Come for the Politics, Stay for the Pathologies

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Last Picture Show


MC David Hyde Pierce at the Sundance 2010 Awards

Sundance wrapped up last night as any respectable undertaking involving actors would: with an awards show. As is usually the case, the winners included the requisite anti-war (Restropo), anti-capitalism (Waste Land and Gasland– NOT The Shock Doctrine! That was a shock.) and dark-side-of-humanity (Winter’s Bone and Animal Kingdom) films. And of course there was the standard mindless semi-comedy feel good movie (happythankyoumoreplease).

The only surprise was that the audience choice award went to Waiting for Superman, a documentary which takes a tough look at the role teachers' unions have played in the devastation of America's urban schools. It was dubbed the “An Inconvenient Truth” for Republicans (directed by Davis Guggenheim who also did Algore’s Oscar winning film filled, inconveniently, with lies. Otherwise no connection to the Nobel Laureate’s opus.)

Also as usual, none of the films buzzed about before the festival (The Romantics, Meet the Riley’s, Blue Valentine, The Runaways) made much of hit beyond their initial thud. This year the crowds were way down, the swag was way, way down, and film sales to distributors were nearly non-existent. Could the latter be due to a tight credit market, and distributors not being willing to put up millions for risky films that the public might dislike intensely?

Robert Redford has described this year’s festival  as taking a turn to “get back to it’s roots.”  The Festival Guide, as well as every screening, begins with the exhortation: “This is the renewed rebellion. This is the recharged fight against the establishment of the expected. This is the rebirth of the battle for brave new ideas.” I felt like a sophomore in college again. Nothing feels quite as irrelevant at my age as that.

Redford would have you believe that this new course is by choice and design, not because of the recession which already smacked last year’s festival upside the head. This year a lot of the studio specialty houses have simply disappeared. They were the distributors for the little, off-beat films that used to get bid up here like IPO’s before the credit markets evaporated in the wake of the great fiscal meltdown. But this year, Redford tells us, it’s all about the art again. That’s pretty much what you’re left with when there’s no money in the system.

Now I like art as much as the next guy, even fancy myself to be an artist of sorts. But the film makers that come here are all hoping to make a living off their art. But  guess what? Without the greedy capitalists, that’s damn hard to do. So my advice – not that anyone’s asked for it – is to make better movies that people will be willing to pay to see. If you can’t do that without sacrificing “your art” you’re either in the wrong business or you aren’t any good at it. Find another livelihood.

I did see three decent movies at Sundance, which has got to be a record. One I already reviewed Please Give. The Company Men, another flick highly touted before hand, stars Tommy Lee Jones and Ben Affleck in what must be the newest genre: the layoff movie. Who can’t relate to that? The best of show in my opinion was Get Low, a minor mystery story about an old hermit living in the Tennessee woods in the 1930’s.


It stars Robert Duvall and Bill Murray: either one would be worth the price of admission alone. None of these three have been bought for distribution yet, but I’m betting they will. You could do much worse.

On another note, and just to keep you grounded in reality, I’m reposting  from Ace of Spades a piece in full,  just because it’s so good. Enjoy.


Even Jon Stewart Ripping on Chris "I Forgot He Was Black for an Hour" Matthews

I didn't deal with this because all I have to say is so friggin' obvious it pains me to say it. I don't like boring you with the obvious.

But okay:

It's not that Chris Matthews is a racist per se. It's that he's never viewed Obama as anything but black, and therefore not as a human being, nor as a politician, but as a Symbol (capital S intended).

There is a tradition in film, as Spike Lee and, frankly, I, have pointed out. The tradition of the Magical Negro.

Often called the "Numinous Negro."

The Numinous Negro is not really a character. He's not really a person, not even in the fictive world of the film. He is simply a walking Symbol of hopes about racial conciliation, or black achievement, or, especially, redemption for White Sin.

Chris Matthews has never seen Obama as anything except a Numinous Negro. Nothing except a Symbol. Nothing except a Dramatic Plot Contrivance to advance the world's script ahead a few scenes. Nothing except a stand-in for additional Meaning.

When Jack Walsh gives Jonathan "The Duke" Mardukis his watch at the end of Midnight Run, of course, he's not just giving him a watch. The watch is triple symbol for more important matters. (I won't bore you listing them -- if you've seen the film, you know what they are. If you haven't, this is irrelevant.)

To Chris Matthews, Barack Obama has never been anything but that symbolic watch passed from a white guy to a black guy, nothing but a token indicating a Redemptive Act.

And the problem is, of course, Barack Obama is not that, and never was that. He is a human being, with all the usual flaws -- and some very unusual and dangerous ones -- and furthermore he was not being elected to the office of Symbol in Chief of the United States of America, but to a position where he'd have to do things beyond merely Signifying.

Oh, he's awesome as a Signifier. One can say he is the best Signifier of any politician we've ever elected.

Trouble is, the president has many responsibilities beyond executing the power of Signification. In fact, one could say Signification and/or Reification is rather low on his list of responsibilities.

So -- for one hour, for precisely one hour, Chris Matthews finally forgot Obama was black, finally forgot he wasn't just a Numinous Negro, not just a Symbol, not just a Signifier, not just a walking breathing Metaphor for the Closure of (Also Metaphorical) Racial Wounds From the Bull Connor days, and realized -- Shit, this guy is President, he does things besides serve as quasi-literary plot device for redeeming my own racial sins and the racial sins of my father and grandfathers.

For one hour.

I'd like to go on record as noting that 99% of conservatives saw him this way -- as a person, as a candidate, and then as a president -- for, like, ever.

So good on you, Chris Matthews. After two years, and for one single hour, you actually managed to evolve past Numinous Negroes and Symbols into appreciating that Barack Obama is a human being and currently holding the most important office in the world.

After two years, and for one single hour, you managed to become every bit as advanced in your thinking and enlightened as any conservative you might bump into in the street.

Kudos. Good work.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Ultimate Sundance Film

The Shock Doctrine, a movie based on Naomi Klein’s book by the same name, premiered at Sundance last Thursday evening.

In case you didn’t avail yourself of Klein’s book, here’s all you  need to know about it; lifelong Stalinist and propagandist Howard Zinn (may he rest in his godless peace) said of it: "This is a brilliant book, one of the most important I have read in a long time."

naomi-001 Naomi Klein, against an appropriate backdrop

Let me establish the book and film’s basic premise: evil capitalists around the world have used disasters – both natural and man-made – to enrich themselves with absolutely no thought or concern for the suffering victims of the catastrophes.  If you think I’m exaggerating, I would direct you to the synopsis in the official Sundance Film Festival catalog (along with my annotations):

Based on the best-selling book by Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine seeks to explain the rise of disaster capitalism (as if this is an accepted premise): the exploitation of moments of crisis in vulnerable countries by governments and big business. The film traces the doctrine’s beginnings in the radical theories of Milton Friedman (radical? By who’s standards? Some of us don’t consider free market capitalism radical.) at the University of Chicago, and its subsequent implementation over the past 40 years in countries as disparate as Augusto Pinochet’s Chile, Boris Yeltsin’s Russia, Margaret Thatcher’s Great Britain, and most recently through the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Filmmakers Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross use a brand of artistic license (I would like to see a definition of “a brand of artistic license.”  Exaggeration?Lying by proxy?) to present a cinematic experience that takes this theory (Oh. So maybe the “rise of disaster capitalism” is just a theory?) to a new audience (the gullible and not-yet-indoctrinated  amongst us). They make heavy use of archival images, offset with new footage of Klein's interviews and lectures (there’s some concrete research for you. Maybe she has opinions on global warming too.). Warning: After viewing this film, you may interpret our world history in a new light (I’m sure you will: through the prism of an anti-capitalist who has made her fortune by running the system that she’s benefitted from into the ground. Get out of the way Michael Moore, Algore: we have a new goddess.)

