Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The "Presidential Pledge" - Nonsense

I watched the inauguration speech and was only offended a couple of places. The "childish things" part was the worst. The arrogance of Obama to assume that the country has been childish in any context is insulting. Not that this country hasn't had huge benefit to the world and its citizens in taking responsibility to fight tyranny and injustice in places that we had no interest in. Jerk.

Now we have Hollywood types pledging to put the seat down or play nice. Personally, I wonder why they weren't capable of doing that before Obama called for the Obama Youth movement. Another pledge with that slight whiff of fascism. Kutchner gives a perfect example of what I mean:
"We are honored to be working with MySpace to rally the entertainment industry to answer President-elect Barack Obama's call to service," Kutcher said in a statement. "The 'Presidential Pledge' is a platform for people across the nation and throughout the world to make a first-person commitment of service to our new president, articulating a specific intent or action to become an agent of positive change."
I'm waiting to see some evidence that any of these spoiled brats actually perform any "first-person commitment of service." I also find it a bit creepy that they make the pledge to the president and not the country.

I watched their video and it is mostly a fluff piece. (The video can be found at the link thing above.) They should have gotten the writer's guild to think something inspiring for them to say, because they definitely come across as the lightest of light weights.

Breitbart is giving them crap as well.
Many of the celebrities that were central to demonizing and making life impossible for President Bush for eight loathsome years NOW want to help with the heavy lifting of bringing America back together under President Barack Obama.

Witness Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher’s cavalcade of shiny, happy situational patriots appearing in a derivative public servitude announcement: A “Presidential Pledge” to President Barack Obama.

Forgive and forget? Right.

President Bush was not holding back Moore from “free[ing] one million people from slavery in the next five years.” Nor was he holding back the Obama-biquitous Will.I.Am from “chang[ing] how [he] live[s].” Ditto: Aaron Ekhart (”To be a better person,”) Marisa Tomei (”To integrate into my heart what I already know in my head which is that we are all in this together,”) Kutcher (”To the abolition to 21st century slavery,”) Anthony Kiedis (”To be of service to Barack Obama,”) P. Diddy (” pledge to turn the lights off, cause I used to leave the lights on but we want to conserve energy so I’ma turn the lights off, you turn the lights off,) and all-in-unison (”Because together we can, together we are, and together we will be the change that we seek.”)

Missing are pledges not to kiss the ring of Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez and other pledged enemies of America. Nor are there pledges not to make movies that glorify these tyrants. Nor are there pledges to take seriously that we are at war, will continue to be at war under President Obama and that our precious and under-appreciated military is fighting an avowed and evil enemy — so that, among other things, Hollywood can continue to make decadent crap that actually motivates our enemy to fight us harder!

Nicely done. The piece is much longer and worth the time just for the perspective.

No doubt many of the Obots will be taking the pledge in some strange and sanctimonious manner.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

More Inauguration Costs

Hmm. I wonder if it is true now that the AssPress is reporting it?
The price tag for President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration gala is expected to break records, with some estimates reaching as high as $150 million. Despite the bleak economy, however, Democrats who called on President George W. Bush to be frugal four years ago are issuing no such demands now that an inaugural weekend of rock concerts and star-studded parties has begun.

Obama's inaugural committee has raised more than $41 million to cover events ranging from a Philadelphia-to-Washington train ride to a megastar concert with Beyonce, U2 and Bruce Springsteen to 10 official inaugural balls. Add to that the massive costs of security and transportation — costs absorbed by U.S. taxpayers — and the historic inauguration will produce an equally historic bill.

I guess it must be OK for the hypocrisy to continue. No doubt the anointing will cure all mankind's woes and make the US loved by everyone.

Well maybe Chavez didn't get the memo.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Saturday Barack Obama had the "stench" of his predecessor as U.S. president and was at risk of being killed if he tries to change the American "empire."

Most world leaders expect a new era of U.S. foreign relations when Obama, a Democrat, is sworn in as president on Tuesday after Republican George W. Bush's eight years in the White House.

But Chavez said frayed ties with Washington were unlikely to improve despite the departure of Bush, who the Venezuelan leader has often called the "devil."

