Friday, June 26, 2009

Nomination for "Whip of the Week"

Beck ought to consider this one:

He should have just called the police. I’m sure they would have been happy to shoot his dogs for him. Then we don’t even need to waste time with a trial; the P.D. can just release a statement that the officer acted with courage and professionalism and that’s the end of it.
  —comment at Balko's place

Another contender: Via Politico:

As Friday’s debate dragged on, Republicans asked the House to observe a moment of silence for Americans who would lose their jobs as a result of the bill. Democrats objected.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Letterman vs. Palin

Sarah Palin is milking this thing for all it's worth, continuing to pretend that Letterman intentionally made the joke about her 14-year old. In a segment I saw on FNC America's Newsroom, they ran with that presumption. Brent Bozell pontificated about statutory rape and whatnot. Bullshit. I don't believe for a second he realized that Palin had her younger daughter with her. It's obvious he intended to make the joke about Bristol, the 18-year old. I wish those people would stop lying about this. They're throwing away any moral high ground they might have had.

Letterman's shtick, from way back in the 80s when I first started watching him after Carson, is being an asshole. It can be funny when the butt of the joke is a grownup celebrity, for example. Going after Bristol was going too far. She doesn't deserve to be ridiculed on national television, just because her mother's a joke. And, when he did explain his intention and apologize, he poisoned the apology with more low blows, which made him look insincere. If he'd resisted doing that, I think the statutory rape lies would get far less traction.

Part of the problem is that Letterman has become more politically partisan in recent years. His Great Moments in Presidential Speeches was funny. Unfortunately, I have yet to see him showing Obama having a no teleprompter moment, or doing something else stupid. I realize that Obama's popularity amongst entertainers and the media makes him untouchable as the butt of a joke. But Letterman has previously had the guts to disregard popularity. Not this time. Instead, he's taken sides against Republicans pretty much all the time now, effectively eliminating half of the source material for political jokes. That's just lame.

As part and parcel of this, his show has had some climate change chicken littles, guys who predict massive catastrophe not supported by any real data. He doesn't challenge them, but gives them free reign to spread their hysteria on his show. Meh.

I miss Johnny.

Addendum: Someone remind New York State Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb that Republicans are supposed to be the ones who keep government out of the board room.

Minor edits for clarification.

Friday, June 05, 2009

More Reasons to Taze You

Correction added

As if cowards with badges didn't already have enough reasons to indulge their sadistic side, Niagara County Court Judge Sara Sperrazza ruled that it is constitutional to use DNA from taser probes.

Wanna bet this portends an uptick in the number of unnecessary taser incidents? Wanna bet police departments will start systematically cataloging DNA samples from all taser incidents, from here on out?

Correction: The DNA wasn't taken from the taser probes. Rather, the suspect was tasered to force him to provide a court-ordered DNA sample. I still say it's a bad ruling, because it gives police yet another excuse to use tasers.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Tank vs. Citizen

What kind of government runs over innocent people with tanks?

From comment section at Balko's place.

P.S. Regardless of whether you believe the Davidians started the fire, the fact is that the FBI tanks crushed women and children. They were quick to pull down the Davidian flag and raise the ATF flag, while people were still dying. That's not the act of crime fighters seeking to rescue children from alleged abuse. It's the act of military conquest.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Obsession with Foreign Opinion

The American "mainstream" press wants you to be obsessed with what foreigners think about you and your government. Endless polls have been taken in Europe, the Middle East, Muslim countries, and across the globe, to tell you what they think of us. This naturally feeds those Americans who are critics of US foreign policy, our crass materialism, our lack of universal health care, our guns, and our bibles, to name a few. But how often does the media ask Americans what they think of foreigners?

I almost had hope when I saw a CNN poll asking Americans what they thought of Muslim countries. But by the fourth paragraph, CNN's Paul Steinhauser was already changing gears: "The poll also suggests that most Americans suspect people in Muslim countries don't think highly of the United States." Besides, it's not like this poll was undertaken by Al Jazeera, which might indicate that, for once, they wonder what we think of them. Same old same old.

I really do not give a shit for the opinions of some random asshole on the street, who is often the product of a pre-Enlightenment culture in a country controlled by theocratic despots, or a snooty European whose ancestors never experienced anything like the individualism of the American Revolution. Who the hell are those people to inform Americans how to conduct our affairs? (By the same token, the US has no business deciding how Iraqis or Afghans set up governments.) It's bad enough that ignorant American voters have been given the power to decide how to dispose of the productive efforts of their neighbors. Enough, already.

Monday, June 01, 2009

McCain vs. Obama

In a comment at Balko's place, I wonder just how The Agitator, who purports to defend individual liberty, could possibly say such things:

Finally, Obama has disappointed. But he’s also been better...than McCain would have been on a number of issues. ...I merely said I preferred him to McCain, for a number of reasons. I still do.

I'm struggling really hard here to think of any significant particulars you might have in mind. I'm looking at the multi-trillion dollar boondoggles, which amounts to the government--based upon a panicked frenzy which precluded even a few days of review before signing into law--imposing tens of thousands of dollars in liens on you, your children, your grandchildren, and so on. Imagine the implications of those debts alone on the ability of people to live free lives.

But that's just the opening scene to this horror show. There's the government takeover of banking and auto manufacturing. The Red Green "reforms" (autos, utilities, construction, manufacturing), when put into full force will be tantamount to carpet bombing American industry. Health care "reform" will balloon the cost of medical care, just as in every other situation in which the government promised to cut costs by taking over industries. More liens on your life. More nanny-state regulations of everything you do.

Please, Mr. Balko, could you give some specific examples of your "number of issues" and "number of reasons" to still consider McCain worse than Obama? I have a few ideas of what you might say, but I just can't imagine how those could make even 0.01% of the difference on the lives of multiple generations that Obama's fast strikes at the American economy will make.