Here’s a squib from the Salt Lake Tribune about Bobby Redford’s take on Naomi’s contribution to this year’s “I Hate America” Festival (again with my annotations):

Redford complimented Klein for her ability to trace the recurring pattern of crisis and opportunism back to its source: The late economist Milton Friedman ( While I’m sure Friedman would be flattered, I think he’d decline to take credit for the human condition.), a strident opponent of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal who believed in unrestrained free markets and little or no government involvement in the economy. (Oh! So that’s what you meant by “radical”!)

"I don't think I had seen anything with that long a thread," Redford said of Klein's book."  (Wow! All the way back to the 1940’s! Maybe other chroniclers of 21st century problems should give that approach a try. Like, how about pursuing the roots of Islamic fascism back to its origins. That would be – when?- about the time George W. Bush took office?) "We don't have enough interest in history to learn from our mistakes." (Speak for yourself, dude.). . .

Often, Klein and the filmmakers argue, (but don’t prove) the results have been a wider gap between rich and poor, imprisonment of political enemies,(ah - that’s actually most often the work of tyrannical leaders, not greedy capitalists. And in case you missed this in history class, most tyrannical leaders are either fascists, communists or socialists.) and abuses of human rights (ditto).

The pattern played out again, Klein told the Eccles audience, in Haiti in the aftermath of this month's earthquake (some might argue that it’s a little too early to make that call.). Within 24 hours after the quake, Klein said, the conservative Heritage Foundation had issued a statement touting "an opportunity to remake Haiti's economy." The notice on the foundation's Web site was removed within a day, Klein said, because of the public outcry.

Here is the part that Klein and the left found so egregious:

“In addition to providing immediate humanitarian assistance, the U.S. response to the tragic earthquake in Haiti earthquake offers opportunities to re-shape Haiti’s long-dysfunctional government and economy as well as to improve the public image of the United States in the region.”

Is it just me? I don’t really find that to be so offensive. The Heritage Foundation isn’t a disaster aid organization. Perhaps the timing was a bit insensitive, but in this world some people are emergency responders, and others are busy running the grid and making sure there will still be power to run things in the morning. The fact is the government of Haiti has been dysfunctional for over 200 years. An earthquake of a magnitude of 7.1 - approximately the same magnitude  as Haiti’s – hit San Francisco in 1989, killing 63. Haiti’s death toll so far stands at 150,000 with estimates it could double. Why not use this opportunity to notice that  two centuries of poverty and political corruption created this morass, and, yes, crass as it may seem to bleeding hearts, democracy and free market capitalism is the best way out. Sorry if that seems a little too left brained for the situation, but what kind of an idiot would assume that such an observation is only about making money? Willing people the means to build a better life for themselves doesn’t strike me as crass.

But I digress. Back to Ms. Klein’s objection to the Heritage Foundation’s observation that the tragedy could provide opportunities to reshape Haiti’s fate.

Let’s see, that would be wrong because… oh yes, Naomi’s book/movie’s basic premise is:

And we all know that the progressive left would never pursue such opportunistic means. Well, except for Saul Alinsky whose entire book, Rules For Radicals, is premised on just that. Oh, and Rahm (“never let a good crisis go to waste”) Emanuel and David Axelrod, who designed Obama’s year one legislative agenda around just that principle.

Were I more cynical – well, to be honest, I probably couldn’t be - so let me just say this: others might accuse Naomi herself of taking advantage of the Haiti situation to further hype her polemic against Milton Friedman’s brand of capitalism. It couldn’t have happened at a more opportune time: The Sundance premiere of her movie by the same name as her best selling book - soon to be re-released in paperback. But I wouldn’t, personally, accuse her of anything so crass.

But by all means, see the movie. You have probably never seen anyone chronicle decades of natural disasters and political upheavals and coups as nothing more than a food source for blood-sucking capitalists. Their sole purpose is to make money off the backs of impoverished victims: inflicting depression and mass poverty where none previously existed. Klein likens the free-market “shock therapies”  to “electroshock torture.” She has placed the privatization of New Orleans’s public schools after Katrina on the same level as the corrupt sale of Russian’s state economy to oligarchs following the collapse of the Soviet Union. No hyperbole there.

Good grief. An 82 minute documentary dedicated to the premise that capitalism exploits tragedy. I wonder how much they think they can sell it for?

Yack. I can’t seem to get this hairball out of my throat.

I give it a solid B+

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Man in Full, and Full of Himself

maninfullA man in full 


Everyone likes to be validated. Take me for example - I was thinking just last night: “Geeze,  the Supremes overturned 100 years of campaign finance law? I had no idea John McCain was that old!” So thanks, John Truzpek at Big Journalism, for clearing that up for me.

He also has 9 other things he learned from watching the SOTU last night, including “We have to be more like China.”

One other thing I learned that wasn’t on his list - Janet is taking lessons from the Won on how to hold your chin up:


So take that man-caused-disasterators!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Please Give: A Tale of Liberal Guilt



Every year the films selected for Sundance screening seem to have a favored theme, a sub-text if you will, that crops up in a multitude of the movies.  Aside from sex and drugs that is, which is a given because these films always wind up being about their creators in one way or another. Two years ago the sub-theme was suicide, which carried over into last year. Thankfully, they seem to be over that now, and are getting back to Sundance’s “roots”, as Bobby Redford said. I think that means creating more miserable little films about capitalist corruption and exposes of American imperialism.

But I think I’ve discovered a new sub-text this year, although I’m not exactly certain how to describe it. Let’s call it “trapped syndrome.” First I stumbled on Buried, a movie about, well, being buried alive - trapped underground. (bonus subtext: Americans should never have been in Iraq in the first place). Then there’s Frozen, a movie about 3 young men trapped on a ski lift. How much sustained drama would you think you can wring out of a set up like that? You’re wrong. Divide by 4 and you’re still off by a factor of 2. Yet filmmaker Adam Green managed to produce a full 90 minutes. Sundance is simply amazing. Next we have Into the Void. It’s lead character, Oscar,  is dead but trapped like an avatar hovering above (literally) its more earth bound creatures. It also has a lot of drugs and sex, but like I said, that’s a given. Then we have Douchebag, and this may be a bit of a stretch, but this is about a guy about to get married experiencing the need for one last “relationship freedom” before getting trapped in matrimony.( Not really a trap any more really, as a previous year’s sub-textural theme was “50 ways to leave your lover”). Premiering tonight is the anticipated Romantics, about a group of yuppie Yale grads trapped in Maine for a wedding. Sounds like a remake of The Big Chill. I just hope the music is as good.

In case you’re wondering,  all of the above movies stink, with the possible exception of The Romantics, which I haven’t seen yet.

