Monday, February 11, 2019

A O-C and the SBD

"We set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of f-rting cows and airplanes that fast, but we think we can ramp up renewable manufacturing and power production, retrofit every building in America, build the smart grid, overhaul transportation and agriculture, plant lots of trees and restore our ecosystem to get to net-zero." -- direct quotation (except for my striking out of one letter) from the Green New Deal, authored by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey (both of the Empire State). 

I used to refer to myself as the "world's youngest curmudgeon." Okay, maybe I wrote that once. I wish I wasn't constantly thinking about age, but I will say that I am old enough when you were not even permitted to say the word "f-rt" on television.




"That's not a word."

"It is in Norwegian!"


I don't use much in the way of foul language on this blog, and I usually blot out a letter if I do. I don't think I'll get in trouble or anything; I doubt Blogger is all that strict. This is just my little revolution against the ubiquity of such words, even the relatively tame ones that can now be heard on Nickelodeon. But I'm pretty sure I remember "f-rt" not being said aloud on television. Words like that became their own joke, as shows would try to see how close they could come to saying them or displaying them without getting hammered by the network. "-ss" is another such word. Johnny Carson once appeared as the surprise guest on Dean Martin's show, did a little bit, and then, apropos of nothing, said, "You bet your sweet -ss!" and brought the house down. Martin collapsed on the stage in laughter and disbelief. They cuckooed the word out on TV, and it was remarkable enough that the clip made it on the infomercial for the DVD (which is how I saw it -- I'm not that old). One quick "-ss" and people would be talking about it the next day. Think anyone would even blink today?

This part week, however, may be the first time that the word "f-rting" (present participle or otherwise) has made its way into an official congressional resolution. We'll leave aside, for the moment, the pledge to guarantee an income for people "unable or unwilling to work." I'm just marveling at the bit about the bovines gassy from too much grassy (or, more likely, whatever they're overfed with). This could pave the way for new language in government proposals.

"If Congress does not pledge to limit carbon outputs within the next term, we predict that the sh-t will hit the fan by approximately 2037."

"My esteemed colleague believes that raising marginal tax rates will be able to fund his ambitious health-care proposal, when, in fact, an O.P.B. study indicates that it will prove to be a clusterf-ck for the middle class."

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Democrats Now the Ones Facing Charges of "Inciting Violence" (Sound Familiar?)

Approximately twelve hours after James Hodgkinson shot at Republican lawmakers on June 14, John Featherman let us know that Bernie Sanders should not be blamed for the attempted massacre. That much is true, and I did feel for Sanders, who learned that the shooter had previously volunteered for his campaign.
I'm wondering, however, if Featherman gave the same warning all the times the left accused Republicans, conservative radio, Sarah Palin, FoxNews, etc., of "fomenting rage." For instance, conservatives were accused of inciting the mass shooting in Tucson in 2011, despite that the shooter turned out not to be a conservative at all. One prominent member of the U.S. Senate even perpetuated this allegation in a fundraising e-mail. His name? Bernie Sanders.

Hopefully, with the bloody shoe on the other foot, Sanders and other Democrats are learning not to be so reckless in branding their opponents as practitioners of "violent rhetoric."

Monday, June 5, 2017

Kathy Griffin, SO Not a Victim

Kathy Griffin's "severed head" statement (I believe it was more of a statement than an attempt at humor) was grotesque and offensive, and I'm not even one of the first thousand people to ask what the reaction would be if someone had made a similar execrable statement about President Obama.
I was actually kind of impressed how swift and extensive the response was. The left didn't seem to mind all that much when Snoop Dogg popped a cap in a Trump clown in a video earlier this year, but this time many on the left joined those on the right in its condemnation.

I want to think that Griffin's original apology was sincere, though while performing the stunt in the first place she gleefully mused that she might have to "apologize" for it. Then, you should note that in her apology to her audience (she made absolutely no apology to the president or his family) she said, "I'm sorry; I'm just now seeing the reaction to this." Nothing about taking a look at the photo she helped create and realizing how awful it was, or having second thoughts overnight. She apologized only because of the reaction.

Her press conference, on the other hand, was exquisite. Griffin actually wants America to see HER as a VICTIM in all this.

"A sitting president of the United States, and his grown children, and the first lady, are personally - I feel - personally trying to ruin my life forever," she cried, complaining that she symbolically performed a bloody decapitation of the president of the United States, only to have him and his family solemnly condemn her actions on Twitter. Can you imagine? Here's a free piece of advice, Kat, while we're on the subject: black people don't find "noose" jokes funny (and neither do the rest of us).

Inherent in this is her shock and anger that the Trump family responded at all. When I had an op-ed published in the Washington Times in 2009, some of the commenters disagreed with me in the comments. That's fine; that's their right. But it's my right, too. I was on the message boards, arguing with them. One of them actually complained that I was doing so, as if I weren't permitted to point out where I think my detractors are wrong.

