Thursday, April 29, 2010

Who judges the judges? (or WHO has the final say?)

This issue came up recently when our friend Saty posted some links to that apparently showed some of Glenn Beck's many purported lies so I asked Beth about this on the phone last night what is this website exactly? She said they listed the same type material about Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow and since they're both liberal (or in Olbermann's case keeping it psycho) I guess many people look up to this site to tell them the truth but something's been nagging at me. I believe everyone has a bias, if you're human you have a bias, your bias is what makes you human or to paraphrase Rene Descartes I am biased therefore I am but putting all this aside there was something else I couldn't quite put my finger on right away and you may as well tie in the Terri Schiavo subject since that too was in the blog where this supposedly objective political fact-checking group came up. I now know what is bothering me and I'm surprised Saty with her mystical inclinations didn't pick up on it and I'll get to it in a minute but first let me say it really applies to any subject under the sun. OK go pick a topic but specifically as it relates here it had to do with Glenn Beck being a veritable geyser of misinformation or something.

WHO HAS THE FINAL SAY??? (on anything for that matter?) or to put it another way WHO CHECKS THE FACT-CHECKERS???

It's like in baseball it's universally agreed upon that the ump has the final say but it's also universally acknowledged that they may be wrong from time to time. So can we have a website that checks up on and hey while we're at it maybe we can have a site to check that site out too point being HOW do we arrive at ultimate knowledge of anything? Saty is not the source of ultimate knowledge or facts though she definitely has her opinions. You'd think she was Terri's friend helping her with her bulimia (quick fact-check please and you may as well fact-check the fact-check and fact-check that too). 2+2 is an objective fact, so is the fact that the moon revolves around the Earth but Glenn Beck being a conduit of misinformation, not so objective and hell we may as well be fair and apply this to Olbermann and Maddow too. To use another analogy the judges on American Idol may have the final word but many many times I have disagreed with their judging especially this last season so what am I saying here? It's like with salt causing high-blood pressure and I'm not disputing that it does but nobody can explain to me how sodium causes high-blood pressure and it'd be interesting since the G-spot no longer exists that who's to say in a few years' time Science may do a reverse course on salt too?

The only thing I know for sure is that I have to go to work tomorrow, that I have a cat and I'm sitting in front of a computer right now. Oh there's a few other things to be sure but as for I say it's still a theory. On a sidenote I've posted misinformation on my own blog once in a very great while though not on purpose of course. I once referred to Emanuel Swedenborg as a Swiss theologian rather than a Swedish preacher until someone corrected me. Ain't no big thang so I edited it to make it as factually accurate as possible, happens. Since I just had to check the man's name right now will he be trending soon? Dunno man like Beth says Obama lies all the time. Am I rambling?......

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A conservative POV on the Arizona situation

As all educated bloggers well know Republican Governor of AZ Jan Brewer signed this thing into law last week. Basically my understanding is that all citizens need to carry some form of ID and cops have the right to determine or at least try to determine who is here legally and illegally by asking for citizenship papers. Now if you're any type of a libertarian conservative you should be against this as it's a hallmark of a police state or foreshadows one (remember that animating principle of mine I blogged about recently). If you're against the national ID card and many of you are then you should be against this. Here's the thing though, conservatism is not really libertarian in nature anymore, it's all about language, borders and the culture to quote Michael Savage's formulation. Put another way cultural conservatism is ascendant these days and libertarian conservatism is definitely on the wane. Cultural conservatives are big on law and order issues and it goes a long way towards explaining their pretty much homogenous position on the Henry Louis Gates/Sgt. James Crowley affair. Now a libertarian might find it strange that a guy was arrested for breaking into his own house but applying this to the situation in AZ potential warning signs of a burgeoning police state can be conveniently overlooked because, look THEY'RE FUCKING ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS!!! Do we have to spell it out for you? Now in my book Glenn Beck and Al Sharpton should be marching arm-in-arm and stop at a Burger King afterwards but on Beck's radio show this morning his cultural conservatism seemed to get the better of him. Remember this, Hispanics are a pro-life people and religious, ask them who Our Lady of Guadalupe is so add to this the fact that we don't seem capable of reproducing to replacement level on our own and so immigration legal and otherwise kind of offsets some of the effects of our still high abortion rates. You think we're a greying population now let's have our way and deport 'em all and you'll have so many more of those conversations you overhear among the oldsters at Mickie D's while you're trying to enjoy your Egg McMuffin and coffee -- knee surgeries, hip replacements and of course all the meds they're taking. It's your choice but just thought I'd offer my own rather oblique POV on the goings-on in AZ these days.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Chatting with the enemy

