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.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Time for Celebrities to Exit, Stage Left

...I voted for neither of them. I actually wrote in the name of someone who had been running earlier in the year, but now was back to his U.S. Senate race. (That should be a rather large clue.) I feared the prospect of Sec. Hillary Clinton (D.) and what she might do with the U.S. Supreme Court, and was entertaining the outside prospect of using my vote more directly to prevent that...but, no...I chose idealism over pragmatism, and then promised myself I'd leap off a mountain if my actions caused her to win my state by exactly one vote...

...so none of the rest of what I'm about to write is really about President-Elect Trump (my congratulations, even though he wasn't even in my top fifteen choices...another hint...).

...the demonstrations taking place in major cities and on college campuses right now are what make me fear the future much more so than the election of anyone for president. The behavior of people uploading their own tearful, profanity-drenched, screaming tirades...or burning the American flag...or vandalizing public property...or assaulting someone they BELIEVE may have voted for Trump...or openly campaigning for assassination...makes me wonder if these violent agitators -- I won't insult infants -- have ever had anything go against them in their lives. I'm old enough to recall several Election Nights on which I went to bed, greatly disappointed at the outcome. I was sad when I woke up the next day, and often for several days afterward. But I somehow refrained from starting a dumpster fire. I have a temper tantrum every so often when I can't find the remote, or when I'm stuck in traffic, but usually I hope no one is watching. I certainly wouldn't hit "record" first, and then put it on YouTube.

Donald Trump, even after all the things he's said, isn't Hitler. Barack Obama isn't Hitler. George W. Bush isn't Hitler. Hitler is Hitler, and we diminish what he was about when we compare American politicians to him.

Now for you famous people who kindly took it upon yourselves to tell us how to vote, and threatened, yet again, that you were leaving the country if the Republican wins the election.

Yes, make no mistake. We go through this every four years. It may be more pronounced this year, because of Trump, but it's here, to some degree, every time. Barbra Streisand said in 1992 that she was moving to London if George H.W. Bush were re-elected. This time, I'm not sure if she said he's going to the U.K., but she did say she's leaving. That's fine. Time to go, Babs.

...'cuz if you don't leave, then we can only assume that your promise to do so was some strange kind of "threat." That's right. You folks actually believe that someone goes into a voting booth, prepares to hit the button for the Republican candidate, and then says, "Oh, wait. I can't do this! Miley Cyrus said she'll leave if the Republican wins! WHAT WAS I THINKING? I can't take that chance!"

Or, "I had my reasons for voting G.O.P. this time around, but Jon Stewart said he'd get in a rocket ship and take off for another planet! That sure was a close call!"

Or, "I honestly don't know what I would have done if I got up one day and CHER had loaded up her suitcases and left! Hillary it is!"

Or, "No....! Not you, TOO, George Lopez! How would I ever go on?!"

Or Amber Rose (whoever the damn hell that is) or Neve Campbell (she's still alive?) or any of these other self-important twits.

Your threat to leave, in all likelihood, didn't keep any Americans from voting for Trump. In fact, if anything, it may have caused people voting third party to go Full Donald on Tuesday, just for the perk of getting you the hell out of here.

So it's time for you to go. For some of you, I've been waiting for this moment for many years now. For others, well, I may not even have heard of you, but, hey, bon voyage. If you tried to hold us hostage by threatening us with your absence, then enjoy seeing the world. I'M not kicking you out; this country is yours just as much as it is mine...you chose to kick YOURSELVES out.

Seriously, go. If I could afford to park my car in your neighborhoods, I'd help you pack.

I just feel bad that Canada will have to put up with Lena Dunham from now on. But it's a large country, so that should dilute her ability to be a nuisance.

If not, there's always Russia.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

I Voted Today

...right after I showed my photo ID.

Mind you: I wasn't asked, but I've made it my practice to hold my driver's license before signing in.

I think everyone should (have to) do the same. It's just too important.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Milo and the Snowflakes

The first time I remember reading anything by Milo Yiannopoulos, I disagreed with his premise.

Yiannopoulos wrote about female athletes during last year's Women's World Cup, claiming that "football" (soccer in the States) is boring enough without having to watch women play it. As he is gay, he said he doesn't have to "pretend" to like watch women's sports in order to get a "shag." Well, I'm not gay, but I'm also not looking for a "shag," and I disagreed with his picking on women's athletics.