In fact, the vast majority of all films screened at Sundance each year stink, including box office hits such as Sex, Lies and Videotape, Sideways, and last year’s feel good movie, Precious. Oh, and lest I forget: An Inconvenient Truth. It, too, won an Oscar.

There have been exceptions of course to the Sundance Stinker rule. Examples include Waking Ned Devine (delightful), The Last Indian (co-produced by our neighbor), The Matador (surprisingly good) and Little Miss Sunshine (almost touching in it’s  portrayal of  dysfunctionality.)  Perhaps not classics (with the exception of  The World’s Fastest Indian, which could be), but good movies that you won’t feel as though you’ve wasted your time watching.

I’ve discovered one so far this year that didn’t totally suck, which is high praise by Sundance standards in my book. Not altogether worthy of the above list of exceptions, but you won’t want to kill yourself after spending 90 minutes of your life watching it either:  Please Give, starring Catherine Keener (Kate), Amanda Peet (Mary), Oliver Platt (Alex), Rebecca Hall (Rebecca), Sarah Steele (Abby) and Ann Morgan Guilbert (Andra). It was originally called Feeling Guilty, which is a more apt title.

The story evolves around  Kate and Alex, a Manhattan couple who own an upscale vintage furniture store, and their teenaged, acne plagued daughter who thinks a pair of $200 jeans will make her world rock. They own the apartment next door where cantankerous 91 year old Andra lives alone, waiting to die. As it turns out, she isn’t alone. Kate and Alex are also waiting for her to kick off  so they can renovate and expand their own apartment.  Andra is dutifully cared for by her introverted granddaughter, Rebecca, a kind and patient mammogram technician, who visits daily to administer medicine and generally ensure that the perpetually displeased Andra’s needs are met. Rebecca’s sister, Mary, is her polar opposite: a bitch from hell who works in a spa. She blames Andra’s meanness for her mother’s suicide and, true or not, it serves as Mary’s  justification for her own hateful treatment of her grandmother. If you believe in karma, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine a much younger Andra very much like the self-involved Mary - before all of life’s disappointments settled in and left her bitter and perpetually disappointed.

Kate is the quintessential  victim of affluenza. She feels guilty about everything – buying the detritus of dead peoples estates for a fraction of what they’ll resell it for,  the homeless people on her block, having enough money to buy Andra’s apartment, secretly wishing the cranky old woman would die. Because she’s apparently clueless as to how commerce actually works, her husband’s pragmatic approach to their livelihood doesn’t register. She tries to do volunteer work to tamp down her guilt, but finds it, shall we say, too emotionally challenging. She’s not tough enough to actually do something to assuage her guilt. So she ups the ante on her daily handouts to the homeless people, from $1 initially, to $5 and finally $20. Like so many, she wishes to feel noble, but doesn’t wish to be inconvenienced too much, or made to feel too uncomfortable in the process. Giving money meets all these requirements.

I get the impression that the film’s writer/director, Nicole Holofcener is attempting to tell us that Kate might do more good by focusing on the needs of her own family: her unhappy daughter (because she ultimately buys her the $200 jeans) and her husband (because he strays off for a meaningless affair with the bitch). Others will say its the perpetual tale of haves and have-nots in New York. But I think it’s just a tale of a confused and conflicted woman who doesn’t have the where-with-all to straighten things out in her mind. And I would be willing to bet that, like her central character in the movie, Holofcener’s moral compass sends ambiguous directions.  Which is why the movie falls short. In the end, Kate hasn’t really grown much, although she has found a new coping mechanism: the renovation project when Andra finally dies. Yet, we can’t help but like this altogether too recognizable woman and her burden of guilt. She seems doomed to spend the rest of her life apologizing. All of the characters are recognizable, multi-dimensional and flawed. It’s the story that’s a little weak.

For some reason this generations film makers don’t wish to model admirable behavior for people to aspire too – that would be too preachy. They just want to reflect the angst, tedium and mediocrity of their world and their worldview. Generally they are successful. But Please Give does go one step beyond, and at least presents characters that you can care about. For that I give it a solid B+.  And this time I mean it.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Spin Cycle

UPDATE: Please note comment from Spencer Hayes, associated with the Cass Community Social Services. He explains the organization's work, beneficiaries and the gyms non-government funding sources. Perhaps a good model for non-government social services which is worthy of our support. But enough of the green-everything, OK?

I’ve only been away from Detroit for a few weeks, and look what those whacky, do-gooder Detroit Libs are up to: Green Gyms for the Homeless. Here’s the short version: Cass Community Social Services agency is going to open gyms for the homeless so they can come in and use the stationary bikes to generate electricity to power a couple of houses. Who on earth would have thought that Motown could top the moronic activities in Park City during the Sundance Festival?

For non-Detroiters, the Cass Community Social Services is located in the Cass Corridor, Detroit’s skid row. Can’t you just imagine it: stationary bikes set up with virtual racing games on their monitors. Of course to keep the homeless of Cass Corridor motivated, the simulated game will have them pedaling along behind a guy in the back of a van, enticing them to to spin faster in exchange for his wares: wine, crack, meth or heroin; whatever substance they choose to abuse.

Maybe it would be cheaper to just buy them all a Wii.

bike wiiThis is even better than midnight basketball.

h/t American Digest

Friday, January 22, 2010

This Was a Real Howler


James Franco as Allen Ginsberg in Howl

Sundance’s opening movie, as is customary, was a real stinker. I’ve never been able to figure out if this is intentional in order to lower the expectations for all the other stinkers, or if these “filmmakers”  really are clueless. In memory, the only opener that was actually worth watching was 2008’s In Bruges.

But on to the review: Howl. You might think from the title that it’s a horror movie. Not technically, although it is horrible.

Howl was promoted by writer/directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman as a biopic of Allen Ginsberg’s unconventional life and poem. In reality it’s an unwatchable patchwork of disparate approaches to what might have been an interesting treatment of the 1957 public indecency trial of  Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who publishing Ginsberg’s Howl in book form. Howl, of course, was Ginsberg’s  groundbreaking self-absorbed epic of his life and times  with his beat degenerates. It’s a paean to homoerotic love, nihilistic drug use and hedonism. While Ginsberg was normally a harsh critic of materialism, in this case hedonism is glorified, because it is for art, not commercialism.

The story constructed by the filmmakers consists of four parts that exist in near total isolation from each other (unintentional, in case you wondered). First there are the dramatized courtroom scenes (in which a prude of a prosecutor, played by David Straithairn, loses to suave, sophisticated defense attorney Jon Hamm. Hope I didn’t spoil the movie for you.) Secondly, there are fanciful recreated interviews and readings with Ginsberg (played by James Franco). Third, archival footage of Ginsberg reading his own poems, which is as compelling as it sounds. And, finally, an animated attempt at visualizing the emotions invoked by the iconic poem: always a dicey proposition -  self-immolating when turned over to CGI-enabled 12 year olds boys. Think Yellow Submarine without the music: amateur cartoons replete with multiple depictions of male sexual organs. All allusion to sophistication ends with the courtroom scenes (and they are flat).