This is what's missing in politics, in Life in general. President Obama will never have a sitdown with Glenn Beck nor will Glenn Beck invite him. By refusing to chat with your enemy you mythologize him or her, you put that person on another level ("I can't have him on") and well got to thinking about this last night as I watched a DVD someone gave me called The Terri Schiavo Story by Franklin Springs Family Media. Directed by Ken Carpenter and narrated by quadriplegic Joni Eareckson Tada it's a 50 minute movie about the Terri Schiavo saga which if it's necessary to reprise the details of that case then you're not worth talking to. It's a generic pro-life film with a definite pro-life POV, it's Christian-based but hardly an in-depth documentary at just 10 minutes under the hour. Now here's the part that I found noble, that inspired me with some type of element of hope and it's that Michael Schiavo attorney George Felos actually appears in the movie, in fact several times and is given carte-blanche to say whatever he likes. After one of his statements the scene then switches to the narrator in the wheelchair who says she finds what he just said offensive but the important point here is that he said it, was allowed to say it and no editor chose to put devils horns on top of his head for YOU to get it and that's how the film was, passionate but civil and there is a difference. It's remarkable when you consider this was the producers' own creative domain to do with as they pleased and yet they chose to include Felos and seriously makes you wonder if a pro-choice documentary filmmaker would do the same and return the favor. It also goes to show that with some people free speech and fairness are instinctual but you know I'm leading up a point don't you? Anyway by having the enemy on you give your work some needed heft, some artistic respect that might cut across the board and pay you dividends down the road but as an artistic work you also give it a romantic aura, that something-beyond-the-ordinary to show our common humanity, an added and nostalgic dimension and Felos even conceded the point that while in his view her cognitive abilities were gone by then maybe there really was a soul-connection between Terri and her Mom. There was also the rather disturbing recollection of Schindler family attorney David Gibbs III who revealed that when he went to visit Terri during her final days and entered her room he at first thought there was something wrong with the AC but that loud rattling sound was actually Terri's labored breathing so we still have the two versions of what she really looked like in her final moments, you had contradictory narratives going on and for me it was just a strange case is all. In fact there seems to be something unresolved about the whole thing but to get back to the main track here that'd be Free Speech and implicit in that the basic element of fairness and it really is a textbook example of the way to go.

So when is Glenn Beck and President Obama gonna sit down and have a heart-to-heart? Oh God think of the ratings...

Friday, April 23, 2010

4 very provocative questions

& I'll give you my answers in a bit.

(1) In your day to day do you find yourself enjoying less freedom?
(2) Do you accept Obama as your president?
(3) Is capitalism a perfect system?
(4) Should the Archie comic strip have a gay character?

OK as for (1) in large part the answer is no but that's probably because of my simplistic lifestyle. I got up this morning and had a cup of coffee, went to Stop & Shop, hit the library and otherwise did what the hell I wanted to do on MY terms and nobody but nobody stopped me. However if I were building an extension to my house most likely I'd need some type of permit or if I planned on starting up a small business I'd probably be burdened by onerous rules and regs so in that case I'd have more of a mixed response and I'd like to hear yours. (2) is surely the most controversial and if you even consider the option of saying NO then you're considered dangerous by the liberal set although what's interesting here is I think it's safe to say a good bulk of 'em didn't even consider George Bush to be a valid president, I mean it was a no-brainer as far as they were concerned. For me re Obama this remains an open question. If he truly is a socialist or Marxist then no I can't accept him as my president but this question seems to be still very much up in the air at the moment with conservatives saying yes he is a socialist and libs saying we all go to K-Mart to get our tinfoil hats. Certainly when a president goes against almost everything you believe in and hold dear, when he is so diametrically opposed to your own way of thinking it becomes very hard indeed for anyone liberal or conservative to accept him as a valid president but most times you should. When you start commenting here I want honest responses, just give us a straight Mal answer yes or no. (3) OF COURSE capitalism is not a perfect system despite your rank-and-file conservatives acting like it is but overall it's the best system on the face of the globe and the operative principle here is freedom and any shortcomings of the capitalistic system should be corrected in their own way. As you know the Dems are preparing another rush job of some major legislation and this time instead of trying to reform health-care they're trying to reform Wall Street, some 1,300 pages worth and again they don't want the country to have time to read it. Gotta love 'em! (4) and we saved the most fun for last. The Archie comics have introduced their first gay character, Kevin Keller, who is going to Riverdale High with the rest of the gang. He explains to Jughead why he just ain't that into Veronica and so Jughead is gonna have a little fun with this and let Veronica figure it out on her own (heehee). Now my answer has absolutely nothing to do with being anti-gay but I just think the strip should be non-controversial. Now presumably Kevin is gonna act with decorum and is not gonna grab Jughead's balls but what's next? Veronica gets an abortion or Betty has a stalker? ("Oh Archie I killed our baby, I can never live with myself!" or Betty: "should I buy a gun?") I'm just sayin' Archie used to be an oasis from all of this, the complexities of the Larger Society. On the other hand it does make the storyline more interesting, I mean how many times can the gang go to the malt shop?