I'm sure there are other things Yiannopoulos says and does that I disagree with, even as I agree with him on a host of other things. He is right to point out gender double standards, and how the left went lulu in response to his unimpressed review of the Ghostbusters remake (in which Yiannopoulos points out its bitter misandry).

The main point, though: when I disagree, I leave a few words in the comments section. I don't petition to have vehicles for his thoughts shut down.

This is what now passes for freedom on college campuses. When Yiannopoulos...or Christina Hoff Sommers...or Ben Shapiro...or just about any other conservative-leaning author with a following appears in public, the response from "progressive" students (and faculty) is often to tear down flyers, to throw objects, to scream or chant or clap over the guest speaker, or even to take the stage. On YouTube, you can check out the behavior of the self-described "tolerant people" as they do everything they can to shout down anyone with a view other than their own. I've been to discussion groups that I thought were biased and one-sided and not at all representative of my own position; somehow I refrained from acting like this.

This nonsense will continue so long as universities permit it to continue. More likely, the situation will get worse. When students refuse to go to class because they saw "Trump 2016" scrawled on a sidewalk, what will happen next?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Project Veritas Videos on Dem Voter Fraud and Intimidation at Rallies

On October 11, Project Veritas released a video from December 2015, in which Alan Schulkin, one of the commissioners of the Board of Elections of New York City stated plainly that people are bused from one polling site to another (to another to another) to vote multiple times on the same Election Day. Do you have a friend whom you suspect never shows up to vote? You can show up in his place? Is your deceased aunt still on the voter rolls? Here's your way of keeping her spirit alive!

New York is one of the many states that does not require photographic identification from people voting, which enables fraud like this to take place -- fraud that we're ensured over and over again never happens. Schulkin acknowledges in the video that asking for ID really should not be a big deal. He is also getting more and more conservative every day, and, now that this video is out, maybe the poor, soon-to-be-ostracized fellow will feel free to drop the façade and swing over.

Then, this week came the video of Scott Foval, who has since, uh, "resigned," essentially confirming (and then some) what Schulkin had said. From this video we have proof that state lines are often crossed (e.g. Iowa) for the voter fraud to continue, and that rental cars are being considered as "safer" (i.e. less vulnerable to being caught) alternatives to buses. Foval has also said that they were giving people financial compensation to stir up trouble at Donald Trump rallies.

If there's some context that makes this footage somehow less damning to Democrats, I can't conceive of it.

Much has been said about Trump's comment that the election is "rigged." "Rigged" means it's already decided, which most people don't believe. An election doesn't have to be "rigged" for large portions of voter fraud to have an effect upon it, however. Those are two separate things.

A rigged baseball game means the umpires have decided to let one team win. They don't need to
do that in order for one team to win by cheating, however.

Anderson Cooper didn't hesitate to bring up Donald Trump's comments about women (perhaps rightfully so). Will this massive fraud be brought up tonight?

Your move, Chris Wallace.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Three Women Point Out the Hypocrisy in the Reaction to Trump's Denigrating Words

As I've written before, I found Trump's conversation with Billy Bush in 2005 to be putrid and objectifying, and I'm tired of those who will dismiss it as "just how men talk and think." I bristle when anyone paints the entire male gender as a horde of lechers, and this isn't helping.

...but I'm also tired, also as I've written before, of selective outrage. And (at least) three fairly prominent female columnists agree with me. (Click on the links for the entire pieces.)

Heather MacDonald: "If any of these newfound exponents of female modesty felt any comparable nausea at the blatant display of female sexuality...in Beyoncé’s acclaimed rock video “Formation,” say, they kept it to themselves. Beyoncé and her female chorus line rhythmically thrust...while Beyoncé brags of her sexual prowess...No objections to that destruction of the innocence of childhood from the DNC."

D.C. McCallister: "I find this reaction to Trump's private conversation rather ironic. It's ironic coming from a secular culture that long ago declared objective morality dead. It's ironic coming from politicos and media bottom-feeders who defended the abusive and disgusting behavior of Bill Clinton, not when he was a private citizen but when he was a sitting president."

