Saturday, January 30, 2010

HOT FOR TEACHER - Peta's ABC Strip Quiz

It's Rule 5 Sunday eve, and my favorite nutjobs activists over at Peta have a new feature on their site. To promote the "ABC" campaign (that's Animal Birth Control for you clueless fur-wearing meat-eaters), they have an "ABCs Strip Quiz".

Did I say "Hot for Teacher"? Looks more like a school girl than a teacher... But what do you expect from folks who can't tell a fish from a kitten?

Regardless, their new promotion features this young lady spreading the... uh... word about Animal Birth Control. She says:

Hi, I'm Amber, and today, we're going to be going over our ABCs. Here's your first lesson: "ABC" stands for "animal birth control," but it can also stand for "Amber's bored with clothes" if you have the brainpower to answer these 10 quiz questions correctly.

Now, I've never claimed to sympathize with Peta or their silly many causes... But, I realize my readers may want to know more. So in the interest of investigative journalism, I'm willing to make a sacrifice. I plan to fake it. That's right. I think I'm bright enough to figure out which answers Peta wants (even if I don't agree with them) so that I can bring you the final... um... climax of the quiz.

A couple of questions in, and this is the progress:

Well... I must be guessing right, huh? Interesting way to get people thinking about spaying their pets.
What's that? You already forgot the point of the quiz? Sheesh. Animal Birth Control! Focus!

Onward to the next questions. By the way, every time you get one wrong, ol' Amber threatens to start putting her clothes back on. Talk about pressure!

I'm down to the last couple of questions now... So far so good, I guess. But in the interest of respecting RSM's PG-13 guideline for Rule 5 Sundays, maybe I should put the rest below the fold.

Click here for the finish:

Conservative Hysteria Over DADT

Sometimes, there's a danger in trying to get all the information and opinion available...

I've long subscribed to newsletters and mailing lists of groups on both ends of the political spectrum, because I think it's useful to know what people are thinking and saying. This sometimes ends up irritating me when I go through my inbox, because it means a lot of extreme ideology finds its way to me. Nevertheless, even when I disagree, I'm rarely actually offended by what I read.

Yesterday, however, I received a real doozy. To be honest, it pissed me off so badly I couldn't trust myself to write a coherent post about it, so I waited to reread it today and try again. It still pisses me off - but, coherent or not, here I go...

I got an email from Human Events Online about Obama's belated efforts to address DADT. I have to say, this email doesn't even bother to disguise its hateful rhetoric and homophobic bullshit. I'm not going to post the whole thing because, on top of being one of the more offensive emails I've received from ANY mailing list, it's ridiculously long. We'll stick to samples, and if you want to read the whole thing, email and I'll send it to you.

FYI - This letter was chock-full of bright red font to emphasize their points. Where you see red font, it's exactly as written, emphasis THEIRS.
President Obama pledged in his State of the Union Address to promote open homosexual aggression within the ranks of the military

That's the first sentence, and sets the tone of the thing...


Friday, January 29, 2010

Mock Meat is Muppet Murder

I was reading an article this morning about "mock meat"... And it made me think of my own single experience with vegetarian cuisine.

(On a side note -- why mock meat? If you are so morally opposed to the ingestion of tasty flesh, why would you purposely try to recreate the taste and texture of such an abomination? I think all the vegans eating tofurkey and lentil-loaf are kidding themselves. If they didn't crave meat, they wouldn't be trying to replicate it.)

Regardless... I once - ONCE - ate at a vegetarian restaurant. Back when I wanted to be a hippy.

I grew up in a pretty small town. I don't think they have a Starbucks to this day, if that gives you an idea how small. So as a much younger person, I was really excited to see a coffee shop/restaurant move into town. My best friend and I set out to have lunch, and to try our first samples of real espresso and cappuccino.

The place was a great change from what we were used to. Interesting decor, smell of coffee heavy in the air, the idea that we were so much cooler than the other inhabitants of our town and therefor singularly qualified to scope out the new cafe and pass judgement. Yes, we were ready!

And then the menu came, along with the smiling server. I didn't recognize a single dish. Everything was vegetarian, which is fine if you like vegetables. I've never passed beyond my inner five-year-old in that regard. (Think: "Eww! What's the green stuff? Get it away from my pork chop!) But we were so cool... Had to try something, right?

Rice dish. Sure, I can handle rice. How bad can that be? I order the rice. And an iced tea.

Server: We have green tea with honey, raspberry tea, chai tea...

Me: No, thanks. Just plain iced tea.

Server: Ummm... We have green tea with honey, rasp--

Me: Just bring me a green tea. No honey - I don't do bug barf. Got any sugar packets?

This should have been a sign. But when you're young and dumb and too cool for your own damn good, you wouldn't notice a sign if it's neon.

The food comes. Not bad, I guess. Not great, and I sure couldn't imagine trying to survive on it for my entire life, but passable. Until... wait... what the hell is this purple dimply stuff? It looks like chunks of Nerf with goosebumps. What the...?

Me: Excuse me. What's this purple stuff?

Server: Ummm. I'm not sure. Would you like me to ask?

Me: If you expect me to eat it, yes. I'd like it identified.

Server (returned from the kitchen): It's mock duck.

Me: But what is it?

Server: Mock duck.

Sigh. Heavy sigh. I'm trying to decide now if this person is slow... or messing with me.

Me: Well, we've established that it's not duck. So what is it?

Server: It's mock duck. It's probably a tofu product.

My friend: It's muppet. Just f*cking eat it.

Muppet seemed like the only reasonable explanation. No meat or vegetable that I know of is purple, dimply and the exact texture of Nerf.

And with that, I slid my plate away. I was finished not only with my serving of muppet, but with anything to do with vegetarianism or veganism. After all, anyone who eats muppet is someone I can't be involved with.

So... the next time (if ever) you read a post where I'm ranting and raving about the vegans and you get to wondering "What the hell is your problem anyway?", you have the answer.

I can get behind eating a cow, pig, whatever. But I draw the line at slaughtering and devouring sweet, innocent, entertaining muppets. Everyone has their limit - I guess muppet is mine.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The O'Keefe Coverage Is Confusing

I am soooooo confused about the James O'Keefe arrest.

For two days, I've been reading every story I can find about it. (Best roundup is at Patterico.) The problem is, nobody has their story straight.

He was arrested by the FBI. He was arrested by US Marshals. He was arrested inside the building. They were all arrested some time later. I've found half a hundred different versions.

So, who's right? When was O'Keefe arrested, and by which law enforcement agency?

Here are some more questions that are bothering me....

Who called the FBI? When did they call? Why call the FBI or the US Marshals, and not the police? Who calls the FBI before they call the police? Or is this standard, considering her Landrieu's position? And if that's the case, would they be calling the FBI over a panhandler? Was O'Keefe recognized from the start?

This whole thing strikes me as weird.

If anyone knows the answers to my questions, please comment or email me. Maybe the information is out there and I'm just not finding it. Maybe there's a reasonable explanation why the FBI would be called when it's generally a local police department who has the means to respond immediately. I honestly don't know...

UPDATE: This was up before my post, but I missed it...

Bruce at GayPatriot seems to have the same suspicions I do.

And the other question that I want to know is this: What does James O’Keefe know about the Senator or her staff that resulted in Mary Landrieu wanting to call in the Federal thugs to stop that information from getting out to the public?

I still haven't seen anything (and I've looked) that details the exact timeline of the arrest. Who were the initial responders, and it if was the feds - then why?

Ford Makes $2.7B Profit in 2009

Saw this at JammieWearingFool:

The Ford Motor Company posted its first profit in 4 years.

Huh. How's GM doing?

When Ford announced they would not seek bailout money, I told family and friends that the next time I'm in the market for a new ride, I'm going with Ford. At least I won't be paying for the damn thing twice.

Apparently, I'm not the only one. We should all try to support Ford with our spending dollars, and let Government Motors with its tax dollars die the ignominious death it deserves.

Obama Gets It Right For The Wrong Reasons

OK. This is my second and last post on the SOTU address... and I have a feeling it's not going to be a popular opinion:

President Obama, it's about freaking time you addressed "Don't Ask Don't Tell" on a national stage.