The Person of the Week Who Should Just Go Away Already -- Ashley Dupre. She's become a larger scourge on this country than bubble-gum pop. If that Billy Mumy character from Twilight Zone were here he'd just wish her into the cornfield.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Is the lunatic fringe really the lunatic fringe

or are certain discussions off the table? For me it depends on the topic but in many cases it's what I've just said. For instance the Tea Party is not part of the lunatic fringe but the 9/11 truthers are and if I may speak frank here I'm really getting tired of this group that can't accept what happened on that fateful day. Now if you break it down it all starts to make sense IF you're of the conspiratorial bent but where the case breaks down as in totally is the charge that it was really a missile that hit the Pentagon. So what happened to all those missing passengers on that particular flight? did they all get issued new IDs and simply relocate to other countries like Switzerland and Norway? As in the fake moon landing conspiracy theory which would have required massive numbers of people being in on it to successfully pull it off did not one of these people say "hey wait a minute, I ain't going along with this"? Not a one??? So the more people that are required to pull off a successful conspiracy the less likely you are to have a bona-fide conspiracy in the first place. Point Two -- if the conspiracy is actually true then if you're trying to shed light on the sit'chation then they come after you, take you for a ride in the back seat of that big black sedan G-car, have a little talk with you and then open the door where YOU can make a rolling stop. If true then Charlie Sheen should be dead right now instead of making some crappy sitcom whose only formula seems to be about some carefree guy with too much leisure time on his hands who gets laid five times a day and whose only real problem is where to take a nap in the middle of the afternoon (that's the subject of another blog, in what universe?).

So is Obama a Marxist hellbent on socializing the entire U.S. Guv'ment and nation? This may or not may not be true but it's plausible and if something is plausible then by its very nature that does not make you part of a lunatic fringe so the Beckster skates away scotfree on this one although for a while there it seemed close. You know when you think about the work detectives do on a daily basis they come up with myriad workable theories to solve various crimes and while some of their theories may turn out to be wrong in the long run they have to go by what's plausible, by what's workable so to simply ask questions or try to connect the dots in a plausible way does not a lunatic fringe guy or gal make. Now if you insist that Barbara Olson may still be alive climbing the Matterhorn that proves one of two things: you are either mental or took some acid. See how it works?

Bottom line this phrase lunatic fringe is so vastly overused it no longer has much meaning and you don't know who it really applies to anymore. It's the latest card in the deck and it's getting just as dogeared as the race card. Also calling a tea partier a teabagger doesn't change the nature of reality. Lawrence Kudlow - tea partier, Richard Simmons - teabagger. Get it straight!

Friday, April 16, 2010

What if the Bilderbergers only talked about (......)?

So I'm watching Alex Jones' latest documentary last night, The Obama Deception and since my #1 Rule for anything is that it not be boring it passed the night very well. So if you don't already know the story of the Bilderbergers they're a group of about 125 people, not just millionaires but multibillionaires which seems to be the price of admission into this elite little club and they're among the most powerful and influential people in the world to put it mildly. So in the movie they're all driving up to have one of their infamous 2-day annual meetings at some Marriot or other and Alex Jones and a group of like-minded protestors are yelling and shouting at them using bullhorns and their hands, calling them a bunch of elitist criminals who want to enslave the entire planet under a dictatorial one-world government, who orchestrate and engineer entire socio/economic calamities to make their evil globalist agenda more palatable to the public-at-large but I had this thought. Let's say Alex Jones was able to infiltrate these ultra-secret meetings somehow, probably not him as he'd be recognized of course but let's say there was a way and the big confab was about to begin and ALL they talked about for two straight days was Sports...and Sex. The mouths on those gentlemen!!!