Margot Anderson: "The chief offense Trump is being accused of is 'objectifying women,' i.e. denying their dignity and humanity. But what about treating human life as a disposable clump of cells?"

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Hillary Clinton Colluding with Press -- oh, and Has a Mouth to Rival Trump's

While I have a few backlogged posts I've been working on for a few months -- even in my head -- it's been an eventful few days. Donald Trump's unearthed comments, whether an unserious "joke" or not, were horrid. Simply put, I cringe at a man's comment that he grabs a woman "by the p---y." For the record, I also cringe at any woman's comment about grabbing a man "by the b---s," although we all know that too many people don't bat an eyelash upon hearing that.

While I don't know if Hillary Clinton has ever made such a comment, it appears she's said plenty of things, usually in a rage, that Trump or any other man would be castigated for. The Intercept has just such a list of quotations attributed to HRC, taken from books written about the (first?) Clinton White House. Even with words slightly censored, I apologize for the implied profanity, anti-male slurs, and anti-semitism:

"F**k off! It's enough that I have to see you ****-kickers every day, I'm not going to talk to you too!! Just do your G*damn job and keep your mouth shut." -- (American Evita by Christopher Anderson, page 90. Hillary yells at State Troopers after one allegedly told her "Good Morning.")

"Where's the miserable c*ck sucker?" --  (The Truth About Hillary by Edward Klein, page 5. Hillary Clinton screams this at a Secret Service agent.)

"Stupid k**e." -- (Hillary Clinton: The Other Woman by Dolly Kyle. Hillary used the epithet about Jewish people.)

If she's still (allegedly) making such comments, we don't know, but her campaign has been busy constructing a rather extensive naughty-and-nice list of members of the MSM. Glenn Greenwald's piece also explains that the campaign is also giving marching orders to their media allies:

At times, Clinton’s campaign staff not only internally drafted the stories they wanted published but even specified what should be quoted “on background” and what should be described as “on the record.”

Yes, Trump makes many of us ill. But one of the many problems with him is that he is allowing the mainstream media to ignore Clinton's many indiscretions. They would be attempting to do so regardless of who her opponent was, but another opponent wouldn't be making it this damn easy for them.






Monday, October 3, 2016

Fallon Causes Left-Wing Freak-Out, Part II.



Still shaking my head at the hissy fit the American left had over Jimmy Fallon's Trump interview a couple of weeks ago. The main charge this time was that Fallon had "humanized" Trump by giving him a regular interview, and playfully mussing his hair. Say what you will about Trump, but he is a person, and it's hard to "humanize" a human being.

One columnist, in particular, pointed to David Letterman as an example of a late-night host who found some sort of balance between comedian and water-carrier for the Democrat Party (probably not how he put it, exactly, but hey...). Hello? Anyone remember Letterman's last few years at CBS? He was unsufferable -- a partisan, bitter man. I remember a few weeks after President Obama's SOTU addresses, when Dave replayed the clip of Marco Rubio sipping some bottled water for maybe ten straight shows, apropos of nothing: "Hey, Paul, are you thirsty? Are you thirsty, Paul?" And Paul Shaffer would pretend to laugh, while the audience also pretended to laugh.

There's a precedent for the left-wing freak-out. Remember when Fallon had Sarah Palin on -- long after 2008, not to ridicule her, but to have her do a Vladimir Putin sketch with her? People lost their s---. That Fallon had had President and First Lady Obama on for sketches didn't matter to them; the reaction was that Fallon was "DEAD" to them from now on. "DEAD." And the reaction this time is even stronger, because Trump is kinda sorta more relevant than Palin was at the time.

The fact that Fallon had Hillary Clinton on and didn't grill her on her 38 different scandals should pacify some of these libs...but it won't, of course.

Here is a great guest column from Dave Berg about how Colbert/Bee/Oliver/Meyers have relinquished their role as comedians and are now doing one-sided advocacy.

Thanks, Famous Actors

...I know this is kind of a weird year, and many of us believe we're caught between a rock and a hard place, but when I view this parody that features ordinary, relatively unknown Americans (just...like...MEEEEEEE), I'm reminded of William F. Buckley's famous line, "I'd rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University."

