How to spend yourself into the Pacific, in 2 whiplashing minutes

Seraphic Secret got it from JoshuaPundit, who found it at the source — PoliticalMath.  Watch this video, and then make a mental note of where to find it the next time a liberal counters criticism of Obama’s spending by pointing to Bush’s spending.  While it’s true that latter (shame on him) took us for a fast ride; the former is taking us on a rocket trip to debtor Hell:

An Osmonds antidote

I understand that some of you are having problems coming to grips with the fact that I included Donny and Marie in my sibling line-up.  Just be grateful that I didn’t do a Jackson 5 post.  (It seemed inappropriate this week.)  To help get the bad taste out of your mouths, let me present the Isley Brothers:

And be sure really to watch (not just listen to) this video.  It’s wonderful.

Oh, and one of my favorites from the Pointer Sisters:

Israel blocks leftists — including McKinney — from delivery aid to Gaza

Israel stopped a contingent of Hamas supporters who tried to run a blockade bringing money and supplies into Gaza.  Cynthia McKinney figures prominently in their number:

The Israeli navy intercepted a ship carrying foreign peace activists – including a San Rafael woman – trying to break a blockade of Gaza on Tuesday and forced it to sail to an Israeli port, the military said.

A statement said the Greek-registered freighter Arion ignored a radio message from the Israeli military saying it would not be allowed to enter Gaza waters and ordering it to turn back.

[snip]

Also on board (in addition to a Marin County resident) is former U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire and other activists from Britain, Ireland, Bahrain and Jamaica.

[snip]

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said Israel was planning to free the crew and passengers. “Nobody wants to keep them here,” he said. “They will be released as soon as they are checked.”

The Free Gaza Movement has organized five boat trips to Gaza since August 2008, defying a blockade imposed by Israel when the militant group Hamas seized control of the territory from its Palestinian rivals in June 2007.

This blockade running is a stunt, of course.  Unlike sieges of old, Israel is not imposing a blockade in order to cause the citizens of Gaza to experience famine and disease.  The amount of government-sanctioned money flowing into Gaza from all points of the world is staggering.   In 2009 alone, Saudi Arabia promised $58.9 million; President Obama (bless his little Leftist heart) promised a staggering $900 million; and, ‘tho I can’t find 2009 figures, as little as two years ago, Europe was giving annual aid at the 500 million Euro level.  None of this, of course, is chump change.  If the Palestinians had spent it wisely, they could have had a true Utopia.  As it is, because they are a mix of corruption and murderous hatred, they’ve created a foul dystopia.

But I digress.  Given the money that pours into Gaza, and given that Israel allows food, water and electricity to flow into that hate-filled territory, why the Israeli blockade?  Only useful idiots would fail to see that the blockade is a desperate effort to prevent arms from flowing into Gaza.  As it is, despite the blockade, Israel deals with thousands of rocket attacks annually.  One only shudders to think what would happen without a blockade.

I’m willing to believe that the useful idiots on that ship have nothing to do with arms smuggling.  Frankly, they’re too dumb to be trusted with what is, after all, a delicate task.  They are cover, pure and simple.  Hamas has discovered that there’s no better way simultaneously to hide and support their murderous agenda than to encourage the belief on the part of the credulous on the Left that Palestinians are victims of a genocidal Israel plot.  One of the hallmarks of Leftists, both those who are informed and committed, and those who are merely stupid, is the inability to realize that not all Goliaths (that is, all big guys) are bad, and not all Davids (that would be the little guys) are good.

As I’ve said time and again in this blog, it’s not enough to be little.  You have to stand for something good to be deserving of the David appellation and the world’s assistance.  Right now, there are Davids in the world, but they are the Iranian citizens facing the guns and axes of their own government in an effort to bring some small measure of freedom to their totalitarian corner of the world.

Somehow, though,  I don’t think I’ll see Cynthia McKinney and her fellow-travelers making a stand for Iranian citizens any time soon.  She takes her cue from our President, who seemingly has never met a totalitarian government he hasn’t liked.