The gays have been pissed at you for a year, and I don't blame them. You promised to work on this issue much sooner, and you only went there now because you're losing support from the people that helped put you into office! (I really hope they're smart enough to see this isn't about your genuine concern or support, but about the 2010 elections.)

DADT was and is a stupid policy that does nothing but divide and hurt. It has accomplished nothing beyond costing the jobs of some dedicated military personnel.

Here's a news flash -- there are gay people currently serving in our military. That's right. Right this second, there are homosexuals in uniform. They just aren't allowed to say so.

What earthly good does that do? They're THERE. If they say, "Hey, I'm gay.", they won't be any more gay than if they didn't say it.

I know... this is an unpopular idea. Even two-faced weasel esteemed Senator John McCain supports it completely. (Good thing for DADT it wasn't his VP candidate, or it could kiss that support goodbye.)

"This successful policy has been in effect for over 15 years, and it is well understood and predominantly supported by our military at all levels," McCain said. "We have the best-trained, best-equipped, and most professional force in the history of our country, and the men and women in uniform are performing heroically in two wars. At a time when our Armed Forces are fighting and sacrificing on the battlefield, now is not the time to abandon the policy."

Hey, Senator Stab People In The Back, McCain, some of those men and women performing heroically are GAY. The policy hasn't kept them away, it has only kept them in the closet.

We're at war on two fronts, and Iran is always a possibility. We have an all-volunteer military. When a qualified American volunteers to serve his or her country, you say "Thank you for your service and your sacrifice." You don't concern yourself with things that have no bearing on their ability to serve. What's so hard about this?

It's just a shame that Obama isn't doing it for the right reasons. If it was about discrimination and justice, he'd have done something much sooner. He's throwing a bone to the gay community so they'll support his candidates in 2010. Even if he doesn't ASK, they should TELL him -- too little too late.

The President is BLACK?!

I'm not going to do any heavy posting on Obama's State of the Union address.

First, I didn't watch it. And I'll say this... this is the first time in my adult life I've not watched the SOTU, regardless of the President at the time. The fact is, I've had a belly full of Obama and his teleprompter after seeing him yammer on 6 zillion times in a year. I waited to read the transcripts this morning.

Second, the blogosphere will be buzzing all day about every syllable he uttered. There will be little original left to say. I have this post, and I think one other in me regarding this speech. Onward.

The thing that stood out to me the most on the innerwebs this morning isn't even Obama, per se. It's Chris Matthews. In my humble opinion, this fool's off the cuff remarks about Obama say sooo much about him - and many on the left - that I have to address it:

I was trying to think about who he was tonight. It's interesting: he is post-racial, by all appearances. I forgot he was black tonight for an hour. You know, he's gone a long way to become a leader of this country, and past so much history, in just a year or two. I mean, it's something we don't even think about. I was watching, I said, wait a minute, he's an African American guy in front of a bunch of other white people. And here he is president of the United States and we've completely forgotten that tonight -- completely forgotten it. I think it was in the scope of his discussion. It was so broad-ranging, so in tune with so many problems, of aspects, and aspects of American life that you don't think in terms of the old tribalism, the old ethnicity.

Chris Matthews forgot Obama was black... for an hour.

Here's the thing, Thrill-boy... For all your accusations of racism and rampant rednecks, it is the left who can not get past the color of this man's skin. You people spend so much time patting yourselves and each other on the back for electing a black man that you cheapen what could be the only good thing about an Obama presidency - that we finally destroyed that racial barrier.

I did not vote for Barack Obama. Still, I was proud of my country that we'd (in my mind) moved beyond the divisive past and proved once and for all that a black man can move all the way to the top in America. Granted, that feeling of pride wasn't enough to overcome my feelings about Obama the man, but those are separate issues in my mind.

I don't care what color Obama is. I mean that sincerely. I don't think of him as a black President, or the African-American President, or the bi-racial President, or the post-racial President... He's just my President. I disagree with him more often than not, but I don't think his race has anything to do with his bad policies, and I am sick to death of the constant harping on his melanin levels.

Not so the left. For many liberals, Obama's race defines him. (Ahem... racists.) And we don't need a more vivid demonstration of that than Matthew's boneheaded remarks about "forgetting" Obama is black.

I don't need to "forget" that Obama is black, because as far as I'm concerned it's irrelevant. He's just a man, a politician, and I don't much care for where he'd like to take us. But I do wish the left could follow Matthew's lead and forget this is a black man and just let us deal with our President without the constant racial references and the tension it creates.

UPDATE: I'd like to temper my statement about Matthews' remarks. It seems he's irritating some liberals as much or more than he annoys me. The posters at Democratic Underground are going off on his nonsense - actually calling him a racist, just like I have. Some of them are a little more... um, blunt about it:

If we're gonna have a shit fit over Harry Reid using the word "negro"
This f*cking assh*le should be drawn and quartered for such a racist statement.

Huh. Wonders never cease. Maybe Matthews is good for something. He gives the left and right something to agree on... namely that he's a racist boob.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Woman Dies During Minor Elective Medical Procedure

A New York woman who went in for an elective procedure has died after one of her arteries was severed.

Alexandra Nuñez died of cardiac arrest after being rushed from the "A1 Medicine" clinic to the Elmhurst Hospital Center.

Did I mention the elective procedure was an abortion?

I'm not going to use this post to argue abortion or throw stones at this woman. She is dead, and her four children are motherless.

I am going to use this an an opportunity to blast the constant challenges to parental consent/notification when it comes to abortion. Pro-choice groups are always battling to make it easier for young girls to get abortions without their parents' permission - or even knowledge in some cases. Planned Parenthood has handy tips for avoiding parental involvement right on their website.

If you want to get an abortion and you feel that you cannot tell a parent, don't panic — help is available. Your first step is to contact an abortion provider near you.

This incident only underscores the reality that abortion is a surgical procedure, with all the risks surgery involves - from anesthesia reactions, to infections, to accidents like this one.

A hospital or clinic wouldn't perform any other surgical procedure on a child without the consent (and requisite signing of CYA paperwork) of a parent. It's time to bring the idea of abortion without parental involvement to a screeching halt.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It's The End Of The World As We Know It

There is a disturbance in the force. Something is tangled in the warp and weft of the very fabric of the universe. Hell may, indeed, have finally frozen over.

I'm about to defend Peta.

Ohhhh... it burns.

I hate Peta. I've mentioned it. Repeatedly. I really hate them.

I saw this story this morning and didn't post on it. Why? Well, I couldn't do anything with it. Nobody famous was runnin' nekkid in it. They weren't giving preschoolers night terrors outside of the chicken joint. An American Petapeople hit Canadian official Gail Shea in the face with a tofu pie.

Really, my only though was "Tofu pie? Eww!"

But the story? Meh. And this from someone who does a fair amount of vegan loony Peta bashing.
Now I read that Liberal MP Gerry Byrne has told a Newfoundland radio station that the incident should be investigated as a terrorist act.
Byrne says it could be a test case:
"It would be illegal to make funds, to contribute funds, to what is termed a terrorist organization," Byrne said. "It would also severely restrict the movements between borders, between Canada and the U.S., of PETA members, especially their executive, and it would cause a matter of surveillance to occur of PETA members who would be labelled as members of a terrorist organization."
I hate Peta. Have I mentioned that? I thought it was hilarious when the USDA put them on an eco-terror list. But that was for breaking and entering and dangerous behaviors. This is different. This is insane. Restrict their movements? Cut off their funds? Surveillance?
For a freaking pie? Are you shitting me? And gawd help me, I agree with Ingrid Newkirk:
"Mr. Byrne's reaction is a silly, chest-beating exercise that is unlikely to impress anyone who has a heart for animals or who is bright enough to spot the difference between a bomb and a tofu cream pie," Newkirk said in a statement.
I can't believe it... but I agree with her.
The pie pusher was arrested for assault. That makes sense to me, and seems reasonable. But terrorism? For a pie? Gimme a break.