Since I always like to say something positive in my reviews, here it is: in competent hands this could have been an interesting movie about the First Amendment as it applies to art. As it is, it’s a stupid little movie about the man who put the “beat” in beatnik, took the “poet” out of poetry, while railing against the American provenance of materialism and conformity. This biopic certainly eschews conformity in its construction of story telling and I’m fairly certain it won’t have to worry about anything as crass as material profits.

I give it a B+

james franco James Franco at the premier of “Howl” at the Eccles Center, Park City

The PIBS are back!



For those readers who are not friends of, or related to Team Dewey (and all 12 of you know who you are), I should probably tell  you that we have two habitats for our humanity. One is 15 minutes from the rarefied air of Ann Arbor, the enclave of the most uber-liberal intelligentsia in all of Michigan. The other is in Park City, UT – the only enclave of liberalism in Utah, and the air is rarefied only by a lack of oxygen. We enjoy living among the enemy; it keeps us on our toes.

If any one feels that having two homes in these trying times smacks of wretched excess, all I can say is “do you know anyone who would like to buy a house in Northville, Michigan?” No? Neither do we.

Anyway, we’re in Park City for the ski season, and we’ve had 28 inches of snow in the last 2 days, so that’s good. But every January for 10 days our little mountain town is invaded by celluloid junkies for the Sundance Film Festival. Descending en masse are actors of both sex, directors, producers, agents, distributors and all manner of other filmdom creatures: buffs, groupies, enablers and wannabes. All but the celebrities are known collectively as “PIBS” – people in black. We’ve been here for 10 Sundance seasons, and the sartorial statement of head to toe black garb is apparently the only look that never goes out of style. Which is great for years like this when we have a lot of fresh snow - it makes them easier to hit.

It’s always fun when the weather co-operates and a heavy snowfall coincides with the arrival of the Sundancers. The vast majority come from either southern California - where they can’t even walk in snow, let alone drive – or New York, where they do know how to walk in snow, but - since nobody there owns a car – they certainly don’t know how to drive, even on dry pavement. Somehow they figure it will be easier to drive in the mountains, with  ice and snow, so they all rent cars. Which of course results in 10 days of incessant horn blowing and bumper car games.

But getting back to fashion: this is a creative crowd, so accessorizing their black garb is a competitive sport. Scarves are big – really big. Most could double as a picnic spread. Hats are also favored, as long as they don’t muss the hair or provide any meaningful shelter from the weather. Gloves without fingertips are big, to accomodate emergency iPhone and Blackberry texting.  Also, for reasons unfathomable to anyone who actually lives here, the ‘dancers think that 6 inch stiletto heels (worn mostly, although not exclusively, by women) constitute appropriate footwear for January in the mountains. Perhaps they figure a good set of ice picks will come in handy, although rappelling off roofs and tall snow piles is frowned upon by the local gendarmes.



The opposite extreme in foot attire are the ubiquitous flip flops worn by male and female alike. Like black costumes, they never seem to go out of style. It’s only day one of Sundance 2010, and I’ve already seen the first pair early this morning at the local grocery store. A lovely young thing was cruising the organic oranges, apples and pears display in a full length stretch acrylic one piece dress (black, of course) over which she had pulled a fleece zip up hoodie (also black), unzipped (otherwise, we wouldn’t have been able to enjoy her cleavage, which she no doubt paid good money for). On her perfectly manicured toes, a pair of light tan flip flops adorned with a big daisy. Having just come in from the slush filled parking lot, I suggested that she might want to pick up a roll of paper towels to go with her fruit and nuts (organic almonds). Otherwise I know what’s going to happen, she’ll be texting everybody she knows to tell them how cold and miserable it is in Park City.

Ah! To be in Park City when the PIBS whine.

Stay tuned. There may be movie reviews.


Robert Redford at the opening session of Sundance 2010. The reason LA has the highest number of cosmetic surgeons per capita of any where on earth.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

No “Events” To Mark These Events

NYT’s headline today: White House: No Events to Mark 1st Year in Office.

Au Contraire Mon Frère!

Here’s just a partial list of events  marking the Won’s 1st year in office:

  1. Bank takeovers
  2. Auto takeovers
  3. Insurance takeovers
  4. $790 billion Stimulus/Porkulus package 
  5. European Apology Tour
  6. Mideast Apology Tour (and bow to foreign head of state)
  7. South American Apology/Solidarity Tour (Hugo, Evo, Raul)
  8. Russian Humiliation Tour
  9. Japan Apology Tour (and bow to foreign head of state)

10.     China Humiliation Tour

11.     Copenhagen Humiliation Tour (I)

12.    Copenhagen Humiliation Tour (II)

13.     Nobel Peace Prize Presentation

14.     Terrorist Attacks (2) on America

Additional “events”:

News conferences: 42

Interviews:  158 – 90 on TV, the rest radio, newspapers and magazines including NYT, People, and Oprah

Town halls: 23, including one of the apology tour venues (Strasbourg) and one of the humiliation tour venues (Shanghai)

Domestic Trips: 48

Foreign Trips: 10

Rounds of Golf: 29

Vacations on tony islands: 2

Unemployment: 7.7%

Increase in National Debt: $1.7 Trillion (thanks, China)



I guess I’d stay out of sight on the actual anniversary too. Even if Scott Brown hadn’t won the Kennedy seat in Massachusetts yesterday.

Oh Yea, One Last Piece of Schadenfreud

party's over

Willie Nelson: “Turn Out The Lights, The Party’s Over”

It’s Always the Economy, Stupid. . .

Except  when it’s really about a choice between liberty and tyranny.


a scottGeeze, how did this guy win? 

Enjoy your morning schadenfreud, you earned it. Here’s but a small sampling of reaction to Scott Brown’s “surprise” win in Massachusetts yesterday.

Headline of the Year, from Pundette:

“No, Let US Be Clear”

The citizens of Massachusetts have stepped in to stop a rampaging US Congress and president. The executive and legislative branches have spent the past year trampling on the will of the people in their frenzy to seize and swallow as much of America as they can, as fast as they can.


He’s Done Everything Wrong (Mort Zuckerman Daily Beast)

This health-care plan is going to be a fiscal disaster for the country. Most of the country wanted to deal with costs, not expansion of coverage. This is going to raise costs dramatically. . .

In the campaign, he said he would change politics as usual. He did change them. It’s now worse than it was. I’ve now seen the kind of buying off of politicians that I’ve never seen before. It’s politically corrupt and it’s starting at the top. It’s revolting. . .

Even that is not the worst part. He could have said, “I know. I promised these things, but let me try to do them one at a time.” You want to deal with health care? Fine. Issue No. 1 with health care was the cost. You know I think it was 37 percent or 33 who were worried about coverage. Fine, I wrote an editorial to this effect. Focus on cost-containment first. But he’s trying to boil the ocean, trying to do too much. This is not leadership.

. . . He’s done everything wrong. Well, not everything, but the major things.

I don’t consider it a triumph. I consider it a disaster.

One business leader said to me, “In the Clinton administration, the policy people were at the center, and the political people were on the sideline. In the Obama administration, the political people are at the center, and the policy people are on the sidelines.”

. . . Let me tell you what a major leader said to me recently. “We are convinced,” he said, “that he is not strong enough to confront his enemy. We are concerned,” he said “that he is not strong to support his friends.”

And keep in mind, this was from an Obama worshiper.