Replace the Harvard faculty with oh-so-endearing celebs such as Mark Ruffalo, Neil Patrick Harris, and Rosie Perez, and Buckley's comment gets multiplied by about nineteen. Watch and love.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Happy Continued Summer

...that's right, it's the day after Labor Day, meaning there are more than two weeks of summer left to enjoy.

...I can't figure out why news networks and marketers, who seem to like summer, can never wait to declare it dead. (...even The Weather Channel, where someone even-more-wrongly announced that we were just heading into "the last official weekend of the summer." The heat has returned, so look for newscasts to herald "A Return to Summer!!!" even though summer hasn't ended. Then, when summer actually ends, the meteorologists will be mentioning that, too. So summer gets to die twice.) The autumnal solstice falls on September 22. When you mention this, people will roll their eyes and say, "Sure, but that's just the official end of summer."

Yes, the official one, which is the only one that counts. Yes, some of the summer attractions down the shore that are operated mostly by high school students close on Labor Day. Kids are back in school. But summer still lingers, thankfully.

December 1st isn't the beginning of winter, March 1st isn't the beginning of spring, and Memorial Day isn't the beginning of summer. While we're at it, the millennium didn't begin until January 1, 2001.

Enjoy every day, if you can. Doesn't life move quickly enough, without hurrying it along?

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Gotta Hit the Hardware Store

"Trump has no clue." -- Vice President Joe Biden

"We don't look to be ruled." -- President Barack Obama

"The Republican National Convention was full of pessimism and scare tactics!"

                                                                -- every other DEM and MSM advocate

I think my irony meter just wore out. Don't worry; I can get it repaired (again).

Thursday, July 21, 2016

THE DAILY SHOW Gets Miffed That Someone Wants to Record Its Deception


It already has more than 110,000 views in under 24 hours, but check out this video of what went down when a crew from The Daily Show attempted an ambush interview with one of the attendees of Milo Yiannopoulos's Gays for Trump party at the RNC on Tuesday night.

As many (but not enough) people are aware. TDS has, for years, recorded interviews with organization leaders, politicians, and Just Plain Folk, only to edit footage in a blatantly deceptive fashion, so as to make the subject appear clueless, hypocritical, or just plain evil.

Fortunately, while speaking on his phone, Joel B. Pollak of Breitbart.com viewed the exchange about to take place, and ended the call so that he could use the phone to record what was about to take place. Well, as you can see, that did not sit well with The Daily Show's crew. Having someone record with the ability to have what is said in its entirety online after or maybe even before TDS's editors get their hands on it would greatly hamper their ability to make this person look like a buffoon! Can't have that! So these snot-noses actually tried to tell Pollak that he could watch the interview but not record it. Pollak refused to turn his phone off, while the crew became gradually more annoyed and frustrated. Notice that, when Pollak airs out his suspicion that they're out to ambush people, they don't deny it, and later can say only that all shows engage in editing -- which is true, but editing for brevity is not the same thing as setting out to make people look foolish/racist/____phobic. Once they see they can't record without being recorded themselves, Trevor Noah's goons skulk (and sulk) away.

I've become saddened to see what Breitbart.com has become in recent years, such as bashing any Republican candidate not named "Trump," but I'm all with Joel here. Stay tuned for a Milo post...

Friday, July 15, 2016

Baton Rouge. Falcon Heights. Dallas.


The horrific events seem to be coming at a faster pace than ever before. Just when it's almost time to raise the flags from their half-mast-for-Orlando position, we have Dallas (on the heels of another controversial killing in Louisiana, immediately followed by another in Minnesota). Funerals are taking place for the five police officers, and then France is struck again, this time in Nice. (And -- oh, yeah -- there was Istanbul, although I notice with a decent amount of discomfort that Americans seem to notice terrorism more when it strikes North America or Western Europe, rather than Eastern Europe or the Middle East.) Did I leave any out? I'm sure I did.

We now have more names and more incidents to discuss, and I think the rate of violence (or perhaps a similar rate, but more publicized and broadcast than ever before) has caused Americans to adopt a lazy, binary approach. For example, Michael Brown has been compared far too many times with Emmett Till. And once is too many times. Let's review. Emmett Till was an African-American boy who was lynched in the 1950s after he flirted with a white woman. Michael Brown robbed a convenience store, violently shook the proprietor, resisted arrest when approached by police, tried to grab a police officer's gun, and was shot and killed. His death is a tragedy, but it is absolutely incomparable to what happened to Till.