Working — and still demoralized

Al Franken is entering the Senate, and I’m trying to figure out a procedural way around a Labor Commissioners unbearably stupid ruling.

My wonderful, scintillating email group is arguing like crazy over peripheral matters because central matters all seem to have been sucked irrevocably into the black hole of Obama politics.

The brilliant, but absolutely lacking in charisma, Mitt Romney is the only well-known voice speaking out against the insanity but no one is listening — maybe because he’s absolutely lacking in charisma.

Add all this to yesterday’s blechs (Obama siding again with dictators, crap and trade, health care “reform,” the administration’s sustained attack against Israel, planes crashing) and, to copy Taranto (who in turn feel in love with a foolish AP headline), “Everything is seemingly spinning out of control.”

Sigh.

Sigh.

I’m reading the news today, but still struggling for something to add beyond the obvious.  What’s sustaining me right now is your comments to my recent open threads.

So, let me extend again an offer I made some time ago.  Send me a proposed post and, if I think it will work for my blog, I’ll publish it.  Bookwormroom *at* gmail.com

I changed my mind about blogging today

I’ve finally gotten around to reading the news, and have nothing to say.  Obama is staying true to form and backing a dictatorship, this one in Honduras.  The Supreme Court is poised on a knife’s edge, with four justices thinking it’s perfectly okay to discriminate against people based upon their lack of color.  Iranians are dying in the street and our president says nothing.  Crap and Trade is set to destroy the American economy.  Health care “reform” is set to destroy the current American health system.  And the media is still clucking about the death of an anorexic drug addict whose heyday passed 20 years ago.

If you have something to say today, please say it.  I am retiring temporarily (24 hours or less) in disgust.  I need to kick some butt at the dojo tonight and then, maybe, I’ll feel more sanguine about everything.

Attention PETA people: The fish are already dead!

I’m beginning to believe that PETA has been taken over by saboteurs who are trying to destroy the organization by making it look unbelievably stupid:

“Hali-BUT! Hali-BUT! Heyyyyyy!” six men scream in unison. “Goin’ right home! Goin’ right home!” The counterman catches the hurtling fish neatly between the head and tail fin and slaps it onto a wrapping sheet.

The Pike Place Fish Market is the legendary home of the flying fish: Halibut as big as a wrestler’s thigh, spiky medallions of crab, the smooth, rainbow flesh of Chinook salmon, all become rapid-fire marine rockets in the hands of Seattle’s fishmongers — who are as famous for the speed of their fish as for its freshness.

But did anyone ever think of the fish?

Asserting that the practice of lobbing fish above the heads of patrons and tourists at the market and other venues is disrespectful to creatures that already have gone through a lot, an animal rights group is protesting plans to stage a flying-fish exhibition at an upcoming national veterinarians conference in Seattle.

Ultimately, they would like to see the practice banned at the fish market too. They argue that tourists would not be nearly so eager to snap photos if dead kittens or gutted lambs were sailing over their heads.

“Killing animals so you can toss their bodies around for amusement is just twisted,” said Ashley Byrne, senior campaigner for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in Washington, D.C.

The fish are caught at Pike’s Place are caught, not for tossing, but so that we can eat them.  The fish were originally tossed for efficient transport from one location to another.  People were charmed, so now it’s a bit of a show.  The fish would be dead anyway.

More important, fish are not puppies or kittens.  The latter are cute, the former are not.  The emotional resonance is different.  Allow me to demonstrate:

Puppy

Puppy

Kitten

Kitten

Fish

Fish

Jews and gays who are idiots

My husband was in the City for a conference, so he caught part of the SF Gay Pride Parade.  He said that there was an enormous group of gay Jews in the parade.  The last part of this group had huge signs proclaiming anti-Zionist Jews for Palestine.  They got incredible applause from the crowd.

And now for a series of rhetorical questions:  How dumb can these people be?  Don’t they understand that in nations that have sharia law, homosexuals are routinely tortured and executed?  Don’t they appreciate that the one safe haven for Palestinian gays is Israel?