Here’s something even more fun from an Obama critic:

Roger Kimball PJM

What is the Obama agenda?  All eyes have been focused on the proposed bills to transform the way health care is managed, delivered, and paid for in the United States. The Democrats scored a rhetorical triumph by getting everyone, opponents as well as supporters, to refer to this proposed government takeover of medicine as “health care reform.”  “Reform”?  What is being proposed is “health care reform” in approximately the sense that Stalin’s collectivization of agriculture in the late 1920s was “agricultural reform.” That effort to bring hope and change to the Kulaks succeeded in what President Obama described as his goal of  “spreading the wealth around,” though not, perhaps, in precisely a way that the local (de)population appreciated.

The Founders understood both the need for  federalism and the dangers of statism. In their effort to “form a more perfect Union” and “secure the Blessings of Liberty  to ourselves and our Posterity,” they were everywhere at pains to circumscribe the reach of state power. Having tasted tyranny first hand, and having pondered the melancholy lessons of history, they understood the awful metabolism of servitude. President Obama was quite right when, way back in 2001,  he described the Constitution as “a charter of negative liberites (sic).”  What he did not understand then — and what he clearly still cannot get his mind around — is that fact that this “negative,” “merely formal” quality of the Constitution is one of its great strengths, not a weakness. In 2001, Senator Obama complained that the Constitution only told you what the state and federal government “can’t do to you,” not what it must do for you. . .

Obama mind you, is our brilliant “constitutional scholar-in-chief.”

Bringing about “redistributive change” is what the Obama administration is all about. The victory of Scott Brown is a reminder that even in the most liberal state in the Union, that statist imperative inspires fear and loathing, not support.  How Obama and the powers that be in Washington (and I mean Republicans as well as Democrats) will determine the nature and comity of our public conversation for years to come.  The victory of Scott Brown was a sign, a portent, an admonition. . .


And this from Moe Lane:

This message goes out to every vulnerable Democratic Congressman representing a Republican or even centrist district – and after tonight, who among you is not vulnerable? It is a simple message: we can do this the easy way, or we can do it the hard way. The easy way is, you suddenly decide that you have a burning desire to spend more time with your families. So you don’t run for re-election, you walk off stage technically undefeated, and you go join a lobbying firm. The hard way is, you do run for re-election, and we pry you out of your seats.

We want to do this the hard way. We will enjoy doing it.

That’s your only warning. And remember: nobody is going to be able to save you. If the President, the DSCC, the DCCC, the DNC, the SEIU, ACORN, and the netroots couldn’t manage a win in Massachusetts… what do you think that they can do for you?

There is - of course – much, much more. Suffice it to say that the tea partiers are looking more and more relevant. Sorry about that Janine.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Revolution. It’s Official.

Blow out in Massachusetts: Scott Brown wins the Senate seat in a landslide!

OK Boomers, you get one more chance. Only this time: no drugs.


h/t Hillbuzz for video

Rock and Roll if you haven’t already blown your ear drums out. Sex - that’s up to you and your doctor. But by all means join the revolution. Get your kids and grandkids to join too. It’s really for them. This time it means something.

Good work bloggers all across the country. Good work Massachusetts voters. A reason to believe our Republic might just make it after all.

“Don’t you know it’s going to be all right.”

The Glenn Beck of His Day

One last link on the Scott Brown – Martha C(r)oakley election: because this one is just too classic not to pass on:


h/t American Digest where the margin of fraud has been calculated for you, so you don’t have to.

Note to Glenn Beck: Be careful my friend, this didn’t end well.

It’s Groundhog Day All Over Again

Since the Irish bookie has already paid off ahead of the Coakley-Brown election in Massachusetts, I’m feeling comfortable proceeding with my plans for a celebratory repast. The Irish bookie house Paddy Power said yesterday:

 “Enough is enough it seems that Senator Brown just has to get out of bed tomorrow to win convincingly. As far as we’re concerned this race is well and truly over.”

Mrs. P at Patum Peperium has  a marvelous compendium of comments related to the soon-to-be-deceased Martha Croakley campaign. They come from ethically challenged talking heads, acolytes, apostates, amusing right wing columnists (aka Mark Steyn) and even a few regular Democrats. Here’s a little gem from one of the Dem’s:

One unidentified Democrat gets it:
“We lost independents in Virginia, we lost independents in New Jersey and we’re losing independents in Massachusetts,” said one Democratic campaign strategist. “The only thing those three states have in common is

She also has a wonderful menu suggestion for a proper celebration after the polls close. I’d highly recommend it.

Virginia, New Jersey, Massachusetts: 3 down and 47 to go. Or is that 54?


Why Do Democrats Seem So – Undemocratic?

I’m not a lawyer. Is it illegal to incite to commit voter fraud? No? That’s too bad.


 Newsbusters also reports that Chris Matthews is bemoaning the fact that there aren’t any votes left in Massachusetts to buy. There’s no liberal bias to see on MSNBC, move along.

I’d suggest you catch the Massachusetts election results tonight on FOX.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Attack of the Snow Goons II

Here is perhaps all you really need to know:

A WARNING that climate change will melt most of the Himalayan glaciers by 2035 is likely to be retracted after a series of scientific blunders by the United Nations body that issued it.


But why stop at the mere essential, when there are so many more tantalizing embellishments? Like this:

Two years ago the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a benchmark report that was claimed to incorporate the latest and most detailed research into the impact of global warming. A central claim was the world's glaciers were melting so fast that those in the Himalayas could vanish by 2035.

In the past few days the scientists behind the warning have admitted that it was based on a news story in the New Scientist, a popular science journal, published eight years before the IPCC's 2007 report.

It has also emerged that the New Scientist report was itself based on a short telephone interview with Syed Hasnain, a little-known Indian scientist then based at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.

Hasnain has since admitted that the claim was "speculation" and was not supported by any formal research. If confirmed it would be one of the most serious failures yet seen in climate research. The IPCC was set up precisely to ensure that world leaders had the best possible scientific advice on climate change.

So much for the vaunted “peer review” process that global warmists have worn like a shield of infallibility.

But of course it’s not just the AGW idiots that “cook the books.” Politicians and scientists – of late – are neck and neck for contortionist tricks called “lying” in the vernacular.

Michael J. Boskin has a piece in the WSJ that sums up this debilitating tendency:

Politicians and scientists who don't like what their data show lately have simply taken to changing the numbers. They believe that their end—socialism, global climate regulation, health-care legislation, repudiating debt commitments, la gloire française—justifies throwing out even minimum standards of accuracy. It appears that no numbers are immune: not GDP, not inflation, not budget, not job or cost estimates, and certainly not temperature.

He details a few of the more outrageous lies told by France, Venezuela and Argentina before bringing it home to explain why the Obama administration’s “jobs created or saved” tagline has degenerated into such a farce that it was ultimately scrapped last week. Boskin notes how rabid environmentalists “have descended into a separate reality” claiming economic advantage where none exists; and he recaps how the liars at East Anglia University –supposedly scientists adhering to the most exacting standards – manipulated data to hide the decline of the earth’s temperature over time. (An aside: this type of chicanery is not only unethical, it’s immoral. Suppose the planet is actually moving into a mini-ice age, and the lies of these clowns serve to ensure that maximum resources are allocated to preparing for an earth on fire.)

