit. I suppose that’s why the Iranian government is so stupid, dull, and Soviet looking. If they’d let personal freedom ring in Iran, perhaps some persecuted people would emerge to lend some creativity to governance. Of course, they’d have to begin worshiping life instead of death.

Another fine result would be if Comrade Putin and his FSB/KGB cronies were to take his money out of Bank Smelli.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Wall Street: Which Way are the Bulls Running?


The big news over the last week has been Wall Street and the World Markets. Investors who enjoy roller coasters have gotten lots of thrills lately as the investor market dropped in July, rebounded in August, and now is heading once again for the tank.

Self-annointed predictive geniuses have been talking up how America’s influence in world markets has diminished. Well, yeah!... I guess it’s that diminished influence which pulled down stock markets around the world from London’s FTSE to Tokyo’s Nekkei.

The big difference between the July drop and last Friday’s close was that the July drop was mostly blamed on the credit mortgage meltdown, slow housing starts, and defaulted home loans. Friday’s drop of 366 Dow points was indicative of a deeper worry, that the economy is slipping toward more permanent status in the form of recession. For the week, the Dow was down about 500 points. The air is full of dire predictions and people are worried.

As of this moment, the Dow’s down another 100 points and investors are on the sideline, withholding actions until they’re more certain of the direction.

Fox News picked a great time to launch their new business network. I guess Roger Ailes must be a fortunetelling genius of JIT, or “just-in-time” production. That’s a corny joke, I’m sure, but the Fox network financial news is aimed at a market that CNBC Squawk and the Bloomberg channels often ignore. Bloomberg and CNBC Financial are aimed at a small but wealthy demographic whereas the common people (me, for example) need to learn about what they can do protect themselves in a fast-changing world economy.

Fox has some financial mainstays like Neil Cavuto and Charles Payne. But while it has a bevy of unknown but entirely competent (and sometimes pretty) heads, it does not have Street Sweetie Erin Burnett or Money Honey Maria Bartiromo. Not yet, at least, but you can expect some engaging and comely woman of finance to emerge foremost from the pack.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

West Memphis Three: The Documentary




I just watched an old documentary film called “Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills.”

The liner notes for the DVD call it a “gripping documentary...of the West Memphis Three, a trio of boys arrested for the murders of three children…” The documentary was produced by HBO films and directed by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky. It won a few awards and appeared on several top ten lists for 1996 when it was released.

It wasn’t so much gruesome as it was macabre. The version we saw had the look of home video. The gruesome opening sequence looks like a mini-Auschwitz with the three pre-teen boys strewn nude upon the banks of a shallow creek in Arkansas. One of the boys was sexually mutilated.

Most everyone interviewed in the documentary is from Arkansas. The victim’s families are ostensibly poor and marginally educated; so are the families of the arrested trio. Absent any other scapegoats, the viewer is presented with two choices. Blame it on the “crackers” or blame it on the “Goths.” The police blamed it on the Goths and all three of the alleged murderers are in prison, with Damien Echols sentenced to die.

Newspaper accounts and locals described Echols as an outsider type of individual accoutered in black trench coat, with black, chopped hair which he repeatedly combed on camera. One of his alleged accomplices is a bona fide borderline dysfunctional personality named Jessie Miskelly.

The third person imprisoned for the child murders is Jason Baldwin. Jason Baldwin is striking for his lack of personality. He smiles from a void. I suppose it’s a good thing that the documentary fumbles around a great deal in developing a point of view that begins with a belief in the arrested trio’s guilt and than tails off into a seeming belief that the convicts are innocent.

One fact that stands out in favor of the accused and convicted is that the case against them is entirely circumstantial. No blood evidence, no DNA, no eyewitnesses except the retracted statement of Jesse Misskelly who says his confession was coerced after a 12 hour endurance interrogation. It is that lack of evidence more than anything else that argues for a new trial.

The convicted youths are themselves were not of the type who would gain your sympathy. On many occasions afforded the filmmakers, Miskelly revealed himself to be stupid and vulgar, consistent with his IQ which is on the short side of room temperature. A videotaped film sequence of a conversation with his former girlfriend reveals his idiotic and somewhat perverse sense of sexuality. Miskelly was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.


Jason Baldwin and Damien Echols were tried together. The prosecution mustered three witnesses who heard one of the suspects brag he’d participated in the killing of the three elementary school children. Two of the witnesses were teenage girls supposedly unassociated with any of the principals. The third witness who testified against the alleged (and now convicted) murderers was a young man who had been incarcerated with one of the murder suspects.