Alex Jones: "WTF!!!"

anyway there were some funny parts like legendary rapper KRS-One calling Obama "the New World Order with a black face" (a good one) and Professor Griff, founder of Public Enemy not buying into the whole thing either. The theme -- Our historic president Obama is just a puppet in the hands of the money-masters who really rule the world just like Bush was and before him just like Clinton was and before him...Now you probably won't be able to find it at your local Blockbuster but it's a good one, makes for an entertaining evening and what the hell else is on anyway?

The topic of faith has often come up here and the whole business of divine intervention (or lack thereof), where is God anyway? He hasn't been picking up His phone of late or answering His e-mail. So I had the day off today and decided to go on a nice long drive up the line to Brookfield, CT near New Milford. Destination: the Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes where you write your prayer intentions down in a notebook. I'm spiritual anyway and it truly is a beautiful place with a lovely grotto and the Stations of the Cross so as a kind of test case I wrote a few intentions down private and personal to me (unless I was tailed by a Bilderberger), nothing earth-shattering or that dire but I wanna see if any or even a few of them come true (I realize the boss situation probably can't be helped). I'll keep you posted.

Food Review

A friend and I ate at a Red Lobster the other day and let's just say the place generally lives up to the commercials so my friend says later "Red Lobster is two notches above McDonald's but it's good." He'll often say things that make sense but you have to think about them a little. He came up with the phrase fear sleep as when you have a bad night sleeping, tossing and turning all night, maybe a little sweating, some urinary issues and weird dreams and you wake up and think there's a squirrel in your room and you go to work tired. Trouble is these days many people don't think before they speak. Went to the local library after work once and saw a guy I used to work with and he sees me and goes "what are you doing here?" What, I can't be here? I was in a laundromat once doing my clothes and one woman bumps into an old acquaintance and goes "what are you doing here?" and she goes "doing laundry?" This phrase "it's not the end of the world" as when someone goes off the deep end about something stupid, what do you say when it really is the End of the World As We Know It? & we'll leave it there for today. BTW just thought I'd let you know but Sean Hannity is the #1 trender right now, must've said something.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

If Obama didn't exist we'd have to invent him

He has certainly re-energized our politics, no doubt about that and we probably wouldn't have heard of a Tea Party Movement without him. My friend and I were talking about Alex Jones and Glenn Beck yesterday and he seems to feel that while the bulk of what they're saying is right on they're also riding ($$$$$$) the wave of The Crisis and while we don't know the exact nature of Alex Jones' financial status he has probably made more money off the New World Order than anyone. Now we hear that Alex Jones has distanced himself from that Michigan Hutaree militia group which I guess the finer point here is that by your wayward actions you distract from the real threat the NWO poses or maybe Alex Jones is kinda like the Hef of politics objecting that one offshoot of his thinking may be too hardcore and gynecological for his tastes. There's gonna be a Tea Party in my area at the Westchester County Center on April the 15th, glad to see we still have some spunk left as a country but to the average person who merely scans the headlines in between his two jobs this might all get glumped together, certain key words and phrases from the endless political gabfests on cable, the Internet, the more traditional papers and any other media you care to throw in (a sampling of key words & phrases: Alex Jones, Tea Party, Hutaree, John Birch Society, protestors at funerals of dead soldiers). It's all a part of this vast Right-Wing Universe out there so maybe we need something other than the Nolan Chart to find out where we stand and oh yes, there's no polar Left-Wing Cosmos out there, no yin and yang to balance it all out, no Leftist Fringe at the other end of our political solar system according to the leading lights of the msm. It's simply THEM vs. US (the Moderates).

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

When not to play the race card

If you absolutely suck as a worker don't play the race card. Makes no sense. You come in late, you call out sick and you're otherwise a lazy bastard, you're not Nelson Mandela. Even your brothers are going to say "but you suck." If you're a good or fair to middling worker you can give it a shot but to constantly be espousing your racial theories at work to anybody who will listen when you absolutely suck as a worker it's, how shall we say setting people up, dig?

