Thursday, April 12, 2007

It's true

As much as it pains me to say it, John Edwards is right. There are two Americas. Oh, not in the way Edwards means. In terms of the extent of freedom of speech.

In one America, anyone can say anything derogatory about whites, Christians, conservatives and heterosexuals. In the other, no-one can say anything derogatory about blacks (and to a lesser extent Hispanics and Asians), women or gays - and members of these new protected groups get to decide what's derogatory. This includes a glaring double-standard in which members of the protected groups can use terms that are considered slurs when spoken by people who are not members of the group.

I'm talking, of course, about the firing of Don Imus. I logged on to my Yahoo! e-mail and saw a picture of a gloating pig (that's Al Sharpton, in case you didn't recognize the description) giving a thumb-and-forefinger circle as if to say, "Okay! We got him!" I was shocked (shocked!) to learn that somehow Jesse Jackson thinks it's okay to refer to New York as "Hymietown" but not okay to call black women "nappy-headed ho's" - at least if you aren't a rapper.

What freakin' country is this?

Monday, April 09, 2007

Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are at it again

The self-appointed czars of the racial grievance industry in the United States have a new target in their sights: Don Imus.

I don't listen to Don Imus. From what I have heard, I consider him a cantankerous windbag who, like Larry King and Hugh Hefner, should date within his own century. I fail to see his appeal. Still, many people must like his shtick since he has been a mainstay of NBC radio in New York for many, many years.

So, no. I don't like Don Imus. But I do like free speech. A lot. And I resent the hell out of people who pick and choose when we should enjoy this most important of rights. (John McCain, Russ Feingold, are your ears burning?)

Imus' sin is that he referred to the Rutgers University women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos". This has Messrs. Jackson and Sharpton in high dudgeon. They are demanding Imus' resignation or firing. Of course they are. This is what they do: get cases of ass over purported racial transgressions.

I once read an opinion column that basically said that if [insert example of latest transgression by white people against black people] is the best that these two hucksters can come up with as examples of racism in America, then we've licked the problem of racism. I'm starting to agree with this assessment.

What is particularly galling is that members of the black artistic community regularly use words like "ho" and much worse epithets to refer to black and other women. I really, really loathe hypocrisy and Jackson and Sharpton feigning indignation at Imus' use of terms regularly used by black people is hypocrisy of the highest order.

I'm interested to see how this plays out. Normally, I'd expect the offending party to perform an obligatory mea culpa, perhaps enter therapy (see Grey's Anatomy's Isaiah Washington) and meet with leaders of the offended community (see Mel Gibson). However, from what I know about Imus, he doesn't strike me as the type to back down. And with his audience and ratings, he is not without media clout.

Who knows? If he stands up to these two charlatans, he may have gained a new fan in the Washington, D.C. area.

Fashion Alert!

Every once in a great while, I deviate from pointing out how liberals are screwing up America and the world to comment on other things.

I'm on assignment in Rome now. Being Easter weekend, today is a local holiday. My girlfriend Norma and I have been having a great time walking around and seeing the sights. Yesterday, we went to the Vatican but couldn't get in for Mass so had to settle for watching on a screen.

I have noticed a disturbing new fashion trend and want to do my little part to nip it in the bud (as Barney Fife would have said).

Here we've seen a lot of women wearing cuffed shorts with hose. Ladies, I would like to urge you to cease and desist this practice immediately! I am sure you have no idea how ridiculous this looks otherwise you wouldn't be caught dead in such an outfit.


Saturday, April 07, 2007

Much Ado About Nothing

I've been meaning to weigh in on the non-scandal of the year: the firing of the eight U.S. attorneys. Here goes.

Is this really a scandal? I mean, really? The scandal here is the pathetically weak job the Bush administration has done of defending itself against this meaningless charge.

I'm sure you know this already, but let me get it down in pixels. The President can fire as many of his U.S attorneys as he wants. Bill Clinton fired all 93 in March of 1993. He was the more astute politician. He sacrificed 92 U.S. attorneys to get the one that was breathing down his neck over Whitewater in Little Rock.

Of course, you have to do a Google search to find that out since Joe Klein and Time magazine and The New York Times aren't going to tell you that. They aren't going to tell you that one of the attorneys, Carol Lam, of the Southern District of southern California was prosecuting fewer alien smugglers pro rata than her predecessors. (Oh. Did I mention that the Southern District of southern California is basically San Diego and includes the San Ysidro border crossing?)