Republican Redefined examines a PPP poll that shows Huckabee leading Obama and comes away hoping for a legitimate candidate for 2012:

"I’m on the verge of a coronary stressing over the lack of legitimate candidates emerging as we move toward 2012. If I really have to choose between Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin I may have to cut off my hand after I leave the voting booth. Voting for John McCain made me want to shoot myself, and I’d like to live to see 2013."

I couldn't agree more.

Funny thing is, I like Sarah Palin. But I like Sarah Palin the way TChristopher likes Huckabee:

"The truth is I like Mike Huckabee. I really do, but when I say that I like him I really mean I like him as… a Fox News personality – not as a political candidate let alone a Presidential candidate, but I do genuinely like him. I think he mixes his religion with his politics a bit more than I can stomach and I think he’s a bit of a character – bordering on a caricature, but he comes down on the right side of most issues."

While I'm not a Huckabee fan, that statement pretty well sums up my feelings on Palin at this point. And I don't see her as a contender for 2012.

So... where does that leave us? With whoever the Republican Party tries to pawn off on us. Palin is not a viable option. I don't think Huckabee is, either. Who's left?

I'll not vote for Mitt Romney. I simply refuse. And if the Republicans are stupid enough to nominate Gingrich (as he keeps hinting) I swear by all that is holy I will vote for Barack Obama.

Who else ya got?

What's In A Name?

I've mentioned before that I find it hard to describe my political philosophy in any of the accepted terms.

As a younger person I happily (and correctly) identified myself as a liberal. Now - whether because of age and wisdom or changes in the political atmosphere or both - I shun the term as well as the mindset.

I've also been reluctant to label myself conservative. While there are many aspects of conservatism that I agree with, I find myself repulsed by the inherent judgementalism of those who believe a person must be Other-directed to be sincere in their ideology.

So I was amused and interested to read Meghan McCain's article on The Daily Beast. (Did I just write that I found Meghan McCain interesting and amusing?) Ms. McCain took, and passed, the Republican Purity test with a score of 8/10. I happen to agree wholeheartedly with Meghan's assessment of the test's existence:

"Any organization asking for “purification” from something just feels innately creepy and a little sinister."
But, to satisfy my own curiosity, I took the test. And scored higher.

Oh, my...

So I took another test. This one was the Nolan Political Quiz. It asks ten questions, and plots you on a graph according to your answers. Where'd I end up?

Almost exactly where I expected I might.

Monday, January 25, 2010

I'd Like To Buy The World A Coke...

But I won't be able to afford the taxes. At least, not in New York.

Seems Governor David Paterson wants to combat obesity by adding a penny-an-ounce tax to sugared sodas. That price move, according to this article, will make some brands of beer cheaper than soda.

Now, ignoring the argument over whether you can call Old Milwaukee "beer", let's look at the important point:

Why the hell should everybody be punished for those who cannot exercise moderation?!

I've blogged on this before, because it's a topic that pisses me off. Clearly, it's an idea that's not going away. But guess what? I'm not growing more accepting... on the contrary - I'm more pissed about it than I used to be! But maybe I'm alone. From the comments section of the article:

Freedom of choice is all well and good, but New York has the largest Medicaid system in the country–a very expensive support system for many of the people who drink lots of soda and give it to their children. All of us pay for the medical treatments for poor people that result from their bad consumption decision-making.

THIS is the kind of thinking that will one day threaten the world's supply of bacon.

One last thought on this.
Think carefully... The last time you saw a truly gargantuan member of our society zooming through the grocery store on a motorized cart intended for the handicapped, what was in their basket?

I know, from personal observations, it usually goes like this:
A layer of snack cakes, some Cheetos, frozen dinners and processed food and....


Another Black Conservative Destroys Jill Dorson's Apology

Saw this at Legal Insurrection...

Another Black Conservative slams Jill Dorson of Real Clear Politics for her whiny non-apology apology for helping to elect Barack Obama:

I voted for hope and change and all the intangibles that Obama was peddling in the wake of the financial crisis, Sarah Palin, Sept. 11 and all the other ills that shook our country in the last decade. I wanted something new. Something different. What I got was, I suppose, exactly what I voted for - a spin doctor.

I may have thought about replying... but I'm glad I didn't. I couldn't have done it nearly so well as Clifton B. Behold, a perfect response:

Well, Ms. Dobson, apology not accepted. Instead I offer you a big fat “F*ck you”! Your colossal stupidity has doomed millions of Americans, who were ten times smarter than you, to the same fate of unemployment you now endure. You and your ilk run around pretending you are the smartest things on two feet, yet you could not see a dime store con artist standing right before you!


Now take your snarky faux apology and get your dumb ass to the back of the bus! We The People have some work to do trying to figure a way out of the hot mess your Hope n’ Change binge brought us to.
Oh, that's priceless. Just beautiful, really. There's just nothing to add.



So there's this lady crossing the Mexican border, and someone is the customs line says "My, what a loverly brooch!"

And then it crawls up her...

OK, I joke. Sort of. There really was a lady wearing a bug brooch, though, and she's got my favorite cultists wetting their organic cotton pants over it.

Now, leaving aside the fact that those are clearly fake stones (so it's a broke bug), what's Peta's deal here?

Well, the little bug-ger is still alive.

"This woman’s choice of a fashion accessory gives new meaning to the term fashion victim," said Jaime Zalac, media liaison for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Wait, you say... Surely even the utter loons whackadoodle nutjobs ACTIVISTS (There. Got it, and with a straight face - Not!) at Peta draw the line at insects, right?

Ummmm.... wrong.

"Beetles may not be as cute and cuddly as puppies and kittens, but they have the same capacity to feel pain and suffer" Zalac said referring to the jeweling of the beetle. "It’s ironic. "Beetles may not be as cute and cuddly as puppies and kittens, but they have the same capacity to feel pain and suffer" Zalac said referring to the jeweling of the beetle. "It’s ironic. We spend hours each week helping kind people find humane ways to relocate lost insects such as ants, bees and roaches that wander into their homes. People feel so good about not hurting them, while this woman paid someone to mutilate them." such as ants, bees and roaches that wander into their homes. People feel so good about not hurting them, while this woman paid someone to mutilate them."

Bwahaha! Oh, my!

"We spend hours each week helping kind people find humane ways to relocate lost insects..."

They spend hours relocating roaches! Oh, I swear... as long as there are Petapeople out there, I'll never be at a loss for entertainment! Wonder how long it'll take them to find loving homes for all those bats in their collective belfry?! Heehee. Relocating roaches.

Coulda been worse... Ol' Mr. Bug wouldn't have gotten nearly as much sympathy had he been wearing a nice, fur coat while eating a bacon doublecheeseburger!

Roaches. Thank you, Peta - for starting my Monday with a howl!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Is Ellie Light Rockin' The Vote?

I've been thinking about this "Ellie Light" letter-avalanche. I'm 100% certain I've seen a letter from in her in my local paper, but I can't prove it because their search engine never works... I'll keep trying.

Anyway, Patterico has been all over this, with lists of papers and a second possible name. He also says there's an issue withe the IP address, and it might be masked.

I have a theory. It seems to explain how this one (?) writer could get so many letters into so many papers, and may explain the IP masking...

Rock the Vote.

Back in September, I received this email from Thomas Bates, Rock the Vote:
(emphasis mine)

Dear friend,
Thanks for signing the pledge to help deliver health care reform in America.
I was recently talking to a Congressman about health care reform. I asked him to tell me the one thing young people could do to help persuade members of Congress to support reform. His answer: write letters to the editor.Every member of Congress reads the clips from the local paper and they take special notice of the letters to the editor.
We've made it super easy to write a letter to your local paper. We've got some suggested text and other information to help you out. Will you write a letter to the editor to your local paper today? As President Obama said in his speech to Congress last week:
Now is the season for action. Now is when we must bring the best ideas of both parties together, and show the American people that we can still do what we were sent here to do. Now is the time to deliver on health care.
We are now closer as a nation than we have ever been in history to achieving comprehensive health reform. We need to keep the momentum and make our voices heard. Write a letter to the editor to continue that momentum.
Health care reform that works for young people must:
End discrimination for pre-exisiting conditions, stop insurance companies from dropping you if you get sick, and cap the amount of money insurance companies charge for co-pays, out-of-pocket expense, and deductibles;Let us stay on our parent's insurance until we are 26 and get affordable insurance with us if we change jobs or lose our jobs;Give us choices for policies that fit our lifestyle and our budgets in a health insurance exchange (with a public option) and provide assistance to those that still can't afford insurance.Cover preventative care and regular checkups at no cost to us. Help deliver reform with a letter to the editor. Let's make sure our elected officials - and our neighbors in the community - know that young people support reform.
Thank you for pledging to act in this "season for action."