The three men arrested for the murder of the three second-graders are still in jail. Defense funds have been established and celebrity concerts have been held to raise money to pay defense lawyers conducting the appeals. The case is widely known and continues to attract attention with videos on YouTube and concerts by Metallica, one of the favorites bands of the WM3, as they’re known. A website devoted to the defense has been visited nearly five million times.

Other recent and wrenching developments have taken place in the fifteen years the trio has been imprisoned. The families of two of the victims were never models of family values and cohesion in spite of the bible-thumping antics of some of the principal characters this documentary drama. Step-fathers have acknowledged beating their kids with leather belts for in-school misdemeanors.

“I spanked him three times with my belt with his pants up,” recalls the stepfather of one victim.

The remark is particularly notable because the marks were apparently still on the buttocks when the bodies were pulled from the shallow creek. Another disturbing recent development is that DNA from another step-father, Terry Hobbs, was found on one of the bindings that was used to restrain a murder victim. Mr. Hobbs confirmed in July of 2007 that he had again been interviewed by the police. Indeed, there is scant evidence of Mr. Hobbs whereabouts on the evening of the murders, and Mr. Hobbs estranged wife, Pamela Hobbs, suspects her former husband.

Suspicions and leads to other directions do not in themselves exonerate the three men who are in prison for the murders. It may well be that the three are guilty. But when a man is sentenced to die for committing a murder, and the circumstances of the investigation and the evidence are so questionable as they stand in this case, it would be reasonable and serve justice better to have a new trial for the three defendants.

This is especially important since the West Memphis police department so badly bungled the crime scene and subsequent investigation.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Battle of Algiers: A 1966 film worth watching

The Algerian National Flag



From Netflix, I rented “The Battle of Algiers” exactly a month ago. I hadn’t had the chance to see it until last night, however, and almost returned the film without watching it. At long last, I found someone who didn’t mind watching a political film and so I finally watched this much recommended classic.

Circa 1956, the French must have been having hard time. They’d just had their butts kicked at Dien Bien Phu and their Indo-China venture was doomed. Now they were facing a growing uprising in yet another French colony, this one in Algeria. Pan-Arab nationalism had been ignited and wouldn’t stop until Algerian Independence in 1962. All of this occurring not too long after a Vichy government and the ravages of WWII.

In the crowded streets of Algiers, policemen are being shot in the back by terrorists and bombs go off in cafes, airport lounges, and dance halls. A hardened veteran of the French campaign in Vietnam is called in to disassemble the uprising by all means necessary. Colonel Mathieu knows how the guerilla insurrection game is played.

Colonel Mathieu is honorable enough but not squeamish about applying a measure of physical punishment to the terror squads. He dissects and analyzes the terror cells with methodical precision and eliminates them one by one. The problem posed by the film is that, even though Mathieu is successful in his anti-terror campaign, a later uprising forces the French to acquiesce to Algerian Independence.

The desire for independence and freedom strikes a chord throughout the western world. Yet, the very freedom that people seek is endangered by fundamentalist and extreme Islamist movements which represent submission to the Mullahs. Moderates in the Middle East have not failed to notice.

The Algeria government has battled the Islamic extremists for control of the government ever since achieving independence. Since the seventies, the Pan-Arabism which swept the Middle East has been seriously challenged by the religion-as-government mentality of the Islamic fundamentalists.

This has been an interesting inversion which has led neither to prosperity nor to stable governments. Tragically, this shift of emphasis has led to the widespread murder of moderates and to a perpetuation of violence and cruelty against men, women, and children.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Putin Assassination Plot Thwarted in Iran

Who on earth would want to kill a nice guy like Vladimir Putin?


Has Putin’s Iran diplomacy backfired? Iranian officials are sweating a report that Russian intelligence has uncovered a plot to assassinate Russia’s president Vladimir Putin. The source of the report is Interfax, a news agency with strong ties to the Russian government. A government spokeswoman also confirmed the report.

Two other recent plots intended to kill the Russian president were thwarted, and these were thought to be the work of Chechen Islamic terrorists. In this latest plot, Putin was to be assassinated by a team of suicide bombers in the typical pattern of not giving a damn who else might be killed besides the intended target.

The Iranian plot to kill Putin is ironic and embarrassing to the Tehran government. Putin has interceded on behalf of Iran with the international community. Russia is currently providing the technology and infrastructure for building a nuclear plant in Iran.