Well no doubt he is the only one unhappy. Or maybe not.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Why Blogs Get Popular

Bill Whittle:
Which brings me to the point: if the news professionals did their job the way we were told they would do their job — namely cover the facts without bias (including selection bias) and not deign to illuminate us with their superior moral sense — then there would be no need for Joe, or J.D., or Mike, or me, or Pajamas Media, or any of that.

This all relates to Joe the Plumber being in Israel reporting on the Gaza action. I don't believe Joe is claiming to be a journalist, but the pin-heads in the MSM and their Comedian brethren are all in a tizzy over it none the less. I love this comment from Mr. Whittle:
Joe stated that he did not think reporters should be allowed on the front lines to cover conflicts. This generated a lot of heat: some from the left, whose elitist disdain for Joe was best captured by John Stewart, sneering at him for his lapses in professionalism as he reminded all of us that a career being the primary news source for an entire generation of voters cannot be entrusted to a rank amateur like some common plumber, but must instead be vouchsafed to a person with a far nobler and serious and weighty background … a career in stand-up comedy, say.
Since John Stewart wants to comment on these actions and hide behind being a comedian, then he can be a big boy and stand up to the responses like that.

Inauguration Price Tags and Liberal Hypocrisy

You really have to love the cheers of the liberals now over their former screeches about the costs of inaugurations. Bush was the evil bastard four years ago for spending $40M but Obama is just fine with spending $50M. What a shock.
There has been little outcry over the hefty price tag so far — unlike four years ago when the cost of President Bush's second inauguration provoked liberal outrage. described the event, in an piece by Eric Boehlert on Jan. 20, 2005, as "Bush's overblown celebration," the think tank Center for American Progress called it "lifestyles of the rich and heartless," and an article in the London Guardian by Paul Harri on January 9, 2005, said it was "an unashamed celebration of red America's victory over blue America."
No doubt the listed talking heads are all very partisan. But it is almost hypocritical to complain about one and then defend remain silent on the other.

Eric Boehlert over at Media Matters gets in a tizzy over the bloggers calling him out. You'll note that he won't discuss the fact that Obama's is just as bad as Bush's and that he will only speak to the most outrageous of estimates on the cost.
Drudge today also linked to an article I wrote at Salon four years ago chastising the press for not asking questions about the cost of the Bush 2005 inauguration ($40 million), which at the time shattered all the spending records and occurred at a time when the war in Iraq was still front-and-center. (Although it cost roughly the same, Bush's bash attracted just a fraction of the crowd expected for Obama's swearing in.)

Drudge claims my article captured the "lefty outrage" at the cost of Bush's 2005 celebration. In truth, a strong majority of Americans (66 percent, including 46 percent of Republicans) thought that, in light of the fresh fighting in Iraq, Bush's inauguration should have been more "subdued."

My favorite still his finding that the Iraq war was a disqualifier while the recession doesn't seem to be an issue with him. He also lowballs the price for Obama's inauguration at $40M while most media I've looked at place it at least at $50M.

I wonder where his equivelant study is viewing the outrage over Obama's inauguration, since he so handily throws the bush data at the reader.

Oh, and the crowd size apparently is all that matters. Though you can be quite certain that the money will be spent mostly on a very small number of people just as it was for Bush. Lot's of crowds in the cheap seats don't get you moral equivalence. Maybe he misses that point that the crowds don't change the equation by looking at his own FYI.
FYI, the $40 million figure for the Bush and Obama inaugurations is in reference to the cost of the swearing in and the activities surrounding that. The extra cost of state and federal security is not traditionally included in media references to the final tab for inaugurations. In the case of Bush in 2005, the cost of security added tens of millions of dollars on top of the final $40 million figure. The same will be true for Obama this year.
Look, it's simple. If they want to spend the money fine, no matter who the elected party is. But to call Bush a fool for all the spending and give Obama a free pass is stupidity.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

International Red Cross - Whining in War

I find the International Red Cross almost as worthy of derision as the ACLU. They continually screech about proportionality with no understanding of the term and they completely fail to understand what war actually is. This is an example that proves the point.
PARIS — The International Committee of the Red Cross said Thursday it had discovered “shocking” scenes — including small children next to their mothers’ corpses — when its representatives gained access for the first time to parts of Gaza battered by Israeli shelling. It accused Israel of failing to meet obligations to care for the wounded in areas of combat.