Now... When you click on the links in the email, you're redirected to an automated letter-to-the-editor page. You input your zip code, and are given a list of papers local to you. I was given thirteen choices, and you can chose up to five papers. Next, you fill in your personal information, and the text of your letter. There's even a handy "talking points" section you can use. (Mine covered health care - but since the text box is blank, you could write anything.)

You get to the bottom, click "Send Message", and the papers you've chosen get your letter via email.

Is this the source of the letters?

I just don't know. I know it would explain one (?) writer being able to readily reach so many papers. I think it would explain the IP confusion. (I am an admitted technotard. If I'm wrong about this part, it's only because I really don't understand masking, etc.)

I could be completely off base here. I'll leave it to someone more tech-savvy to sort it out...
I'm just putting the possibility out there.

It sure seems possible...

UPDATE -- Apparently, a more likely connection is Organizing For America. Well, I was on the right track. OFA and Rock the Vote are arms of the same beast. Organizing for America hasn't solicited me to send letters, which is why I didn't think of them first.

UPDATE X2 -- So, digging deeper... Googling samples from the handy "Rock the Vote" letter-to-the-editor talking points, I've found nearly identical phraseology at Organizing for America.

Also I logged in to Organizing for America (remember Sun Tzu), and damned if I can find the letter-writing tool there. I've seen it linked, but I can't get to it from my login... Maybe I should upgrade to Secret Squirrel membership level. I don't know if they've taken it down, if I don't have proper clearance (heh), or if I'm just not looking in the right place.

By the way.... Did I mention that I signed up for "Rock the Vote" newsletters after seeing them signed onto a list of ACORN supporters? Not to say that ACORN is involved in the letter-bomb campaign, just another illustration that it's all arms of the same beast... I wonder how many union websites also offer their members a way to send letters to the editor?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Obama Appointee Charles Phillips Admits Affair With YaVaughnie Wilkins

Heh. Denial. It ain't just a river... or something.

Obama appointee Charles Phillips has admitted to a long-term affair. It's almost as if the writing had been on the wall...

In a statement Phillips, who is part of President Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory board, said:

"I had an 8 1/2 year serious relationship with YaVaughnie Wilkins," Phillips said. "My divorce proceedings began in 2008. The relationship with Ms. Wilkins has since ended and we both wish each other well."

Ms. River paid for the billboards that prompted his confession. River, dead ahead.

We both wish each other well.


It May Be A Bloodthirsty Mob, But At Least It's a Colorblind Mob

I just finished reading Charles Blow's latest NYTimes piece, which I first noticed at Legal Insurrection. I have a question...

Does Blow read his own articles? Seriously, he seems to be suffering from short-term memory loss in his handwringing comparison of Massachusetts voters to the spectators at the Roman coliseum:

"Welcome to the mob: an angry, wounded electorate, riled by recession, careening across the political spectrum, still craving change, nursing a blood lust."

Huh. Well, that's one way to describe the voter attitude toward the Obama administration and its disastrous policies. But wait... I seem to remember (my memory is better than Blow's, I guess) another description of how voters feel about Obama. In a different article - which I posted on here - Blow lamented the fate of black voters:

"...supporting a president who is loath to even acknowledge their pain, let alone commiserate in it."

I argued that Charles Blow, and blacks who share his point of view, were following a dangerous and self-defeating strategy of continuing their support of Obama because he happens to have brown skin. Even as he acknowledged that:

"Obama can get away with doing almost nothing to specifically address issues important to African-Americans and instead focus on the white voters he’s losing in droves. This has not gone unnoticed. In the Nov. 9 Gallup poll, the number of blacks who felt that Obama would not go far enough in promoting efforts to aid the black community jumped 60 percent from last summer to now."

--he also pointed out that as of November, support for Obama among blacks was still at 90%.

"The racial animosity that Obama’s election has stirred up may have contributed to a rallying effect among blacks."


"However, the rallying creates a conundrum for blacks: how to air anxiety without further arming Obama’s enemies. This dilemma has rendered blacks virtually voiceless on some pressing issues at a time when their voices would have presumably held greater sway."

Perhaps, instead of comparing Massachusetts voters to a bloodthirsty mob, Blow should open his eyes and use his column to do something positive. He's made it clear that blacks are supporting Obama because he's black- despite the fact that he's done next to nothing positive for them or anyone else - and that:

"Meanwhile, black people are also living a tale of two actions: grin and bear it."

He should instead be motivating black voters to do the same thing as the Massachusetts voters... Hold this administration and this Congress accountable for their failure to lead, and join the mob to take back our country. Then, maybe they won't be left "Black (and blue) in the Age of Obama".

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Scott Brown - Dorky Dad or Menace to Interns?

I've said it before... I'm not a Glenn Beck fan. Actually, what I said is:

Beck is more than a little crazy. Oh, he's entertaining. But he's crazy.

Now he's on a rampage because Scott Brown made a joking reference to his daughters at his victory speech.

And the best reaction I've seen to this is at Althouse, where she asks:

Charming? Dorky? Creepy? ... Scary?!

The "scary" part going back to Beck's very weird reaction.

I go with dorky/charming. What teenage girl hasn't been embarrassed by her dad's remarks at some point? (Although I'll grant it's not usually on national television.) I thought it was a harmless, funny, nerdy-dad kind of remark that obviously didn't upset the daughters who appear to love and back him completely.

And I agree with Ann Althouse:

And keep an eye on Beck too. Something's not quite right with that man's brain.


BTW -- That Was 100 Posts!

Not that anyone cares but me...

But that last post was #100!

Woohoo! 100 posts, and I'm not out of opinions yet! (As though there had been any danger of that!)

Well, THAT Didn't Take Long...

Two days ago, Scott Brown was elected the newest Senator of Massachusetts. He was helped along largely by independents, and a TEA Party movement that's fed up with government gone wild and political parties who don't listen to the people...

Now I get an email from the Republicans. Not only do they seem to be taking credit for Brown's win, they have the nerve to beg for donations to help them carry on. From the email:

But thanks to grassroots leaders like you, ____, our Party had the resources to take back what is really the "people's seat" for the first time in over 48 years.

A bit nervy, that. "Our Party had the resources..." Yeah. Mm-kay.

I knew this would happen. You have folks who believe (rightly) that the Brown victory was a statement against where our country is being taken by this administration. And, as I expected, you have a Republican leadership who thinks the victory is actually a statement for the Republican Party.

Attention Republicans -- Had I been in Massachusetts, this independent would have voted for Scott Brown. Why? Because I am appalled by our current course, and I agree with Brown on enough issues to have justified giving him my vote. Does that mean I'm going to accept (or financially support) any old candidate you throw money behind? Uh... Scozzafava NO!

The email ends:

P.S.: ____, Scott Brown's victory has proven that with the support of the people, a principle conservative candidate can win anytime, anywhere. That's a lesson that Arlen Specter needs to learn the hard way. We want to help you teach him, so we're asking you to make a secure online contribution of $25, $50, $100, $500 or more to the RNC today. We're ready to stand with Pennsylvanians. Thank you.

Arlen Specter's Senate career is DOA. I even emailed to tell him so myself. (By the way... nice that you want to teach him a lesson now. Why didn't you offload the old jerk an election or two ago? The change from D to R was only a technicality. You knew what he was and supported him anyway.)