Maybe it’s time for Putin to rethink his position in doing business in Iran. Iranian moderates are not likely to keep the Islamo-nazis in check, and this latest assassination plot is just one example of the perils of a fatuous Russian “diplomacy.” But then again, the Russian president’s appetite for world power is uncontrollable and, like a fat man at a banquet, he cannot stop eating.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The New Mount Airy Casino Is a Pennsylvania Gamble

Casino Slot Machines are already in place in a famous Pocono resorts favored by vacationing urban dwellers from Philadelphia and New York. Clicking on the title (above) of this note will link to the complete article.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Sandy Berger Sanitation Hire: Hillarity and Hubris



Clintonite Whiz Kid Sandy Berger Gives How-To Advice to Hillary Campaign.


I’m astonished that Hillary Clinton chose to resurrect the disgraced former national security adviser Sandy Berger by appointing him as an advisor to her campaign. What the hell’s he going to do for Hillary? Show her how to properly sanitize a crime scene?

I guess Republicans should be glad of Hillary’s latest act of hubris (and indifference to law) in making the appointment. Berger’s not only a thief and a threat to national security; he’s a bungler as well. Here’s a brief outline of what happened:

1) National Archives employees spotted Berger stuffing documents into his socks, a classy and clever maneuver which would be too cheap to put into a trashy movie script. So was a later theft when he shoved documents into his pockets and stuck them under a construction trailer.

2) When Archives employees asked about the missing documents, Berger gleefully lied to them saying he did not take them.

3) When Berger realized that the Archives staff people were on to him, he “panicked” and cut up four documents into tiny pieces.
The Hillarity (sic) doesn’t end there. According to the Inspector General’s notes, Berger tried to contact the trash collecting company to retrieve the shredded documents but had “no luck”. Unh-hunh, again!
An inspector-general report in December 2003 described Berger’s theft of documents. The theft occurred while 9-11 Commission was getting ready to hear Berger’s testimony on the Clinton Administration’s policies concerning the terror attacks. By the time the IG’s office completed its final report on Berger, Berger had already pleaded guilty and received a slap on the wrist criminal sentence. Stealing classified documents from the national archives gets you a $50,000 fine if you’re a Clinton Democrat and a free press pass in the liberal indoctrinated media.

Berger and the Clintonites stick to the story that he was merely reviewing the documents to make sure the 9-11 Commission got the “correct” classified material. Unh-huh. So that’s it!

But I guess that’s a good enough reason, given the context of the surrealistic fiasco of the 9-11 commission in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. After the gullible public was able to accept Jamie Gorelick sitting on the Commission side of the table rather than on the witness side, the stage was set for all manner of preposterous assertions, assumptions, and outright lies.




Now, I want you to testify honestly before the Commission, Sandy..(wink,wink)

Monday, October 8, 2007

Australia Prime Minister John Howard Pulls No Punches



Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia , as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks.

A day after a group of mainstream Muslim leaders pledged loyalty to Australia and her Queen at a special meeting with Prime Minister John Howard, he and his Ministers made it clear that extremists would face a crackdown. Treasurer Peter Costello, seen as heir apparent to Howard, hinted that some radical clerics could be asked to leave the country if they did not accept that Australia was a secular state, and its laws were made by parliament. "If those are not your values, if you want a country which has Sharia law or a theocratic state, then Australia is not for you", he said on National Television

"I'd be saying to clerics who are teaching that there are two laws governing people in Australia : one the Australian law and another Islamic law that is false. If you can't agree with parliamentary law, independent courts, democracy, and would prefer Sharia law and have the opportunity to go to another country, which practices it, perhaps, then, that's a better option", Costello said.

Asked whether he meant radical clerics would be forced to leave, he said those with dual citizenship could possibly be asked to move to the other country. Education Minister Brendan Nelson later told reporters that Muslims who did not want to accept local values should "clear off. Basically people who don't want to be Australians, and who don't want, to live by Australian values and understand them, well then, they can basically clear off", he said.

Separately, Howard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying he supported spy agencies monitoring the nation's mosques. Quote: "IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT. Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali , we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians."

"However, the dust from the attacks had barely settled when the 'politically correct' crowd began complaining about the possibility that our patriotism was offending others. I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to Australia ." "However, there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand." "This idea of Australia being a multi-cultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. And as Australians, we have our own culture, our own society, our own language and our own lifestyle."