Conservatives obsessed with reading Ole Gray Lady editorials, then they have to write about it in their own counter-columns. The New York Post even has an occasional Times Watch (does the Times have a Post Watch?). I've solved this problem a long time ago, I go out of my way to NOT read the New York Times. Works for me and gets me through the day. Letting a Times editorial or Op-Ed ruin your day, it's a form of conservative masturbation. I've given up those habits, I'd sooner read the TV Guide or Popular Mechanics. A corollary to this is the Frank Rich problem or the Maureen Dowd problem, I don't read them either. It's amazing, I feel so much better and I've lost 10 lbs.! you can too.

Monday, April 05, 2010


I wasn't going out of my way to follow this story, the priestly sex scandal now dogging Pope Benedict XVI but since there's no escaping it here's my thoughts. Now we all know the Church has many enemies and it's probably fair to say the Ole Gray Lady ain't no fan but there are times, every once in a while mind you when you just have to agree with the critics of the Church. This is one of them but instead what we're seeing is the bunker mentality, Bill Donohue of The Catholic League and NY Archbishop Timothy Dolan for instance calling the latest focus on this ongoing, even international sex scandal as somehow being all about anti-Catholicism but Maureen Dowd ain't the enemy IMHO. I don't care what motivates the coverage and commentary in this case but when you have a Wisconsin priest many many years ago sexually abusing something like 200+ deaf boys that's something that belongs in a Gothic novel. When then Ratzinger was Archbishop of Munich there was another issue or two involving a priest and Catholic author John Allen Jr. was right to say on The Charlie Rose Show recently that it makes no sense strategically or otherwise to attack the msm over this. Looking back the Vatican should have been less concerned with Madonna's Like a Prayer video and more with what's happening in their own house. The enemy isn't always society or the dreaded msm, sometimes the enemy is within and we'll leave it there.

Stalking's in the News (again)

This time it's some young guy sending Ivanka Trump disturbing tweets. I see ESPN's Erin Andrews has another one. Few months back it was Tyra Banks. With all the important things going on in this country and the world right now, health-care reform, Obama treating Bibi like a war criminal, where in the world is Osama bin Laden? stalking is such a dopey subject. If I were on jury duty and had such a case I'd be like "Oh God!", we deserve better. HOW one-dimensional do you have to be to make a whole religion out of some undeserving celeb and on the flipside while these are extreme examples we need to just accept that mild obsession is just a part of the human condition but having said that there's no way the Average Guy is gonna go anywhere near the Shrine of the Golden Pussy, that there be an Indiana Jones adventure and again I can't believe we're talking about this, it's such a dopey subject.


how was your Easter? I had to work but it came fast this year. Crept up on me and they say time goes faster as you get older. It's like you feel a pair of invisible hands pushing you towards the grave and I'm really in no rush. I can't get a handle on anything anymore, pretty soon I'll be sitting on the porch mouth agape with neighborhood whippersnappers aiming peanuts in my mouth. I hope yours was a good one, I had kielbasa and ham.

just a little stream-of-consciousness action.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Thoughts on pluralism

Pluralism is ten people in a room watching a Geico caveman commercial and all nine of them find it hilarious but the tenth one goes "God I have these commercials! they're so stupid" and there's a silence in the room and a couple of people politely leave to go to the kitchen shaking their heads, "holy shit." Pluralism is one guy out of 100,000 who likes his nuts tied up. Most of the time it's the minority who feels the strongest about his position (ok so you don't like the Geico commercials, shut up already!) and while we like to tout our pluralist society it's problematic. We even disagree on the essentials, what form of government we should have and instead of the Statue of Liberty maybe we should just have a giant phallic symbol in New York Harbor (I'm open to various metaphorical interpretations here, fire away). Pluralism by its very nature means lack of consensus, I mean Saty thinks the rest of us are nuts. There are folks who disagree with each other out of principle, the contrarian mentality. It's like Neo and Agent Smith, I'm the pole who has to combat your pole, I have to cancel you out and will disagree with you at every turn. You have these at work and it's not my imagination but some people actually feel threatened by you, by your competence, your intelligence. Call this the undertow but you can actually feel it, that vibe in the room, the resentment. Pluralism means working with some people who are spaced out all the time. Said to a guy at work the other day you ever get the impression everyone here is in LaLa Land and he agreed. They say pluralism is our strength but to me it also shows we honor and celebrate those with faulty thought patterns, I mean you don't know a fetus is a life yet?

What are your thoughts on pluralism?