The people of Pennsylvania are going to rid ourselves of this man, regardless. The liberals want him out because they don't trust him, and the rest of us want him out because he's more liberal than the liberals give him credit for. He's going to be vacating that seat, and it's going to happen for the same reason Scott Brown won his election -- the people have had enough!

And frankly, I don't think we need to donate money to a bloated, out-of-touch party that doesn't listen any better than the other party does to make that happen. Stop using Scott Brown to beg for donations. He's better than that, even if your leadership isn't.

John Edwards Finally 'Fesses Up

This is all over the web. The sociopath lying POS mindbogglingly arrogant former VP Candidate has finally 'fessed up to what everyone has known for a year.

Namely, he's a disgusting pig the father of Rielle Hunter's child, Quinn.

No shit, Sherlock. Now you decide to do the right thing?

Edwards also said, "It was wrong for me ever to deny she was my daughter and hopefully one day, when she understands, she will forgive me."

Not bloody likely, sport. This is the land of 24/7 cable news and the blogosphere. For the rest of this child's life, she will be media fodder. I'm not saying that's right - I'm stating a fact. Every time the media reports about Edwards, Elizabeth, the 2004 elections or anything else that gives them an excuse, the shameful story of your behavior will be dusted off and presented again to the world.

You have done this to an innocent child, Edwards. Your child, as you finally admit.

Soooo glad you didn't get a chance to wreck the entire country like you have your own life and the lives of those close to you. Putz.

Dead Plants? That's A Real Pisser

Heh. If all your plants are dying, consider your relationship with the neighbors.

A couple in Hamburg, Germany had the same problem. The mystery was solved when they found a disc in the mailbox that showed 12 short videos, apparently taken by one of their neighbors, showing another of their neighbors "watering" the landscaping.

The quote that prompted me to link?

“It makes me feel sick when I think how often I ran my fingers over the leaves and wondered where the liquid came from,” said Mrs Freibel.

One neighbor is a human sprinkler, another is a voyeur/videographer.

I believe I'd move.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Can You Hear Us Now?

Heh. I just emailed my Senator and my Congressman and asked them the same thing:


I also told Specter "Teddy's seat is gone. Yours is next."

Altmire got a longer note, but the gist was the same.

We should all email and call our congresscritters today, and make sure they got the message loud and clear! They're feeling the heat anyway... I'm just rubbing salt in the wound.

Looking forward to November!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I'm a Massachusetts Republican today!

I saw this yesterday at AceOfSpadesHQ:

I wasn't comfortable about this at first. It is easier to be against stuff than for stuff. Most crap sucks, so if you're against it as a general rule, you're right 90% of the time.
It's harder to be *for* something. You can look silly if you're *for* something and that thing turns out to be not so good. Well, not harder really. It's not hard to be a cheerleader. But certainly you're investing more of your credibility when you're huckstering something. But, be that as it may, at some point it's time to drop the "disinterested commentator" line and just admit the obvious, I'm in the bag for the GOP/conservative candidate, and might as well fully embrace that.

I can relate. I've been following the news until now (much coverage here at Legal Insurrection, where I was first "introduced" to Scott Brown), but I find I've become caught up in it - much to my own surprise.

I woke up this morning excited! And I mean "Fired Up!", Mr. President! I've been following the Legal Insurrection live feed, and watching the tweets about the race, and seeing how many bloggers and others from all over the country are emotionally invested... and... well... I'm in the bag for Brown, too!

I'm not a republican, and I'm not from Massachusetts --


I have HOPE! Yes we can (CHANGE it back)!

I freely admit, I have NEVER been this excited about an election. I'm astounded by it! But I'm a-runnin' with it!

Go, Scott, go!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Whether the Weather...

Legal Insurrection has a video up that would be funny if it wasn't almost sad... Seems at 10:20am, one of the Martha Coakley phone banks was deserted - not a single volunteer making calls. Awww.... The excuse reason given is that the snowstorm and cold weather is keeping folks away.

Funny. The weather didn't keep conservative bloggers from travelling to Massachusetts to get involved. Robert Stacy McCain has been reporting from the cold, and Russ from That's-Right is en route as well. They're not the only ones, either.

So... we have to ask. Why are the netroots dems not flooding the phone banks with warm bodies? Organizing for America has been putting out the emails, asking them to volunteer (and send money!) to help defend "Ted Kennedy's seat".

Well, a quick trip through some liberal comments might give us the real answer.

At DemocraticUnderground, they're blasting Robert Gibbs for calling them unmotivated. Seems they're not so much unmotivated as they are pissed. From the comments:

-maybe because we are sick of being bent over

-Us LGBT folks are really unmotivated... we really got baited and switched.

-This administration has a major attitude problem and it had better get an attitude adjustment.

-One by one the Obama administration threw members of the Progressive base under the bus . . .and now they are surprised, and don't understand why Progressives are NOT motivated!!

While I'm fine with blaming the weather, I'm even happier to place some of the blame on President Obama and his administration. He made a lot of promises to the progressives - only to break those promises - while forgetting it was their activism that helped put him in the White House with a Democratic majority.

They're imploding. And if Brown wins, their morale will drop all the more - which should make for an easier clean up in 2010 and 2012.
Go Scott Brown!
Don't give up HOPE! Yes we can (CHANGE it back)!

Playing the Gender Card on Scott Brown

Don't vote for Scott Brown because he has a penis... or something.

It's not bad enough that Brown is a "rock-ribbed fire-breathing right winger", or that he (gawd forbid) drives a truck. Worse, far worse, is that he's a man. That's right. And in the words of HuffPo blogger Amy Siskind:

After all, do we really need another male senator? Our country is 51% women, yet only 17% of our senators are women? Has this imbalance been working for our country? Or have we created one big fraternity that is leading our financial system and our country generally down a dangerous path?

I guess they've finally played the race card to death (we can wish, right?) and now they're moving on to the gender card.

I'll be keeping an eye on Ms. Siskind's writing on HuffPo leading up to the 2010 elections... I'm very curious to see if she'd be willing to support conservative female candidates over a liberal males. After all, we don't really need another male senator, do we?

Scott Brown
Don't give up HOPE! Yes we can (CHANGE it back)!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Professor Reynolds...? Is that you?

Heh. Just saw this at JammieWearingFool.

Apparently, young Matthew has decided to tattoo his glasses on his face, so he'll never lose them again. (A solution I admit had never occurred to this glasses-wearer.)

Is it just me... or does this kid bear a more than passing resemblance to our Instapundit?

Professor Reynolds...? Is that you?

I'm just sayin'.......

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Bring on the "less-than-perfect" candidates - PLEASE!

I just read a piece about the Massachusetts Senate race by Rick Moran at PajamasMedia.

It appears from the record that Brown has an open mind, does his homework, and is a true independent thinker. Is there room in the GOP and the conservative movement for such as he? Will other, less-than-perfect conservatives who run in the Northeast in 2010 get similar levels of support from national activists and party pros?

As an independent who is often at odds with both major parties, let me beg the conservatives to do exactly that!

The more I learn about Scott Brown (much info here at Legal Insurrection), the more I like him. And the candidate Moran describes is the kind of candidate I can get behind:

So what will conservatives make of such a man? A hit with labor unions and environmental groups — sometimes. Strong anti-tax cred. Pro-choice, but not in-your-face about it. Beloved of teachers unions — sometimes. Proven fiscal hawk. A man’s man who loves triathlons, has served in the National Guard for 30 years, has a beautiful wife, and drives a GMC Canyon truck with nearly 200,000 miles on it.

Yes, the GOP should support more of these "less-than-perfect" candidates. And you're going to have to if you want to win. You need the independent votes, and you'll get them with independent thinkers. I don't agree with all Brown's positions, but overall he's exactly the kind of representation I want.

I've posted before about resisting the conservative label - over issues of ideological purity. At the same time, I realize I lean toward many conservative ideas. I think a candidate like Scott Brown is a fair representative for me (alas, I'm not in Mass.) because he is also not ideologically rigid, and he is also unapologetic about the fact.