"This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom"

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

how to survive college: a guide for parents

a half-serious look at a stressed parent of a recent college graduate.

read more | digg story

Monday, October 1, 2007

Angry Iraquis Reject Partitian Plan of Desperate Democrats

Clueless Democrats have once again found themselves caught flat-footed by the Iraq government’s angry rejection of Joe Biden’s plan to split Iraq into three parts. I think Biden’s intentions too much resemble the desperate attempts of other Democrats (including the presidential candidates) to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Democrats of character and standard intelligence should line up behind Connecticut’s Joe Lieberman. He’s one of the few Democrats who understands the implications of handing Iraq over to the insurgents. Lieberman’s a statesman, a man not afraid to stand up for what he knows is right, a man who has paid the price for standing tall and maintaining his integrity.

Iraq’s government may not be completely united but they sure stand together on this issue. Bringing up the idea of partitioning Iraq within the current milieu is just another example of the hapless defeatism which continues to characterize current Democratic party leadership. The notion that the U.S. congress should draw up such plans, inspired by congressional Democrats, smacks of colonialism and arrogance.

Somebody should tell congressional Democrats that a stable Iraqi government in the Middle East is more important to our soldiers and our people than Democratic Party chances for winning an election.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

New Auschwitz Photos: The Ordinariness of Evil

 
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The ordinariness of evil...or something to that effect. I recalled those words from long ago by Hannah Arendt when I saw these photos posted on the BBC. They were recently handed over to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum by a former US Army officer who found the album in Frankfurt in 1946. The pictures were in the collection of Karl Hoecker, a Nazi SS officer.

These frolicksome Nazi men and fraulein played while Jews were murdered in the Auschwitz death houses. According to Iran's President Ahmadinajad, such photos as these prove that nothing but smoke was going up the chimneys at the Nazi death camps.

The group of SS Officers in the foreground picture included handsome Doctor Josef Mengele. He's the one with folded arms, contemplating new atrocities and sadistic acts. Is it just me or is there a strong family resemblance with the late Abu Zarqawi?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Morning Joe:Scarborough, Brezinski, Burnett





Iran’s President Amadinajad gave a much-needed boost to the morning news/talk/social networking shows. At this point, I must concur with all the lofty talk about “free speech” which preceded the visit. I did learn two things from Amadinajad’s visit:

1) Iran has no homosexuals. (They are all sent to America or killed)
2) Women are highly prized in Iran, and completely free to operate within the restrictions imposed by Sharia. (They are all sent to America or killed)


I like Fox News, and tune into it as a matter of routine, just as I tune into all the others in a paroxysm of morning channel switching. Fox’s coverage of the visit was straight forward and negative toward the hirsute public face of Iran’s ruling Ayatollahs.

Sometimes I like to tune into the morning show called “Morning Joe” feature Joe Scarborough, Mikah Brezinski, and Willie Geist.

Willie Geist is the latest addition to the program and he is a welcome addition. Pulled down from the production staff, Geist has an intelligent and deadpan crossover manner which plays simultaneously to trend and tradition.

Scarborough is a Republican of some sort. I think he represents a disenchanted element of the “Reagan Revolution”. He’s all over the charts, but then what else could you be on a show that would identify itself as “center-liberal-left”, if that is a proper category.

Mika Brezinski, daughter of Zbigniew Brezinski (national security advisor under Carter’s failed presidency), was put on earth to make people feel uncomfortable, especially morning news guys. Mika found the lost chord of American television back in July of this year when she refused to do a story on Paris Hilton’s release from jail. Not only did Ms. Brzezinski refuse, but she grabbed a cheap plastic cigarette lighter from co-host Willie Geist’s pocket and proceeded to ignite the baloney script on live tv.

Willie Geist must have trained with Homeland Security because he defused the incident by snatching the torch from the hands of the rebellious Mika. Undaunted by the intervention, Mika proceeded to push the script through a paper shredder. You’ve got to admire a woman with that kind of determination.

Today, Mika Brezinski’s Carter state-department Old World mentality was piqued because Lee Bollinger introduced Amadinajad on the point of a pike. Mika Brezinski didn’t think that was polite. She said so too many times, and I expect she considers polity the weapon of choice against the blunt truths of a terrorist regime.

The “Morning Joe” went downhill from there except that now I must reveal a state secret and my strongest reason for tuning in: the appearance of Erin Burnett. In a bewildering blitz of information, wit, and sharp business instinct, Ms. Burnett righted the listing ship of morning news babble with the following news:

• The half-percent federal rate cut was not the “panacea” folks expected, as Burnett previously told viewers.