This kind of ideologically motiviated stupidity drives me nuts.

What’s in the water these people are drinking?

A very bright Marin professional told me she’s incredibly excited about the proposed Obama health care plan, because the government is certain to be more efficient than the market.  When I suggested that the market might be more efficient if we took away the thousands of regulations that impeded it, allowing it to function more cheaply, she brushed that off:  “The insurance companies are raking in the money.  The government should take over.”  This is what 30 years of anti-capitalistic, Marxist education has created.  People who think they can stay rich in a government run economy — because it’s not fair that others make money.

Swim meet day (and a little sibling music)

I’ve already been to the swim meet and back, worked out at the dojo, and am going back to the swim meet.  Blogging will not be a happening thing.  However, I love doing open threads because all of you post such interesting stuff.

Also, I’m using this space for a little more sibling music.

The Everly Brothers

And the Jonas Brothers (although I really don’t expect you to listen to them):

Michelle Malkin is naming names. . . .

. . . . and by visiting her blog, you can figure out which Republicans need to be knocked out in the upcoming primaries.  Oh, you don’t know what I’m talking about?  I’m talking about the House passing Cap-and-trade by a vote of 219-212.  Passage was made possible by 8 Republicans who voted for the super tax on the American consumer.  By contrast, 44 Dems voted against it.  Apparently Blue Dog Dems are better than candy-assed, spineless (probably bought) Repubs.

Stopping Waxman Markey

From Richard Baehr:

218 needed to win…Call your Congressman or Congresswoman, or congressmen in other states too. The Waxman Markey bill will do two things-

1. raise the price of energy in the US for all income levels (an energy tax that is regressive- it will hit lower income families more than high income families), and

2. move jobs to China and developing nations that are using more carbon based energy to support their economic growth, while we tie our hands, in the midst of a serious recession, to feel better about ourselves for saving the planet. China is the world’s biggest CO2 emitter, and whatever emissions we reduce will be overwhelmed by their increased use. So even if you believe that CO2 levels are tied to global warming, this bill will be useless in reversing global awrming. For the record, I don’t believe the atmospheric CO2 level- global warming link has been proven- not with a 0.2 degree centigrade rise in global temperatures the last 70 years, or an 8 inch rise in ocean levels in 100 years, at a time when CO2 levels rose by 40%. . Al Gore has run a scare campaign-bloviating about a 10 degree temperature rise, and 20 foot ocean rise by the end of the century. I don’t think so. Australians seem to have caught on that this is the the greatest scientific hoax of the century. The monstrous 1200 page bill now before the House has been read by zero Congressmen. Anyone who tells you they understand the impact is lying.

Link

Yes

Yes = 175
Leaning Yes = 35
TOTAL = 210

Undecided = 20

No

No = 190
Leaning No = 14
TOTAL = 204

Undecided or Won’t Say:
Kirkpatrick Az (202) 225-2315
Boyd Fla (202) 225-5235
Brown Fla (202) 225-0123
Bishop Ga (202) 225-3631
R Kirk Ill 202-225-4835
Foster Ill (866) 777-6670
Donnelly Ind (202) 225-3915
R Jones NC 202-225-3415
McIntyre NC (202) 225-2731
R Frelinghuysen NJ (202) 225-5034
Tonko NY (202) 225-5076
Arcuri NY (202) 225-3665
Space Ohio (he voted for it in committee) (202) 225-6265
Carney Penna. (202) 225-3731
Davis Tenn 202.225.6831
Al Green Tex (202) 225-7508
Jackson Lee Tex (202) 225-3816
Ortiz Tex (202) 225-7742
Eddie Bernice Johnson Tex (202) 225-8885
Kind Wis (202) 225-5506