So please, conservatives... More like this one! Realisticly, if a voter doesn't want what we have now, Republican is the only way to vote. Independents know this, but we haven't liked the options you've offered. So the Republican Party, as an entity and as individuals, should back candidates like Scott Brown in every race, in every state. THIS independent has had enough Hope & Change... but I'm also not interested in your Newts or Mitts.


OK... I just posted about an email I got from Organizing for America.

I was surprised to see the Democrats were actually tone deaf enough to keep beating the "Kennedy Seat" drum, and I was naive enough to believe that Scott Brown's perfect reply to that little bit of nonsense might have killed it off.

"It's the people's seat." Beautiful. And I thought... well, you can't really argue that.


First, I got the email from OFA ( THEN, looking around the web, I saw this on (via Democratic Underground):
(emphasis mine)
A seat that has been in Democratic hands since God was in short pants could flip to the GOP after the special election to fill Kennedy's vacant seat takes place next week. Not to some sanded-down version of a Republican, mind you, but a real rock-ribbed fire-breathing right winger. GOP candidate Scott Brown enthusiastically endorses the use of torture, is anti-choice, against stem cell research, and once sponsored an amendment that would have let emergency room workers turn away rape victims if said workers had religious objections to giving those victims emergency contraception should they request it.
This guy - this guy - could take Teddy Kennedy's seat. That a man like this is even within shouting distance of winning a true-blue Massachusetts Senate seat is eloquent proof that the world has, indeed, gone completely barking mad.

Sigh... They do think it's a legacy.

Say it with me now: TED KENNEDY IS DEAD.
And it it not his damn chair, whether he's dead in Hawaii. It's MINE. And it's yours, too.

Talk about an "entitlement mentality".

OFA Voter Turnout Effort to Save TED KENNEDY'S SEAT

They really are tone deaf. This is beyond arrogant and just... stupid. Really.

But it's stupid and expensive -- so send money!

I give you... the latest update from the "know your enemy" mailing list:
(emphasis mine)
____ --
There's a crucial Senate election in Massachusetts in just three days. We need your help to win it.The polls are tightening as right-wing money floods the state, and one even shows the race to be a dead heat between progressive champion Martha Coakley and her extreme opponent. The truth is, special elections often have very low turnout and are notoriously unpredictable.The stakes are just too high to leave Martha's victory to chance.
If we lose, Sen. Ted Kennedy's seat will be in the hands of someone who opposes everything he fought for. We'll lose a key vote for the President's agenda in the Senate -- and put all the progress we've made toward health reform at risk.
That's why OFA is putting together a massive voter turnout effort to make sure Obama voters get back to the polls this time around -- but we need your help to pay for it. Please donate $5 or more to OFA to help fund our organizing, including our work to elect Martha Coakley.

OFA is going all out in Massachusetts -- we're sending organizers, knocking on doors,
and making phone calls by the tens of thousands to make sure that folks know how to participate.
It's a huge effort, it's expensive, and time is short. But with the outcome uncertain and the stakes sky high, I don't want to wake up the morning after the election thinking that we could have done something more. If you feel the same way, please donate $5 or more to help us make Martha Coakley the next senator from Massachusetts:
StewartDirectorOrganizing for America

Wow. Just... wow. They said it again. Stupid and arrogant.

Much better coverage of the Scott Brown phenomenon here at Legal Insurrection.

The Democrats are only helping Brown. I hope they keep it up.

SCOTT BROWN for REAL Hope & Change!
Don't give up HOPE! Yes we can (CHANGE it back)!

UPDATE: More of the same foolishness...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pat the Rat - Visual Freudian Slip?


I was just scrolling (rapidly) through memeorandum, looking at headlines, when what do I see as the words roll past?

"Rat problem"...

Gross! I scroll back quickly, thinking there's a potential laugh there somewhere.

rats... rats... rats... Where did the rat story go?

Heh. It was PAT, not rat. My eye caught the headline about Pat Robertson and his disgusting remarks about Haiti, and translated it as "Rat problem".

While there's nothing funny about the tragedy in Haiti, I do find it funny that the rat I was seeking is Rat PAT Robertson.

So... Am I lysdexic? Or a subconscious genius?

"Pat Robertson, the Rat Problem" -- Says all I need to say about that man and his ideas...

Obesity Rates In America Hit A Plateau

A WSJ article suggest obesity in America has reached a FATeau plateau:

Figures from the National Center for Health Statistics showed 34% of American adults age 20 and older were obese in 2007-08 while 68% were considered overweight or obese. In children ages 2 through 19, 17% were considered obese while 32% were considered overweight. Broadly, the figures are similar to rates seen in 1999-2000.


"I see this as relatively good news," said William Dietz, the director of CDC's division of nutrition, physical activity and obesity. "It suggests we've halted the progression of the epidemic."

I posit that it means no such thing. When damn near 70% of the adult population is overweight or obese, it's not a plateau. It means that everyone who's going to get fat already is fat (or well on their way). And the fattest are getting fatter.

Researchers did find an increase in the number of boys who are considered the "very heaviest," or those who are above the 97th percentile on a growth chart.

Plateau. Good grief. If you ever convince yourself that the obesity epidemic (as though it's catching) is over... just take a trip to your nearest Wal-Mart.

Sarah Palin's Fox Debut

I didn't see the Palin/Beck interview. I don't really care for TV, and I don't really care for Glenn Beck... so it was easy to forget to tune in. I'll look for video online later.

I did, however, remember to watch the O'Reilly interview. My take? Meh. Not bad, not great. But there was one thing from their exchange I wanted to address briefly:

O'REILLY: They want to know what's true and what isn't.
PALIN: Well...
O'REILLY: They do.
PALIN: They need to read my book, "Going Rogue," then.

I really hope she doesn't stick with this tactic. While many people have read the book, America is not a college course and her book is not assigned reading. During the campaign, I believe Sarah Palin was carefully controlled as to what she could say, when and to whom. In that light, publishing a book about her life and her side makes perfect sense.

But, if Sarah wants to remain in the public eye, she's going to have to learn to answer these questions. If Barack Obama (or any other political figure) were to respond to direct questions with "You'll have to read my book.", the American people would not accept it. The book is now there for anyone who wants a deeper look at Palin, but it doesn't let her off the hook.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

More Drunkblogging To Come!

Heh. Get ready for some interesting posting at That's Right.

Seems Russ has hooked a gig getting paid to drink (and write about) beer. He says:

A big thanks to the Examiner folk who, let’s face it, really don’t know what they’ve gotten themselves into...

Maybe they don't. Let's not forget, it was Russ who snagged the coveted top-corner link at TheOtherMcCain with his by-now infamous "Because It's Late and I'm Drunk" post - which left me laughing and nodding in agreement. (If you blog, it's worth a read.)

Here's his introductory post at

Luck to you, Russ. If only we could all get paid to do what we love...

Conservative -- In Moderation

Yesterday on RepublicanRedefined, TChristopher had a piece on abortion I thought was an interesting read. "Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice: A Conservative Justification for a Third Option". The whole thing is worth a look, but this is the line that resonated with me:

Is being conservative about the process of decision making – in the political sense or in the practice of our day-to-day lives – or is it about a laundry list of talking points that “conservatives” are supposed to remain loyal to?

His basic point is that the pro-life stance is based on religion, and that conservatives might want to consider how their stance meshes with the First Amendment when it comes to understanding the other side. I think the same idea can be applied to many of the conservative talking points. Doing so may, in fact, stop driving moderates away from conservatism.

I've already written that I'm not comfortable labeling myself a conservative, and his post gets right to the root cause. I'm not going to pass any conservative litmus test. I'm not loyal to any "laundry list" of talking points. And while I'm 100% opposed to the direction we're being taken, I find some conservatives (politicians, pundits, and citizens) off-putting for exactly this reason.

I hope that there's room for varied opinion within conservative ranks (since that's where I seem to find myself), but I'm not always convinced that's the case. The kind of consideration TChristopher is calling for might be the best thing for conservatives if they want to hold the votes of independents like myself.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"You're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat"


A giant dolphin is terrorizing fishermen.