And yet I keep hearing a list of names rattled off with suggested equivalence. One person said, "Trayvon Martin is Michael Brown is Eric Garner is Sandra Bland is Freddie Gray is..." and so forth.

But this isn't remotely true. Every one of these high-profile cases is unique. I see a lot of lumping going on, as if in every case we must either condemn or exonerate the police officer(s) involved. In the most recent ones, yes, the police seem to be overstepping their bounds, but not in every single violent encounter that has taken place. And yet, there's a knee-jerk tendency by some to assume the worst of the police, whereas in others there's just as instinctive an assumption that some punk had it coming.

I can't shake this feeling that we used to wait a little longer before passing judgment, but not in this age in which cell-phone video of any incident is uploaded within sixty seconds and seen halfway around the world before the blood on the pavement has dried. In some ways, that's a good thing; it makes footage less vulnerable to editing. But it also sets off firestorms before we're even able to piece together what has happened.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Brazen


If there were a Benegram Twitter account, I'd be retweeting this over and over again:

@allahpundit

Comey’s not going to clear Hillary on the very day Obama starts campaigning with her, is he?


Apparently so.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Democrats Hold a Slumber Party


As I watch the Democrats hold their gun-control "sit-in" -- quixotically comparing themselves to civil rights heroes who faced far more risk -- I keep asking myself why they're not blazing mad at U.S. Senators in their own party, who just failed to passed two pieces of gun legislation authored by Senate Republicans. Why be so angry at one party and not the other?

Could it be that this would defeat the whole purpose of their tantrum -- not to reduce gun violence, but rather to try to score political points?

Saturday, June 11, 2016

I'm Not with Her

...and will not be with her anytime soon.

AOL, I am tired of seeing this woman's face on my cell phone, the laptop computer, and various desktop computers I happen to use.

Stop telling me to click on something to say I'm with her. I view her political ad with the same revulsion that my vegetarian self feels when an ad for Omaha Steaks comes up, or my teetotaling self feels when some smelly wine is being hawked, or how I'd view a before-and-after for Preparation H.

I don't care if the eleven-car pileup known as Huffington Post bought out AOL or not.

I want this "I'M WITH HER" sewage off my AOL.

Make it happen.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Facebook and a Doctored Cake

...so the drama regarding a cake sold at an Austin Whole Foods turns out to have been the result of a crudely executed hoax (as many of us predicted). Turns out, the bakery employee who served Pastor Jordan Brown actually isn't a latent homophobe who added a three-letter homophobic slur to Brown's order (as many of us warned). Video evidence demonstrates that Brown likely added it himself (as many of us suspected) so as to set up a narrative of evil and bigotry.

I'm happy that Whole Foods's name has been cleared; in fact, the market has dropped its countersuit against Brown. Of course, the "never mind" part just never seems to be given the prominence that the original charge, does it?

Mr. XYZ Accused of Sexual Assault (front page)
Charges Against Mr. XYZ Dropped; Accusations Proven Invalid (p. 18., lower-right corner)

I think I'd put a few chips on the table to say that this happened on social media in the Whole Foods story. Remember that to say that something has "gone viral" is to compare a story to something quite harmful, and often fatal. That close-up photo of that bad little word that rhymes with "bag" was probably posted by a few million Facebook users by the time fifteen minutes had elapsed after the story first hit the 'net, accompanied by the contest of Who Can Denounce This in the Strongest Terms -- without waiting to see if there was more to the story or not. See also "University of Virginia" or anything said by a Republican figure that HuffPo can then twist into something horrible.

A university student will scream and holler about a racial slur or a swastika made out of feces she found on her dorm-room dry-erase board. The Twitterverse will explode. It'll be the top thing trending on FB. Then, the administration will tell her that, not to worry, we'll look at the video at who did it.

"Uh...video?" she'll ask nervously.

And, then -- as many of us guessed -- the video will show that the student herself was the one to adorn the offending word(s) or image(s) there, so she could complain about how bigoted her school is. Then the story will probably fade out on social media, without any real contrition or retraction. After all, it served its purpose just fine. There'll be another fake thing coming along any day now to satisfy our righteous indignation.

Of course, we know that the good people of Planet Zuckerberg will see to it that everything's made square, right?