Leaning Yes:
Mitchell Az (202) 225-2190
Cardoza Calif (202) 225-6131
Costa Calif 202-225-3341
Baca Calif (202)225-6161
R Castle Del 202.225.4165
Grayson Fla (202) 225-2176
Meek Fla 202-225-4506
Kozmas Fla (202) 225-2706
Abercrombie Hi (202) 225-2726
Bean Ill (202) 225-3711
R Cao La (202) 225-6636
Kratovil Md (202) 225-5311
R Ehlers Mich (202) 225-3831
Kildee Mich 202-225-3611
Schauer Mich (202) 225-6276
Peters Mich (202) 225-5802
Clay Mo (202) 225-2406
Skelton Mo 202-225-2876
Thompson Miss (202) 225-5876
Shuler NC (202) 225-6401
Adler NJ (202) 225-4765
Lance NJ (202) 225-5361
Meeks NY 202/225-3461
McMahon NY (202) 225-3371
Murphy NY (202) 225-5614
R McHugh NY (202) 225-4611
Maffei NY (202) 225-3701
Driehaus Ohio (202) 225-2216
Fudge Ohio (202) 225-7032
Kilroy Ohio (202) 225-2015
Cooper Tenn 202-225-4311
Edwards Tex 202-225-6105
Rodriguez Tex (202) 225-4511
Nye Va (202) 225-4215
Kagan Wisc (202) 225-5665

Leaning No:
Salazar Colo 202-225-4761
Marshall Ga 202/225-6531
Boswell Iowa (202) 225-3806
Minnick Idaho (202) 225-6611
Halvorson Ill (202) 225-3635
Etheridge NC (202) 225-4531
Kissell NC (202) 225-3715
Massa NY (202) 225-3161
Kaptur Ohio (202) 225-4146
Boccieri Ohio (202) 225-3876
R Gerlach Penna 202.225.4315
Hinojosa Tex (202) 225-2531
Mollohan WV (202) 225-4172
Rahall WV (202) 225-3452

My Congressperson is, of course, the execrable Lynn Woolsey, who undoubtedly thinks this bill doesn’t go far enough.

All violence is equal, but some violence is more equal than others

Movie review one:

The movie is a viscerally exciting, adrenaline-soaked tour de force of suspense and surprise, full of explosions and hectic scenes of combat, but it blows a hole in the condescending assumption that such effects are just empty spectacle or mindless noise.

[snip]

Ms. Bigelow, practicing a kind of hyperbolic realism, distills the psychological essence and moral complications of modern warfare into a series of brilliant, agonizing set pieces.

[snip]

It has intense, horrific violence and appropriately profane reactions to the prospect of same.

Let me sum that up: This is an incredibly violent movie, with really gross stuff, but we love it.

Movie review two:

[This movie] thoroughly blurs the line between high-minded outrage and lurid torture-porn.

[snip]

Not since “The Passion of the Christ” has a film depicted a public execution in such graphic detail. In the approximately 20 minutes during which the killing unfolds, the camera repeatedly returns to study the battered face and body of the title character (Mozhan Marno) as she is stoned to death.

[snip]

In one of the film’s sickeningly exploitative touches, Ali, wearing a triumphal grin, examines his wife’s crumpled, blood-drenched body to make sure she is dead and discovers signs of life in a rolled-up eye. The stoning is promptly resumed.

[snip]

Mr. Negahban’s Ali, who resembles a younger, bearded Philip Roth, suggests an Islamic fundamentalist equivalent of a Nazi anti-Semitic caricature. With his malevolent smirk and eyes aflame with arrogance and hatred, he is as satanic as any horror-movie apparition.

[snip]

As “The Passion of the Christ” showed, the stimulation of blood lust in the guise of moral righteousness has its appeal.

Again, let me sum things up: This is an incredibly violent movie, with really gross stuff, and we were deeply offended.

As I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, the second movie is The Stoning of Soraya M. It depicts true events in an Iranian village that is subject to the worst kind of sharia law, misogyny, and power run amok.  The movie does not shy away from showing what it looks like for someone to be stoned to death, nor the evil that motivates that kind of action.  And lest you think the violence is exaggerated, just think of the beheading tapes the jihadis like to release, in which they are in an ecstasy of bloodlust.  Bottom line:  showing the true horror of a religious, misogynistic act is really tacky, and it’s downright cruel to force New York Times reviewers to have to watch it.