Mr Clarke, 43, said he was fishing with his wife, Karina, 1.5km offshore when the ocean exploded. "We saw this dark shape, it seemed 12 foot long under our 10-foot boat. I've never seen a dolphin that big." The dolphin chased his small aluminium speedboat, nudging it from behind.

Somebody gas up the Orca.

"I don't want no volunteers, I don't want no mates, there's just too many captains on this island. Ten thousand dollars for me by myself. For that you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing."


UPDATE: Yikes. I'd rather be in the boat running from the dolphin. Unless they're tweeting that, too. Stories like these are why I stay on dry land, where I'm comfortably at the top of the food chain.

John McCain "Wouldn't Know" About Palin Vetting

Via The Atlantic:

John McCain was interviewed by Matt Lauer about accusations from the new book "Game Change", by Hark Halperin and John Heileman, that Sarah Palin wasn't properly vetted for the VP nomination. McCain's response?

I wouldn't know. The fact is that I'm proud of Sarah Palin, I'm proud of the campaign we waged, she energized our party, she will be a major factor in American politics in the future, and I'm proud of our campaign--


I wouldn't know what the sources are, nor care. I do know--I do know that I'm proud of my campaign, I'm proud of Sarah Palin, I'm proud of the job that we did, and I will always be grateful for having her has my running mate and the support we got from millions of Americans. Okay? I am not gonna spend time looking back over what happened over a year ago when we've got two wars to fight, 10 percent unemployment in my state, and things to do. I'm sorry, you'll have to get others to comment on it.

Two-faced old weasel. I'm glad you lost. And I'm glad you'll be too damn old to try again next time. At least with President Obama, I'm getting exactly what I expected (not what I wanted, but what I expected). YOU, on the other hand, have been a stunning disappointment.

Al Sharpton Talking Sense on Education

Oh my...

Did I just write that the Rev. Al Sharpton is making sense?

Saw this at DemocraticUnderground. On a "Morning Joe" appearance, Sharpton actually appears to be going against the natural liberal tendencies and using common sense:

JS: And you also are talking about it in a way that a lot of civil rights leaders haven't talked in some time about teachers unions about education reform. You're ready to turn the tables over in the temple and say, hey schools are not about unions, schools are not about jobs, they're about kids.

AS: The priority of the educational structure in this country ought to be whether the kids are learning.Secretary Duncan and Newt Gingrich and I have toured the country. President Obama met with us last May and said you all ought to tour the country because both of us --though Newt Gingrich and I don't agree on much -- we agreed on that. We've done that. In fact Secretary Duncan and I are going to Atlanta.

JS: You have a lot of people in unions angry at you.

AS: Well, but the point is some of the union leaders are saying we're right, some are saying we're wrong. My thing is, if black and Latino kids are four grades behind in reading and writing, I don't care about somebody that has not effectively taught being protected, I would care about the kid being protected.

JS: So fire the teachers that don't work, that don't perform, that let down kids, and hire teachers that can teach kids.

AS: I think you have to hold the teachers accountable, I think you have got to deal with the teachers who can teach and give them incentives. I think you've got to deal with merit pay. I think you've got to give people the incentives to get out into the community.I think you've got to deal with alternatives.

JS: Why don't more progressives get that?

AS: It's according to who you define as progressive. I think people call themselves progressive and have regressive policies that don't educate our children.

I'll probably wake up in a minute. That has to be a dream.....

Feel-Good Liberal Foolishness

Heh. I was going to share this anyway, because I find it so patently absurd. Then this morning, I saw a little something at RiehlWorldView that reminded me about it. Dan is busy laughing about a Washington lawmaker who wants to change things for at-risk kids by changing what we call them:
Decades ago, poor children became known as "disadvantaged" to soften the stigma of poverty. Then they were "at-risk." Now, a Washington lawmaker wants to replace those euphemisms with a new one, "at hope."

Now here's the latest bit of feel-good liberal foolishness from my kids' school district:

Dear Families,
We are excited to share with you our guide lines and incentives for our new school wide behavior program. The program is called "____ 200 Club". Students will be recognized for following school rules. Any staff member can "catch" a student demonstrating appropriate behavior. Students who are caught will get to add their names to a ____ Celebrity book, receive a pencil, a phone call home, and a special ticket for positive behavior.
To further the incentive for students to display positive behaviors, their special ticket will be placed on a large two hundred square grid. The students will be watching and waiting to see if the ticket or tickets with their name on it is part of a row, column or diagonal group of ten. When ten tickets accumulate, those students will win a "mystery" prize. The board will be cleared and the process starts all over again.
We have a wonderful group of students and we want to continue to reinforce and reward the positive choices they make!
Sincerely,The Staff of ___

Got that? They're going to "catch" kids doing what they're supposed to be doing in the first place, and then reward them for it. And the kids who get "caught" will be added to a "Celebrity Book", and maybe win a prize...

Now, putting aside for a minute the sheer idiocy of rewarding someone for doing what they are supposed to be doing rather than punishing those who chose not to, am I the only one who sees the potential for abuse and favoritism here? You can have two hundred kids, all doing exactly what is expected of them, but only the ones who get "caught" by staff will be recognized and rewarded. What message does this nonsense send to the kids who do right and follow the rules every day but do not get "caught"? "Well, Mrs. C. caught Suzy listening to the teacher, but since nobody caught you, you get diddly!"

Rather than piss away yet more of the school day on something else that has nothing to do with education (and believe me, the list is already long), why not try a really different approach... As in punish the kids who are screwing around instead! But alas... in my school district at least, they apparently believe that just meeting your basic responsibilities deserves a big ol' pat on the back.

And for the icing on the cake? My daughter was already "caught" doing what she was supposed to be doing. She got a precious little award paper to bring home, and her name in the "Celebrity Book". Is she impressed? Not especially. The school spelled her name wrong.

Yeah. Way to recognize a kid - with the wrong name. Pffft. Guess they should spend all that wasted time figuring out their students' names instead!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Identity Crisis

I was flattered and kind of excited the other day. I opened a Twitter account because a conservative blogger I admire had tweeted one of my posts. Imagine my surprise when he gave his Twitter followers a tweet describing me as "one of us".

I've thought about that a lot. Mostly along the lines of "Am I now? Well, how did that happen?"

See, I've long been registered as an independent. Lately, I've been tending to describe myself as a libertarian-conservative. I'm by no means a Republican... and I've only been able to bear the "conservative" label when it's connected to the "libertarian" disclaimer. But the most confusing part of this - to me, at least?

I used to be a liberal. Not a Democrat - never that - but a true, blue liberal. I can vividly remember a conversation I had years ago. I was in my late teens, and the man I was speaking to was (in my opinion, at the time) ancient... like, 35 or 40. And to this day, I can picture the growing horror on his face as I earnestly argued that any thinking, caring person must agree that socialism is the solution to the world's problems. "Of course, it's not the perfect system... but it's the closest mankind has come yet!"

At the time, my decoration of choice was peace signs and yin/yang symbols - and the sixties were long over by that point. I marched with GreenPeace. At one point, I had convinced myself I wanted to join the Peace Corps. When my first child was born, we planned to use cloth diapers that we would tie-dye so that we could protect the environment while "flying our hippy flag", so to speak. (It only took a quick lesson in how much newborns poop to kill that little idea forever.)

I remember when the first Gulf War began... I was working at one of those places where you drive right through the building to get your smokes and drinks. A customer came through and (I swear this is true) said, "Give me a pack of Marlboros and case of Bud! My country's at war!" And he said this with a rebel yell whoop that left me with one thought: "Neanderthal." My response to the war? I went out and found a peace sign button done in stars and stripes. With a close loved one who is a Vietnam veteran (and who put up with my hippy foolishness anyway), I was mindful of not wanting to disparage our brave troops. My explanation for the button was, "I support our troops, but not the policies that have put them in harm's way."

I voted for Clinton. Twice.

I went into the 2000 elections leaning toward Al Gore. (Yes... I know.)