Moving to domestic policies, Professor Boskin presents more ludicrous Administration claims, including the application of a dubious “Keynesian” multiplier of 1.5 to all governmental spending. This  creates a theoretical universe where every dollar spent represents an additional $1.50 in additional income, presumably to the unemployed. This claim causes real economists to laugh or cry, either of which tell you how valid the assumption is. Or if you’re still not convinced, see how well that theory has worked out for Argentina.

But by far, the most egregious domestic lie rolled out to-date has got to be the healthcare lie:

Even more blatant is the numbers game being used to justify health-insurance reform legislation, which claims to greatly expand coverage, decrease health-insurance costs, and reduce the deficit. That magic flows easily from counting 10 years of dubious Medicare "savings" and tax hikes, but only six years of spending; assuming large cuts in doctor reimbursements that later will be cancelled; and making the states (other than Sen. Ben Nelson's Nebraska) pay a big share of the cost by expanding Medicaid eligibility. The Medicare "savings" and payroll tax hikes are counted twice—first to help pay for expanded coverage, and then to claim to extend the life of Medicare.

Boskin contends the good news is that people are just not buying this crap any more. The polling on these issues tend to support him. Perhaps we’ll see tomorrow when Massachusetts voters turn out to vote in their senatorial race that’s said to be a referendum on Obamanomics.

Chose wisely, weed hoppers. The state of the Republic may depend on it.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Let Me Be Clear: This Is Unprecedented



WaPo  finally gets a clue about Obama’s overblown rhetoric: apparently they’ve just discovered his verbal tic of making everything clear. But here’s the only “news” out of this : they don’t think he really means it ! You’re kidding.

When Obama is being "clear" these days, he is saying something quite different than when he was being clear in 2007 and 2008. His shifting use of the phrase traces the arc of Obama's time on the national stage, from campaign sensation to a president beset with challenges that rhetoric alone cannot overcome. In a presidency in which everything is murkier than Obama could have imagined, the "let me be clear" preface has become a signal that what follows will be anything but.

Entertain yourself by reading the whole article. And be sure to tune in to next month’s installment when the Washington Post  discovers how often the Won misuses the terms “extraordinary” (if by “extraordinary” you mean “Obama did it”), “unprecedented” (if by “unprecedented” you mean “Obama did it”), and “robust” (if by “robust” you mean “Obama did it”).

Friday, January 15, 2010

Buy a Clue

Oh dear. From SondraK:

I’m not sure this is helping

Angry Haitians set up roadblocks with corpses in Port-au-Prince to protest at the delay in emergency aid reaching them after a devastating earthquake, an eyewitness said.
“They are starting to block the roads with bodies, it’s getting ugly out there, people are fed up with getting no help,” he told Reuters.


Frustration and horror and shock?  I get all that.  And the urge to lash out and make a statement and draw media attention.  I guess blocking the roads with piles of dead bodies is one way to express your dissatisfaction with the level of service you’re receiving.  But practically speaking, it doesn’t seem like the sort of thing that might actually improve it.

I’m not trying to tell anyone their business, but wouldn’t maybe clearing the roads, where possible, be a better idea?  Strategically speaking, I mean.

Oh, and don’t shoot at rescue helicopters or anything.

Quick, someone. Find a way to blame this on Bush. Oh wait! Obama has already covered that angle.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Standing On A Precipice Doesn’t Require That You Plunge Into The Abyss


economic team

President Obama and his economic team, left to right: the woman who created or saved 2 mil jobs, the tax cheat, the Reader in Chief, the narcoleptic, and the creep who left his pregnant girl friend for another woman. We’re in good hands.

Here’s one for the history books: the day the President of the United States proclaimed his animus for the capitalist system that built this country into the most affluent and powerful nation on earth, while simultaneously declaring his socialist underpinnings and designs for our country’s future. And he did so to the accompaniment of his own eloquent rhetoric for which he is so well known, when he avails himself of a teleprompter.

President Barack Obama, declaring "we want our money back and we're going to get it," said Thursday banks have a responsibility to make taxpayers whole for the financial-sector bailout and should pay a proposed tax by rolling back big bonuses.

"Instead of sending a phalanx of lobbyists to fight this proposal or employing an army of lawyers and accountants to help evade the fee, I suggest you might want to consider simply meeting your responsibilities," Mr. Obama said in remarks at the White House…

… Mr. Obama acknowledged that the majority of rescue funds provided to banks already has been recovered, but said "that's not good enough."

If you hear about this proposal anywhere in the MSM, you’ll hear it described as Obama has characterized it: a “financial Crisis Responsibility Fee” imposed on banks to ensure they are “meeting their responsibilities.” But like everything else this corrupt administration has crammed down our throats, that’s a malicious misrepresentation of what has been proposed. Despite the fact Obama wraps it in his finely spun yarn, it is a stinking fish rotting from the head down.

The president acknowledges that most of the banks have paid back their bailout funds (with interest), but states “that’s not good enough.” Why is that? If I pay back my mortgage to the lending bank, can they come back and charge me an additional 15%? What if they just don’t like me, or what I stand for – could they charge me 15% more in that case? Or what if my neighbor’s home went into foreclosure. Could the bank come to my door and demand that I pay my neighbor’s mortgage? Only in an alternate universe?

Well, welcome to the Obamanist’s Twilight Zone. Because that’s precisely what the new 15% tax to be charged to all large banks (whether they took TARP funds or not) is designed to do. Since, by the president’s own admission, they’ve paid back their own obligations, what exactly is the punitive 15% tax for? It’s to pay back GM’s, Chrysler’s and AIG’s bailouts, which also came from TARP funds. Because our omnipotent government has determined that they’ll be unable to pay back their share, and since “we want our money back and we're going to get it," Obama’s team of goons has decided that the entities that did pay back their loans should be held accountable for paying back the loans of those who didn’t. You know, “from each according to his means, to each according to his needs.” That’s what made this country great. Besides, if the banks are doing so well now that they think they can afford to pay their employees “obscene bonuses,” we’ll  just spread that wealth around.

Obama and his socialist-leaning minions are counting on the full support of the little people (that’s us). They’ve calculated that we’ve all been adequately indoctrinated by now into believing that all big banks are greedy, corrupt capitalist institutions that deserve to be punished for all of the suffering they have inflicted on the little people (us again). Financial institutions are the carefully crafted targets of our antipathy. By stirring up the ever rancorous class warfare machine and targeting the banks, your government assumes public sentiment will be on their side, allowing for a bloodless takeover of the financial system through stifling regulation and confiscatory taxes. Socialism doesn’t require that the government own the businesses, only that they control it through mandate and regulation.

This is an egregious power grab by big government. And if it is allowed to stand it will be the precursor of the same treatment for the insurance, energy and manufacturing (or what’s left of it) business segments. Health Care “reform” is already slated to take control of the entire health care industry.

People just never think that giving up a little liberty for a little more safety, or a little control for a little less risk will do any real harm. But eventually it brings us here: ”it's clear we are on the precipice of achievement that's eluded Congresses, presidents for generations -- an achievement that will touch the lives of nearly every American". Obama was speaking of health care reform at the time, and just how it will touch the life of every American is debatable. But rest assured, that is just the first “precipice”  he intends to throw us off.