• Retail spending at stories like Target, Lowe’s, and some others had shrunk to worrisome levels.

• Home builder and financial services provider Lennar announced severe losses for the third quarter and a cut of 35% of its work force.

• G.M workers want job security, having lost 34,000 workers in the past year.


• The first new application for a nuclear power plant since 1968 was submitted today.

Purple is the new black which is the new brown. Or something to that effect. Having no fashion taste, and caught flat-footed by THE most intelligent and witty and well-dressed woman in the history of daytime television, I missed that.

All of this was delivered in less than 2 minutes along with some quick repartee arising from Joe Scarborough’s probe about Burnett’s television partner, the affable Mark Haynes. Unlike herself, Burnett wryly remarked, Haynes was probably not aware of the roadblocks near the United Nations home on the east side of Manhattan.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Ahmadinajead at Columbia: Free Speech or Hate Speech?

What a joke it is to hear Columbia University’s President defending the Ahmadinejad visit as a concern for Free Speech. If everything else can fall under the protective umbrella of free speech then I am free to denounce him as a Nazi Holocaust Denier and killer of American soldiers.

The despicable and toxic little dweeb has called for the extermination of Israel and has been one of the chief sponsors of terrorism around the world. It was through Ahmadinejad’s support of Hizbollah that hundreds of Marines were killed in 1983. Iranians are held in a condition of virtual slavery in a medieval state that will not permit women to show their ankles and wrists.

While Ahmadinejad conducts his charm offensive in the halls of a left-liberal elite academia fed on the milk-fat of left-wing pablum, his murderous robots are supplying terror weapons which are used in political assassinations, mass terror attacks, and political suppression around the world. Columbia University does not have to provide an additional podium for hate-mongering among nations. Ahmadinejad’s anti-semitic slime is peddled often enough and loudly enough throughout the Middle East.

The Islamo-nazis have not come up with an original thought in five decades, so what is there in a prepared speech at Columbia U. which must be protected as “free speech?”?

Kick his Nazi ass back to the U.N curb.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Potpourri and Stupidity: MoveOn, M.I.T, and Norman Hsu

It’s the You Tube effect. People are vying with each other to achieve greater stupidity. The virus has reached Congress which, to its credit, today issued some kind of censorious statement about the recent MoveOn ad sliming General Petraeus. That part is good, but you shouldn’t wonder why Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama, and Chris Dodd refused to condemn the scurrilous propaganda of left-leaning social elite and WALLs.

The reason is that MoveOn dumps millions of dollars into the campaign coffers of all three Democrats. Gee, I’m glad those people are promising to “reform” the politics of Washington. I guess Hillary might make good on giving back some of the campaign money which came from convicted felon Norman Hsu except that the feds could seize those moneys first. Hsu was the beneficiary of a multi-million dollars Ponzi scheme.

And did you hear the one about the M.I.T student who shut down Boston’s Logan Airport this morning? She was carrying a fake bomb on her sweatshirt, made of play-doh to resemble plastic explosive and wired for visual effect. That was funny, funny, funny…watching the police overreact. What would have been funnier, and really, really funny is if the cops put two .40 calibre holes in her forehead.

The Jena Six: Learning to be Stupid

I’m late to the party with anything to say about the Jena 6. Though I can no longer handle crowds, I have to be grateful for the Louisiana demonstrations for bringing it to my attention. I did a little review of background, consequently. The first dumb thing I encountered was that some idiots hung up some hanging nooses under the “white tree” of the campus after an African-American youth sat under it on sunny day.


School officials get the Giant Dunce and Bigotry Award for treating the issue like a schoolboy prank. Their idea of discipline was ISS, or in-school suspension. Nooses hanging in the summer breeze of Louisiana isn’t my idea of a prank. Treating it as a prank creates the impression that psychological intimidation is okay in the Jena schools. If the “prank” can’t be prosecuted under the hate crimes laws, then school officials should have levied the harshest punishment they could inflict, which is to kick the offenders out of the mainstream school permanently.

In the shadow of that stupidity and others which followed the incident, young man Mychal Bell gets a heavy jail term for participating in the beating of a white student in an altercation. There’s no reason for anyone to be beating on anyone and that needs to be punished but it seems as if that’s the only punishment that was meted out for anyone involved in the Jena 6 fiasco. People in the Jena schools seem not to comprehend that they have a great responsibility in dealing with America’s kids. What they do can teach valuable lessons or it can do great harm.

In this case, it did great harm. There ain't no "white trees" in America.