The same happens with famous people. I've completely had it with the "only punch up" crowd who believes that everyone's free to take a shot at the "powerful," but it's somehow beneath the "powerful" to retaliate. I disagree completely. If I, a nobody, criticize someone I don't like, and that person wants to call me out, that's fine. You criticize someone, you're fair game to be criticized. You call someone out; prepared to get called out. The Trump family's response to Griffin has been quite muted, from what I've seen. You wanna hold a mock decapitation, Kathy? Consider yourself evermore in the ring.

Griffin is allegedly receiving death threats for her actions. Okay, not cool. But she seems to have forgotten already that she JUST MADE A PUBLIC DEATH THREAT against the president. Oh, wait! It was "satire," right? If someone on the right had done this towards a Democrat president, we'd have a four-day national conversation about hate, race, civility, you name it. If a leftist does it towards a conservative, it's always "satire." You're too stupid to understand. Just move on.

Tucker Carlson said that the worst thing about was that it just wasn't funny. That seems to be the common thing said when something like this happens. "Sure, it was offensive, but, even more than that, it just wasn't funny." I know why people say that: if you call an offensive comic "offensive," (s)he'll just be pleased as punch to have pissed somebody off. If you say the person is unfunny, then you're cutting that comedian to the core... I don't know how accurate it is, though. If holding up a facsimile of someone's head could possibly be made "funny," wouldn't that make it worse, somehow?

Griffin now believes there is a cabal of older, white males trying to keep her down. Well, this white male is younger than she is, and he'd be pleased if Kathy Griffin would go away. Of course, another part of me hopes that she'll keep on talking, as she's become an embodiment of irresponsible, outrageous leftism that -- until now -- believed that nothing it says about Donald Trump or anyone else it hates is over the line.

He broke you? You broke yourself, girlfriend.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Responses to Jimmy Kimmel's Health-Care Monologue

Two responses from other people who've been through harrowing health scares with their own young children, and thus can sympathize with Jimmy Kimmel -- and yet disagree with his political tie in: from Michelle Malkin and Jonah Goldberg.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

BeneGram's 2017 Final Fourcasts

WOMEN: Connecticut, Baylor, Stanford, South Carolina. Connecticut over Stanford in the final.
MEN: Kansas, Villanova, Gonzaga, Butler. Gonzaga over Kansas in the final.

Let's get started!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Eight Years Ago Today, "Thank You" to GWB Published in WASHINGTON TIMES

Today is the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States, Donald J. Trump. Most of us didn't see this coming even two years ago, let alone four or eight. As I mentioned a couple of months ago, I didn't vote for him or for any of the other people on the ballot for president, and instead wrote in the name of someone who had dropped out almost a year ago.

Not everyone is happy during an inauguration, no matter who wins. We usually don't see the level of violent opposition that we're seeing today, which reflects more poorly on the violent protestors than it does on the people they're protesting against, but there will always be people on the other side.

I was on the other side eight years ago, as I was displeased at how so many of the nation's ills were wrongly being blamed on President George W. Bush. I was fortunate enough to have this piece published in the Washington Times. It happened to run on the day that President Barack Obama was inaugurated, but the vast majority of what I wrote was a salute to Bush more than criticism of Obama.

Perhaps some of the people protesting today can put down their smoke bombs long enough to read it.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Nat Hentoff

We lost jazz critic and free-speech activist Nat Hentoff this month. He remains one of my stalwart heroes -- a true individual: liberal on many issues, but not afraid to shake up left-wing orthodoxy when he deemed it appropriate. For instance, this pivotal story from 1992 demonstrates that attacks on free speech often come from the left and not the right. In fact, while this story is coming up on a quarter-century old, and yet it foreshadowed what has become all too common on our university campuses (and, we'll probably see, presidential inaugurations), where conservative speakers are regularly shouted down and their would-be audience members physically restrained from entering the venue, all because they hold different opinions.

Hentoff was credited with the phrase, "Free speech for me -- but not for thee," to criticize those who enrobe themselves in the First Amendment while simultaneously attempting to deny that same right for their opponents. Twenty-five years later, the situation's only gotten worse.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Of Lives and Mattering

I've been looking at this post of mine for several months now, resolving to finish it and post it, just waiting for the appropriate time. The obnoxious, fairly maligned MTV video chiding white males (addressed here last week) makes this seem as good a time as any. It's not going to get any better -- my post, I mean.

The phrase "Black Lives Matter" caused a firestorm, and it begat "All Lives Matter," which was met with equal scorn. After police officers in Dallas were gunned down, many "BLM" advocates clarified  that "BLM" in no way implies "ONLY BLM." Seth Meyers, who a while back decided to abandon all pretense of evenhandedness and go the Full Olbermann, made this point while attacking Rudy Giuliani after Dallas.

I do understand that most who say "black lives matter" do believe that other lives matter, as well, but they also believe that African-Americans are being disproportionately targeted by police. One may agree with that assertion. One may disagree. But at least the conversation can begin from there.