Now is the time to find your voice, even if you’ve never felt the need before. Before we lose any more freedom. Before the course appears irreversible, and people simply give up and give in.

How’s That Transparency Working Out?

About as well as could be expected, apparently. When even the LA Times starts mocking the administration’s lack there-of, I think you can pronounce it DOA:

Joe Biden update: He meets on transparency today. But the meeting is closed

joey b

Here is the vice president's official schedule for today. Boldface was added in the interests of emphasis. Note especially that the vice president's meeting with the chairman of the Recovery Act Transparency and Accountability Board is closed, meaning non-transparent.

The "pool spray" mentioned has nothing to do with aquatics. It's a coded message to media that a few select members will be allowed in to take pictures briefly -- possibly for only a few seconds -- as Biden and his guest pretend to continue their previously private conversation as if the meeting was open.


In the morning, the President and the Vice President will receive the Presidential Daily Briefing and the Economic Daily Briefing in the Oval Office. These briefings are closed press.

At 11:30 AM, the Vice President will meet with Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to discuss the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This meeting is closed press.
Afterwards, the President and the Vice President will have lunch in the Private Dining Room. This lunch is closed press.
At 1:00 PM, the Vice President will meet with Iraqi Vice President Adil Abd al-Mahdi in the Roosevelt Room. There will be a pool spray at the bottom of this meeting; gather time is 1:45 PM in the Brady Briefing Room.

Then, at 2:15 PM, the Vice President will meet with Earl Devaney, chairman of the Recovery Act Transparency and Accountability Board. This meeting is closed press.

But of course, the Bush/Cheney administration was worse. Don’t know how they could be, but I’m sure they were. Although I seem to recall that their closed meetings were intended to prevent terrorists from knowing what we were up to, in combating them. Obama and Biden’s lack of transparency seems to  be focused on domestic matters and genuinely designed  to keep us citizens in the dark.

You choose.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I Say “Hearsay”. What Say You?

I’ve heard or watched several interviews now with “journalists” Mark Halperin and John Heilemann who wrote the latest blockbuster best seller “Game Change”. The most interesting one by far however was by Don Imus this morning (carried on the FOX Business Channel, in case you were unaware). He queried them at length about attributions they made to various people in their book, and why some attributions included quotes, while others did not. Their explanation is the reason I’ve used quotes around the term “journalists” above.

Halperin and Heilemann provided the most convoluted, tortuous explanation I’ve heard in quite a long while. It boils down to this: they didn’t want to present hearsay information as an actual quote, but they did. From the Inside Imus Web Page: (emphasis mine)

…  Imus wondered why Halperin and Heilemann devised such specific standards for using quotation marks, or not.

"There's a lot of sloppiness in these books," said Heilemann, the national political correspondent for New York Magazine, about political tell-alls. "People put things in quotation marks all the time that they've heard second- or third-hand."

In Game Change, anything with quotation marks around it came directly from the person who said the quote, or someone who heard it directly, Heilemann explained. Anything that did not meet this standard is paraphrased, though still multiply sourced — like President Bill Clinton telling the late Senator Ted Kennedy that a few years ago, a guy like Barack Obama would have been getting them coffee.

Well two problems: first, “someone who heard it directly”  - as opposed to someone who said it directly to you - is known as, um, hearsay.*  Also known as second or third hand information. Secondly, even though they sourced Bill Clinton’s comment to Ted Kennedy from multiple sources, the only non-second hand source for that comment would have been Ted Kennedy. And he’s, um, dead. And since Ted Kennedy obviously didn’t tell either of these two “journalists” directly that Bill Clinton said that a few years ago Obama would be serving their coffee, I’d have to say that’s hearsay. Teddy might have told that story to several people, but he might have made it up: maybe to justify his decision to go with the light skinned candidate who didn’t talk with a Negro dialect.

So while it pains me to in any way defend Bill Clinton for anything, I’m going to have to say that this could well be an   out right hit job by a couple of  out-left “journalists” who might just have a, um,  political agenda of their own.

And speaking of Harry Reid, he doesn’t deny making the statement that is attributed to him. He just made it to these “journalists” as an off-the-record remark, which generally in journalistic circles means, well, that it’s off-the-record. As in not for attribution.

And these people wonder why the old mainstream media is dying?  I’d advise they get out a magnifying glass and stare into their navels.


* Here’s a good working definition of “hearsay” in the legal context: Oral or written testimony about an out-of-court statement attributed to someone other than the testifying person. Such evidence is generally inadmissible because the person to whom the statement is attributed cannot be cross-examined to ascertain its factual basis.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Obamatology: The New State Religion

NOTE: This report has been filed by your reporter who  infiltrated the Church of Obamatology  services located inside a Chicago Acorn Community Center.

Scientology is so last decade. The decade of the ‘10’s offers a newer, better, historic religion to those looking for a higher power than themselves: Obamatology. This post-racial, post-partisan religion of peace-at-any-cost accepts Obama as their messiah and savior.

o savior

It’s the theological codification of Chicago rules. It calls for the complete destruction of your enemies, also known as infidels or conservatives.  It blesses and condones a holy war against pre-Obama American values. Known as the “Ohad,”  this holy war recruits warriors from the rank and file (known as Ohadists). Rahm Emanuel is the religious sect’s  highest holy man and (known as the Oman) supreme commander of the Ohad. As such, he decrees who the enemies of Obamatology are who must be smote.

So far, enemies on the Ohadists include DougRoss@Journal’s new main stream media bloggers, FOX news, all Republicans, Libertarians, Tea Partiers, and all non-Democratic voting Americans outside the Beltway, New York and Los Angeles.

The three greatest recruiting tools in the Ohadist movement are George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin.

This is not a complete list, but to-date what your  undercover reporter has ascertained of the doctrine of the religion is as follows;

Ohadists are required  praise Obama at all times

They are required to destroy the infidels who denigrate him or desecrate his image at any time

They must disrupt and destroy the American  economy in order to make way for the more robust economy founded on social justice.

They are required to commit political and/or career suicide, if need be, in the process of following the above dictums.

To date, known and suspected Ohadist’s include:

All MSM reporters and talking heads with the exception of Jake Tapper. Recent press briefings have brought  Chip Reed’s allegiance into question as well.

All Democratic Senators and Congressman, with special blessings conferred upon Claire McCaskill, Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu: Although it isn’t clear that they were told they were armed with career-ending explosives when they negotiated their votes.

So committed to Obamatology  is this lot, that they’ve even enlisted their leadership to commit career suicide. Harry Reid is a given, and we assume Nancy Pelosi has chosen to do so as well, although from the frozen look on her face for the past 6 months, it’s possible she already has.

Listed below are some recent examples of Ohadist suicide activities (so you know what to watch for):

Two days after a Muslim  on our terrorist watch list boards a Detroit bound jet with a panty load without a passport, on a one-way ticket after his own father turned him in to the American Embassy- the Secretary of Homeland Security goes on the Sunday shoes to claim “ the system worked”. Ouch! That must have hurt, Bruno.

After negotiating the health care bill behind closed doors, cutting deals in previously smoke filled rooms and refusing to post the bill online 72 hours before the Christmas Eve vote, Nancy Pelosi goes on record as saying “ there’s never been a more transparent process”.