But then I voted for George W. Bush instead. Why? Because although I can tolerate a lot, I can not tolerate rudeness. And I found Al Gore's behavior during the debates to be childish, embarrassing and rude beyond measure. As he huffed and sighed and shuffled his papers (as though there was a danger he'd not get a chance to speak), I thought, "Wow... We can't send this idiot out to deal with other world leaders. He's more melodramatic than a ten-year-old girl!"

Then 9/11. I remember thinking (over and over, for the next few months) "Oh, thank god-fate-buddha-the Lucky Charms leprechaun-ANYONE who's listening that that man did not get elected!" I felt safer with George Bush in the White House. And frankly, I didn't give a rat's ass if the rest of the world thought our President was a cowboy, as we began to hear all too often. I voted for him again in 2004, thinking I'd rather have a cowboy than a waffling wimp.

I can see now the change was in the works...

In 2008, I was telling people that Barack Obama is a socialist long before the walking photo op candidate happened across Joe the Plumber tossing a football. I even told friends that while Hillary is a socialist as well, I thought she would be tougher on national security than Obama.

I voted, finally, for Sarah Palin. Why? For the same reason 45% of America would swap Congress for random names from the phone book. As the least connected to Washington, she seemed the least corrupt. And I like her.

But I'm rambling, and I didn't mean to...

I'm trying to figure out what has changed. I still don't know that I'm conservative. I sure wouldn't pass any litmus test for it. I don't want politicians getting their faith all over my constitution. I am fine with gay marriage. I think we should decriminalize drugs and prostitution. I'm opposed to the death penalty in most cases. I think America should have a safety net for our poor and uninsured. (Anyone still reading?) On the other hand, I think global warming is a load of horse puckey. I think abortion is infanticide. I'm not too happy with borders that work like my pasta sieve. And I think there are religious zealots all over the world (including America) who would like to change my way of living, and I'd like to be protected from them.

So I don't see that I fit either classification. And I hope, if you have read this far, you can overlook that. I may sway left to right depending on the issue. I may say something you agree with today only to piss you off tomorrow. If you came here looking for a conservative blog - or a liberal one - you may be disappointed. But if you just came here for another opinion? I have plenty of those!

Saturday, January 9, 2010


OK... So, I've just signed up for Twitter.

That's right. Me. On Twitter.

Those of you who know me personally are laughing hysterically, I know. Enjoy it while you can.

Those of you who don't know me are probably wondering if there's something wrong with my mind. I mean, other than the whole itchy brain thing. Well, here's the deal... referring to my condition as "not tech savvy" (my usual line) is a gross understatement. I'm a borderline technophobe who has been dragged kicking and screaming into the digital age. The term "Luddite" comes to mind.

I got my first cell phone one year ago. I started blogging three months ago. And I signed up for a Twitter account today after seeing one of my posts had been tweeted. I have never tweeted anything before - and some of the tweets I'm trying to read are in a language that resembles English, but in a shorthand I don't grasp yet. (I have teens who have tutored me in text-speak so they can communicate without talking, but we've not yet progressed to "tweets".)

So... If you've found your way here through Twitter, thanks for coming. Please check out the blog. And if you have any advice for learning the ropes at Twitter without feeling like a bigger jackass than I already do -- well, pass them along.

UPDATE: OK... I think I get it now. It's a little like a Facebook wall, no?
Go ahead and laugh. Facebook had me flummoxed at first, also. I told you, I'm a technotard and a bit of a dork. But that's OK - I'm a self-aware, comfortable with myself kind of dork.

Now I just have to learn how to do those little url's for when I want to link. Yesterday I cheated and hit the "Add This" button for my own post. (Yeah, yeah... I told you, I know I'm a dork.)

OFA - Organizing for... Coakley?

Heh. Guess the massive blogospheric push behind Scott Brown (much reporting on this at Legal Insurrection here) is getting to the libs.

I just got an email from Organizing for America ( - yes, I'm on the mailing list. In the words of Sun Tzu, "Know your enemy". Anyway, here it is, complete except for my real name:


On Tuesday, January 19th, there's a special election in Massachusetts to fill Ted Kennedy's Senate seat.
While the large majority of Massachusetts voters support the Democratic candidate, Attorney General Martha Coakley, special interests have poured in hundreds of thousands of dollars to mislead voters -- and the traditionally low turnout in special elections means this race could be very, very close.
The stakes here are incredibly high. You know how hard we've fought and how close we've come to finally passing health reform. But also know this: To get the job done, we need Martha Coakley's vote in the Senate.
No matter where you live, you can play an essential role. OFA volunteers around the country are calling key Massachusetts voters and making sure they know when and where to vote, and how important electing Martha Coakley is to the country.
Each voter we reach could be the one who tips the balance.
Can you help by calling potential voters in Massachusetts?

Offering information to voters on how to participate is a great service, and it can be a lot of fun. You can take as much or as little time as you like, and no prior experience is necessary.Making these calls could be the single most important thing you can do right now to ensure the passage of health reform.
But the impact of this election goes well beyond health reform -- Martha Coakley will be a vital ally to President Obama in helping our families get back to work, launching a clean-energy economy, and reining in the Wall Street abuses that still put so many Americans at risk.But it all comes down to you. We need you to help get the word out, so please start calling today:
Thank you for your help,
Jeremy BirdDeputy Director Organizing for America

Love that grassroots effort!

The Kossacks are on it already. Commenters are talking about how many calls they've made for Coakley.

UPDATE: Russ at That's Right links my post with his piece "The Devil Hath Many Forms"... apparently one of those forms is the Tea Party. He says, "This whole Scott Brown thing is amazing. It really is." I completely agree. And even if he doesn't win, the fact that he's posing a serious threat in Massachussetts should give us the hope we were promised for the last year.

Friday, January 8, 2010

PETA = A Bunch of Dumbos

Saw this at JammieWearingFool:

Those Dumbos at Peta held another protest against circuses (kind of ironic, as Peta is a circus all its own...). This time, they've chosen the Hodge elementary school in Savannah as a venue.

You read that right. An elementary school. Isn't that a lovely place for a bloody, bandaged elephant to be hanging around? Ringling Brothers is coming to town, and Peta wants to scare the hell out of its potential customers.

Who the hell approved this? Who didn't call the cops?

At my kids' elementary school, parents need clearances from the police to be able to chaperone a field trip, but in Savannah uncleared strangers hidden in full-body costume can stand on the sidewalks harassing children?

I've mentioned (maybe once or twice) how I hate and loathe these extremist whack jobs. Like here, here, and here. A wee bit obsessed? Maybe. But this cult has more respect for the feelings of a fish sea kitten than they do for human children.

Between their disgusting "McCruelty" campaign - where they stand in front of McDonald's restaurants traumatizing every kid who walks by - and this, these people are just going too far. The school district should have notified local police and had these morons dragged away in cuffs. The school district's response was weak:

But an end-of-the-day announcement over the school's loudspeaker warning children not to speak to strangers - even those in costume - foiled the animal rights group's plans to reach hundreds of impressionable minds.

Not speak to strangers? How about not allow strangers to dress as injured animals and pass out propaganda to little kids?

They're lucky it wasn't my kids' school. That elephant would have been displaying some more realistic injuries by the time I finished. Seriously.

I support the right to free speech and expression. I support the right to protest. But the minute you begin to target impressionable children with images intended to horrify, you've crossed a line.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sarah Palin Meets Joe O'Biden

On Politico: Palin aide warned of 'epic debacle'

CBS News said in a release previewing the segment, to be broadcast Sunday at 7 p.m. ET/PT, that Schmidt recalled a reflexive tendency by Palin to refer to Biden as “O’Biden.”

“It was multiple people — and I wasn't one of them — who all said at the same time, ‘Just say, "Can I call you Joe,"’ which she did,” Schmidt recalled.

Wow... That's rough. That Steve Schmidt always has the dirt on Palin, huh? Hard to keep defending her when they keep exposing her as such an idiot.

Except that if you actually read Sarah Palin's book, you already knew this story. It's not actually news, unless you're one of those people who's formed an opinion without all the facts...

See, Sarah Palin can laugh at herself, and be honest enough to share. It's called "humility", and it's a trait of we folks outside the educated class tend to respond well to.