At times like this, the President needs to adopt the Clear and Present Danger defense. In the book, and the movie starring Harrison Ford, the fictitious President defuses criticism over a scandal involving a college friend by giving the media nowhere to go. Ford's Jack Ryan advises the President that when asked by a reporter if he and the man in question were friends to say, "No. We are close friends." If asked if they are close friends, say, "No. We are lifelong friends." President Bush should adopt a similar strategy and just own up to the firings. He has nothing to apologize for.

Empress Pelosi

I had my doubts about the job that Nancy Pelosi would do as Speaker of the House when she first ascended to the post.

Those doubts were strengthened when she demanded a larger jet to shuttle her, her staff, family members and members of the California congressional delegation to and from their state. She couldn't live with having to make a refueling stop, after the Bush administration agreed to provide her with the same transportation arrangements enjoyed by outgoing Speaker Denny Hastert.

Those doubts have now been confirmed with the imperious Pelosi's visit to the Middle East.

Unless there is an article of the Constitution with which I am not familiar, the Speaker of the House plays no role in shaping or promulgating the foreign policy of the United States. That is the exclusive purview of the President.

I could go on at length about the many reasons Pelosi shouldn't have pulled this stunt (her complete lack of experience; her wrongheaded wish to act on the recommendations of the Iraqi Study Group - a group with no statutory authority whatsoever) but I'm going to leave it at this:

Does she really think she accomplished anything?

In spite of the Bush Administration, right?

Check out this report from The Washington Times (free registration and login required). Here's the opening paragraph:

The unemployment rate fell to a five-year low of 4.4 percent as job growth picked up to 180,000 last month — a show of strength that bolstered hopes that the economy will endure the turmoil in the housing and mortgage markets without major harm.

But, how could this be? We all know how George Bush only exists to enrich his cronies, and is incompetent to boot. According to John Edwards, there are "two Americas" - one for the rich and one for the poor.

I'm confused.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Little Miss Crap

Either I am getting old or Hollywood really is CloudCuckooLand. This morning I watched "Little Miss Sunshine".

In case you spent most of 2006 under a rock, "Sunshine" was last year's "little movie that could". A small, independent, Sundance darling that went on to earn almost $100 million worldwide, a Best Picture Oscar nomination, a Best Supporting Actress nomination for Abigail Breslin and a Best Supporting Actor win for Alan Arkin.

Ok, a disclaimer here. The movie I saw was dubbed in Italian, so I freely admit that I probably missed a lot of the "humor" of the film. However, the scene that offended me required no translation.

The plot of the movie is that the dysfunctional Hoover family makes a road trip to California so that young Olive can participate in the finals of the beauty pageant from which the movie derives its name. Never mind that little Olive is homely and lacks any discernible talent.

Now, I don't have any problem with the movie's persistence theme; the idea that if you stick with something you will eventually have success. No, my problem is with Olive's "talent " performance.

In the movie, Olive's "talent" is to perform a strip tease to Rick Jame's "Super Freak". In typical Hollywood fashion, there is an uptight, conservative (read intolerant) pageant official (played by Beth Grant who excels at playing these kinds of characters; she played essentially the same character in "Donnie Darko") who objects to 9 year-old Olive gyrating on stage in a sequin tank top, hot pants and knee pads - a young Christina Aguilera in the making!

Of course, this is Hollywood. So, predictably the uptight pageant official is shouted down for her intolerance and the rest of the Hoover clan joins Olive on stage, bumping and grinding along with her in a show of solidarity. The audience ends up cheering young Olive's gumption.

This is exactly the same kind of message imparted by shows such as "Will and Grace" and "Dharma and Greg". In those shows, the "uptight" characters (Will and Greg, respectively) are always shown to be in the wrong for questioning the actions of other characters (usually Jack and Dharma respectively) and for not unconditionally supporting them. In friendships and families alike, support is one thing, but unconditional support is another.

I would depend on my friends to tell me that I am loony or sick for wanting to pursue a career as a child pornographer (and in this example, both). My friends would be doing me a grave disservice by encouraging me in such a venture.

Message to Hollywood: objectivity exists and 9 year-olds stripping is wrong!