Monday, May 16, 2016

Adult Stem Cells Used to Combat Blindness in Newborns, and Myasthenia Gravis in Adults

A hat tip to Wesley J. Smith for spreading word about these items.

First came the news that adult stem cells have been used successfully to restore sight in human infants.

Then there was word that they have caused remission of myasthenia gravis -- again, in human patients.

Recall that, fifteen years ago, embryonic stem cells were being touted every week on the nightly news as the "holy grail" of medicine, and that adult stem cells were a cheap imitation that would never amount to anything. They had it backwards, as we have been saying.

Friday, March 25, 2016

BeneGram's 2016 Final Fourcasts

Let's see how we're doing here...

WOMEN: South Carolina [sigh], Notre Dame, Texas A&M, and Connecticut. Connecticut over South Carolina in the final.
MEN: Villanova, Baylor, Virginia, Xavier. Virginia over Baylor in the final. Yeah, I know.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Freedom of Speech Doesn't Mean Stifling Someone Else's

I'm not what you would call a fan of Donald Trump. I think his mouth outpaces his brain by about four lengths, and he speaks in sound bites and pep-rally jargon rather than gives specifics. Marco Rubio [sigh] would have made a much better candidate, and a much more formidable opponent than Trump would be, if polls are to be believed.

That said, I don't believe the lunacy at Trump rallies is all his fault. DJT's events are being disrupted by activists with the same sort of tactics seen at college campuses, where students and their aging mentors simultaneously cry out for free speech and chant to drown out any speaker they don't like. Consider what Milo Yiannopolous and Ben Shapiro have had to contend with in the last few weeks.

"Free speech for me, but not for me," as Nat Hentoff put it.

It's one thing to stand outside a Trump rally with a sign in silent protest; it's another to cause a disruption at an event. This is not to comment on how such disruptions are handled, except to point out that any protestor who displays violence should expect the right of self-defense to be availed.

I'd rather have any other Republican as president than Donald Trump, but I don't want harm to come to him.

Monday, February 29, 2016

This Leap Year's Fun Fact, Same as the One Before

The adjustment known as leap year isn't as simple as "every four years." If that's all we did, our calendar would still be quite screwed up. To be even more precise and keep the earth from gaining or losing too much time, every year that is a multiple of 100 but not a multiple of 400 will not be a leap year. You may remember that 2000 was a leap year, though 2100, 2200, and 2300 will not be leap years, and then 2400 will be one.

Want to experience them with me? Eat your vegetables.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Clinton Wants to Have It Both Ways on the Supreme Court

Letter of mine ran here in THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER on February 19. My original appears below. (And, yes, those cases were about specific appointees. My point is about the selective outrage, which any regular reader here would know is a common theme at BeneGram.)

I see that Sec. Hillary Clinton is now lambasting Republicans for the suggestion that the process to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who passed suddenly on February 13, should be delayed. Let us recall that Clinton was one member of the United States Senate to engage in filibuster against Samuel Alito when President Bush nominated him during his second term. (Then-Senators Barack Obama and John Kerry did the same.) Clinton, in fact, also used the filibuster against many Bush nominees to the U.S. Court of Appeals. As for the years before Clinton was even First Lady, one need only enter the name "Robert Bork" into a search engine to see how Democrats have behaved when faced with a nominee they didn't like. 

So, apparently, Democrats, such as Clinton, are opposed to obstructing the process of replacing a Supreme Court justice -- except when they aren't.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Justice Scalia

As news spreads about the surprising passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, I don't suppose that left-wingers commenting on message boards can refrain from being buttholes for at least the first 24 hours.

Oh, wait. Too late.

BOTH Sides Care About Gun Violence

I believe that President Obama's tears shed over gun violence were genuine, but I wish for a cessation of the rhetoric. I've never owned a gun or been a member of the National Rifle Association, but I'm tired of the NRA being vilified as an amorphous force that needs to be "stood up to." It is an organization comprising more than five million Americans, who are just as horrified by gun violence as everyone else. Hundreds of thousands if not millions of instances occur each year in which a gun prevents or prematurely ends a crime -- most of the time without even being fired.
 
Those who disagree with the president's proposals and attitude do not love their guns more than they love their children; they want the right of protection because they love their children.