The first movie may not be one you’ve heard of.  It’s called The Hurt Locker — and is a critic’s pick.  Set during 2004 in Iraq, it shows a squad dedicated to disarming (or blowing up) IEDs.  The only really problem, in the critic’s eyes, is that the film isn’t more antiwar.  Thus, he lauds the fact that “you will . . . be thinking” but complains that the film did not go further:

[You will . . . be thinking] Not necessarily about the causes and consequences of the Iraq war, mind you. The filmmakers’ insistence on zooming in on and staying close to the moment-to-moment experiences of soldiers in the field is admirable in its way but a little evasive as well.

It is in this context that the reviewer thinks all that bloody, graphic, horrifying violence is just about the most thrilling thing he’s seen in, God, who knows how long.  Bottom line:  showing American military people and Iraqi citizens being blown up in graphic detail is incredibly exciting, because it reminds us that Bush lied and people died.

As I said, all violence is equal, but some violence is definitely more exciting and rewarding than others.

The media’s Michael Jackson worship *UPDATED*

Jonah Goldberg expresses beautifully everything that’s wrong with the media’s coverage about Michael Jackson’s death:

Generally speaking, I’m a believer in the rule that we should not speak ill of the dead. Or at least we should wait a decent interval before doing so (if we never spoke ill of the dead, history would be meaningless). But, I must say I find the media’s instinctive rush to sanctify Michael Jackson disgusting.

[snip]

Everyone likes to invoke Lord Acton’s axiom that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” But nearly everyone forgets that he coined this phrase not to indict powerful men, but to instruct the historians who write about them.  Historians tend to forgive the powerful their transgressions. Likewise, journalists (for want of a better word) tend to forgive the famous.

Calling Michael Jackson an icon doesn’t let him off the hook for anything. But to listen to the news anchors you’d think it absolves him of everything.

The only thing that could have made Goldberg’s point more strongly would have been if he had quoted from an LA Times writer who announced that “Michael Jackson is perhaps the most fatally flawed historical icon since Napoleon.”

Michael Jackson’s life made me feel icky.  The media’s post-death coverage makes me feel positively slimed.

UPDATE:  The Anchoress, inspired by Goldberg, took it to the next level, explaining the difference between idols and icons.

Unofficial poll about Romney’s electibility

I know that, in the run-up to the to the 2008 presidential election, many Christians said that they could not vote for Romney because he is a Mormon.  I’m wondering if that’s changed.  Romney may be a Mormon but Obama is, well, Obama.  For true Christians, can there be a “lesser of two evils” calculus when it comes to the presidency?

If he is the most likely candidate to beat Obama in 2012, Christians will vote for Mitt Romney.

View Results
Create a Blog Poll

Comments are welcome, but no Mormon bashing, please.

(My views on Romney are here.)

“Brian Ferry is completely cool.”

I’d never heard of Brian Ferry when I arrived in England many, many years ago.  One of my roommates was shocked:  “Brian Ferry is completely cool,” she said.  If you ignore the funny faces he makes and the weird bolo tie, this song makes her case:

And here’s another cool gem from the early 1980s:

(And I’m going through a major case of memory lane here.  I’ve been youtubing all the music from my high school and college years.  It makes me feel simultaneously young again and quite old.)

Bright boy

The other day, I posted my favorite Bee Gee’s song, Nights on Broadway.  I played it for my son and he, bless his heart, liked it so much he put it on his iTouch.  “That’s a great song.”  That’s my boy.

I have to say, listening to these old dance songs, I really miss dancing.  Mr. Bookworm does not enjoy dancing, so that’s a part of my life that’s pretty much ended — except when I’m bopping around my office listening to music on my computer.

Wonderful Watchers

This is the fantastic Watcher’s Council stuff I’m getting to read right now.  I’m struggling mightily to cast my votes, because I find the contributions uniformly excellent.

Council Submissions

Non-Council Submissions