But if "BLM" deserves the benefit of the doubt, then the same is true for "ALM." If people should not mentally add "only" to someone else's "Black Lives Matter," then others should not mentally add "Except Black Lives" to someone else's "All Lives Matter."

Then there are the shoddy Internet comparisons. One argues that saying "all lives matter" is like a fire department hosing down all the houses on the street, not just the one burning, because "all houses matter." Or a surgeon operating on every bone in your body, not just the one that is broken, because "all bones matter." But I look at the lives being lost on the news. Folks, it's not just one house on fire. I see many broken bones, and they're not all one color.

The difference between "BLM" and "ALM" is one of emphasis. Never have so many people who seem to be in agreement argued with each other with such ferocity.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Speaking on Behalf of One White Guy...


Usually, I try not to pile on when there's already a frenzy going on, but in the case of the now-infamous, albeit short-lived, racist and misandrist MTV public-service announcement about "white guys." It was gone almost as quickly as it appeared -- so strong was the antipathy towards it -- but there's so much here to address, even if others have done it.

First off, MTV muffins, people make New Year resolutions on their own. If you try to make a resolution for someone else -- or an entire group of people -- you're doing it wrong.

Now on to a few of the gems these precious puppies found it appropriate to say to us:

"Hey, fellow white guys..." [said by one token]

Don't compare yourself to me at all.

"Here's a few things we think you could do a little bit better in 2017." [different guy]

Wow. Thanks.

"America was never 'great' for anyone who wasn't a white guy."

That's going to come as a great surprise to many people who aren't white guys who've done rather okay.

"Can we all just agree that 'Black Lives Matter' isn't the opposite of 'All Lives Matter"? Black lives just matter; there's no need to overcomplicate it."

Couldn't agree more. I'll be addressing this topic at long last in a later post. There's not much need to become agitated at any way of saying it. Of course, saying "all lives matter" sort of makes it as uncomplicated as can be.

"'Blue lives matter'...isn't a thing...cops weren't born with blue skin! Right? I mean..."

That's cute. You're pretending to think "blue lives matter" is about blue skin. You're pretending not to get it! Right? I mean..."

"Stop bragging about being 'woke.'"

If I ever even CLAIM to be "woke," please drive me to a hospital. "Woke" is a past-tense verb, not an adjective.

"Learn what mansplaining is...and then stop doing it."

"Mansplaining" isn't a word, actually. Sometimes people need to explain things to other people. If they explain when they don't need to explain, then -- guess what -- women do this, too. The "man______ing" phenomenon is the fantasy that only men do things that both men and women do. You (the self-satisfied woman saying this) need to start womanunderstanding.

"If you're a judge, don't prioritize the well-being of an athlete over the woman he assaulted."

Sure, such as in the Stanford case. In other cases, we need to know that an assault actually happened.

"You can be racist with black friends!"

Yes, you're demonstrating that amply right now.

The encouraging thing is how resoundingly this crap taco was trashed from pillar to post immediately after it aired.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

An Ad to Turn Everyone into a Luddite

You may remember this ad from 2013. In it, a teenage boy appears to be futzing with his phone in the days leading up to Christmas, missing all the wonderful moments with the extended family. As the family is gathered in the living room, he interrupts the festivities to play a video on the big TV. His family members look fed up and about to growl at him, when the video begins, and they see that what he's really been doing is creating a montage of the family moments, with music, to create a touching, high-tech greeting card.

While many people loved the spot, others -- in spite of the kid's good intentions -- hated the imposition of technology, and the defense of the modern phenomenon of the incapability of people (not just teenagers) to experience life without looking at a screen. While I'm usually the first one to make that argument, I feel like that criticism is misplaced. The kid done good. Leave this ad alone.

THIS ad from this year, however, deserves every bit of scorn that was wrongly given to the 2013 ad. Grandparents look up their grandkids' tweets (somehow they lack modern technology but they can still read tweets), and see that their houses are considered hell on earth for nothing other than the fact that they lack Wi-Fi or On-Demand or Netflix or something else my grandparents' house didn't have or need when we visited for Christmas twenty-five years ago.

The grandparents decide that they need to upgrade their houses for the holidays, which just causes the kids' eyes to light up upon entering the house. "Home," by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros," a wonderful but horribly misused song, is heard, as we see technology-laden fun, concluding with the granddaughter giving their house her personal seal of approval. You may know that the chorus features the line, "Home is wherever I'm with you." Notice there's nothing there about being able to watch a movie just by voicing a famous line at the screen. The grandparents should have unplugged whatever appliances they did have and announced to the little snot that they're all going to take turns reading Dickens aloud. Some people wish they still had grandparents (or parents) to visit during Christmas or Hanukkah or Thanksgiving or whatnot, and wouldn't care if they could live-stream their kitchen dances.

I notice that the comments for the ad from this year have been disabled. Wonder why.