In response the Israeli military did not comment directly on the allegation. In a statement, it accused Hamas, its foe in Gaza, of deliberately using “Palestinian civilians as human shields” and said the Israeli Army “works in close cooperation with international aid organizations during the fighting so that civilians can be provided with assistance.”

The Israeli military “in no way intentionally targets civilians and has demonstrated its willingness to abort operations to save civilian lives and to risk injury in order to assist innocent civilians,” the statement said, promising that “any serious allegation” wouldl “need to be investigated properly, once such a complaint is received formally, within the constraints of the current military operation.”

Because Palestinians were the ones victim to the combat, it must be Israel's fault that they weren't getting care, not that Hamas has been intentionally attacking Israel from areas directly against civilian populations. And where were the Palestinian authorities to aid their own people?
The statement said a team of four Palestine Red Crescent ambulances accompanied by Red Cross representatives made its way to Zeitoun Wednesday where it “found four small children next to their dead mothers in one of the houses. They were too weak to stand up on their own. One man was also found alive, too weak to stand up. In all, there were at least 12 corpses lying on mattresses.”

In another house, the statement said, the rescue team “found 15 other survivors of this attack including several wounded. In yet another house, they found an additional three corpses. Israeli soldiers posted at a military position some 80 meters away from this house ordered the rescue team to leave the area which they refused to do. There were several other positions of the Israeli Defense Forces nearby as well as two tanks.”
Hmm. Maybe I missed something, but when did a tank become an ambulance? A military has first responsibility to do their job and themselves. Then comes the civilian wounded. Of course the NYT can't have any context for the statements. They don't bother to tell what the military position was for or whether they were in an active combat situation. No doubt they will continue to ensure Israel looks bad irrespective of the realities of a situation.

No doubt Hamas is so much more reasonable a group since their rockets are hitting Israel and they don't have to assist the injured or secure the dead. Funny how the IRC seems to be missing the relevance of combat situations.

Bay Area Protests

I always love mob protests. They are so very idiotic.

A protest over the fatal shooting by a BART police officer of an unarmed man mushroomed into several hours of violence Wednesday night as demonstrators smashed storefronts and cars, set several cars ablaze and blocked streets in downtown Oakland.

The roving mob expressed fury at police and frustration over society's racial injustice. Yet the demonstrators were often indiscriminate, frequently targeting the businesses and prized possessions of people of color.

They smashed a hair salon, a pharmacy and several restaurants. Police in riot gear tried to control the crowd, but some people retreated along 14th Street and bashed cars along the way.

The mob smashed the windows at Creative African Braids on 14th Street, and a woman walked out of the shop holding a baby in her arms.

"This is our business," shouted Leemu Topka, the black owner of the salon she started four years ago. "This is our shop. This is what you call a protest?"

Nothing like destroying the local's possessions to voice your dissent. Lord knows that will teach the police a lesson.

Here's a really precious bit from one of the protesters.
"I feel like the night is going great," said Nia Sykes, 24, of San Francisco, one of the demonstrators. "I feel like Oakland should make some noise. This is how we need to fight back. It's for the murder of a black male."

Sykes, who is black, had little sympathy for the owner of Creative African Braids.

"She should be glad she just lost her business and not her life," Sykes said. She added that she did have one worry for the night: "I just hope nobody gets shot or killed."

There is a bit of turn around logic that should be delivered. Maybe someone should walk into that idiots home and destroy it and tell them they should be happy they aren't dead. Clever thing to be telling the press.

Read the rest from the example that we should all be taking from California. (or not)

More Hands Out for a Bail Out

I suppose I don't find this any more disturbing than the auto bailout. Probably this industry doesn't need a bailout though. I'm guessing their profits will always be there.
Seems everyone is lining up for a government handout, but in the case of the porn industry, you may wonder where the hands have been.

TMZ is reporting that Hustler's Larry Flynt and "Girls Gone Wild" creator Joe Francis are asking for a $5 billion federal bailout of adult entertainment because "the economy has made America's appetite for sex go limp."

The Web site claims adult DVD sales are down 22 percent in a year, numbers which are sure to deflate expectations at this weekend's AVN Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas.

I have to say I hate Larry Flynt. He's almost as big of a scum bag as the auto industry CEOs or those from the banking industry.