Stay tuned for updates on Obamatology and it’s historic efforts to become America’s first ever state religion. Also, we will continue to issue regular Ohadist updates and reports on the progress of this dangerous sect.  Of course, if they continue  to commit suicide at the current rate, this could prove to be a less deadly religion that originally suspected. Sort of like swine flu.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Old Media, Meet New Media…

it isn’t going to be pretty.

Bob Parks, at Big Government, disproves Chris Matthews racist contention that “tea baggers” are all, uh, white.

“And they’re monochromatic right? … Every picture I see shows them to be. … Meaning they’re all white. All of them, every single one of them is white.”

Not that there’s anything wrong with that (I’ll bet some of Chris’ best friends are white). Oh wait. Yes there is. In liberal nirvana, “white” is the only uncherished form of diversity. Idiots.


Racist Andy Breitbart also attempts to (presciently) disprove MSNBC’s go-to guy. (Yes, the same Brietbart who brought you this racist montage aimed at making the President appear to be a liar about the Obamacare debate.)

Where will it all end? Stay tuned for future election results.

h/t Instapundit and Founding Bloggers

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hey Snow Goons! Algore Called. He Wants His Global Warming Back!


Angry Mob of Snow Goons Gather to Protest Global Warming.


As corporate and political honchos are fond of saying: “lead, follow, or get out of the way.” Of course, the type of people who say that sort of thing, really mean “follow”. Apparently the same is true in academia.

But as the skin continues to be peeled back from the so-called global warming “research”, it becoming more difficult for anyone other than the truly weak-willed and weak-minded to trot along behind. Especially since the snow gods continue to rain down an avalanche of ice and snow.

As Patrick J. Michaels points out in his WSJ op-ed,

Few people understand the real significance of Climategate, the now-famous hacking of emails from the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit (CRU). Most see the contents as demonstrating some arbitrary manipulating of various climate data sources in order to fit preconceived hypotheses (true), or as stonewalling and requesting colleagues to destroy emails to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in the face of potential or actual Freedom of Information requests (also true).

But there's something much, much worse going on—a silencing of climate scientists, akin to filtering what goes in the bible, that will have consequences for public policy, including the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) recent categorization of carbon dioxide as a "pollutant."

The “bible” he refers to is the refereed scientific literature, which is the canon of climate science, assumed to be a true and unbiased sample of the state of climate science. He goes on to explain how studies conducted by principled, reputable scientists concluded that “20th-century temperatures could not confidently be considered to be warmer than those indicated at the beginning of the last millennium” (also known as the Medieval Warm Period). Since this conclusion conflicted with Michael Mann’s famous 1999 “hockey stick” article in Geophysical Research Letters,  which:

… through the magic of multivariate statistics and questionable data weighting, wiped out both the Medieval Warm Period and the subsequent "Little Ice Age" (a cold period from the late 16th century to the mid-19th century), leaving only the 20th-century warming as an anomaly of note.

As many people now know, Mann was forced to retract his infamous, fake hockey stick graph that made Al Gore an Academy Award and Nobel Peace Prize winner. But he was plenty ticked off about it, and tried to stifle scientists who continued to attempt to publish conflicting data.

Mr. Mann called upon his colleagues to try and put Climate Research out of business. "Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal," he wrote in one of the emails. "We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board."

After Messrs. Jones and Mann threatened a boycott of publications and reviews, half the editorial board of Climate Research resigned. People who didn't toe Messrs. Wigley, Mann and Jones's line began to experience increasing difficulty in publishing their results.

In what alternative universe would a professor who conducted and published research that is either so incompetently inaccurate, or so sinisterly misrepresented as to constitute fraud, not be drummed out of his profession? Apparently ours, since when Professor Mann’s “mistake” was uncovered, he continued to reign as one of the leading gurus in the field of global warming. How do you explain such a thing?

It’s easier to understand when you realize we are dealing with religion rather than science. Professor Mann had been appointed (bought?) as a high priest of the religion of AGW by the church elders, and his research was deemed to be not only infallible, but invaluable. 

The church of Anthropogenic Global Warming is comprised of two camps. First, the true believers who think the earth has a fever caused by mankind’s original sin: but for man, everything on planet earth would be perfect. No earthquakes, no hurricanes, no volcanoes, no species would ever go extinct, no icecaps would melt and life would be in perfect stasis (i.e. dying, but let’s not get into that). I exaggerate of course, but by and large, true believers expect stability and gradual, if any, change. Never mind that this is not the history of the world. Catastrophic events have happened since life began –and will continue. We are powerless in their face: ice ages, warming periods, meteors, volcanoes: I defy Al Gore to stop them. They really aren’t caused by cars and cow farts. Most of the true believers can be characterized by Hollywood liberal-types and other easily brainwashed life forms - like most people coming out of universities in the past 25 years.

Then there is the other element of this new-age religion. The shysters like Al Gore and George Soros who fraudulently misrepresent facts in order to establish themselves firmly in the middle of the largest transfer of money in the history of the world. In this simplest, and stupidest, of schemes known by many names but most recently as “cash and trade”, the wealthiest of nations, through the extortion of taxes from their citizens , are require to give money to the poorest of nations.  Presumably so they can remain that way, since these are the very nations that have proved themselves time and again guilty of corruption in the use such funds. Oil for Food always comes to mind, in which a handful of people got rich and the people continued to starve. As always, the global Sopranos at the UN get “their taste”.

But the fraudsters prey on the vulnerability of the true-believers – who they find much easier to manipulate when they remain in a perpetual state of fear. The frauds are the high priests who will channel what the angry gods demand by way of appeasement from us flawed mortals. Since they are smarter and more in tune with Gaia than the rest of us, we can leave it to them to determine who the sacrificial virgins will be. And if they tell us we have to stop driving our gasoline guzzlers, stop using incandescent light bulbs, stop using coal and gas, build green windmills, green batteries, eat green organic food, buy carbon credits for our carbon sins, and give a bunch of money to the undeveloped world so they can remain undeveloped, well –who could question their wisdom? What are a few virgins in exchange for a lifetime of Arctic icecaps?

We better stop worrying about how to live without exhaling carbon dioxide and start focusing on how to adapt to unknown and unexpected changes to planet earth. Because an ice age would present much greater challenges than another warm period. And if we dodge both of those sun-tossed bullets, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may have plans that require adaptation too.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Poetry of Science

One of the remarkable elements if the internet is it's ability to provide any level of anonymity that one chooses. Occasionally we reveal a little more of ourselves, sometimes to invoke authority, other times out of vanity. Team Dewey peels off a small layer of shielding to reveal that the team curriculum vitae includes literature (poetry) and science (nuclear engineering). Today’s revelation is to invoke authority.

From time to time we’ve found great poetry on blogs, and more often, some great insights on science.  At American Digest today, we found both, impossibly combined in a wonderful expression of the poetry of science:


To date no living man has dared
To say that E is not MC squared”


Titanium skaters on lakes of metallic hydrogen
Strew constant curves of crystalline
Isotopes of orange uranium
All about our vacant house.

Enigmas of equations
Slide lattices to rest
In beds of powdered strontium,
Molding energy as form suggests.

In the place of flux we find new forms,
And our flux-formed spaces fold
The charms of magnet's fever
Which conduct the core from pole to pole.

This is just a small excerpt of this piece. Do yourself a favor and read Vanderleun’s entire piece.