Maiello: Where Your Tax Dollars Go
Doc Cleveland: Copyright vs. Truth
I swear, the weirdest thing going last week was the Tea Party debate hosted by Ted Turner's brainchild gone wild. (When I heard that the once-venerable CNN was going to give free air-time and thus a large dose of credibility to yet another crazy bunch hell-bent on taking back every single right and privilege afforded us by hundreds of years worth of struggle by our more forward-thinking ancestors, this is what I said out loud: "Waaaaaahhhhhtt??" (Most people I know uttered a variation of WTF??? but it was all I could muster. Trying to save an ungrateful country is exhausting.)
I spent a lot of the summer driving U-Haul trucks instead of blogging, so I didn't keep up with the early Republican jostling. Tonight, I'm going to do something useful with my time, so watching the Republican debate is out of the question. But the New York Times published a great piece about the Republican's political situation three months back. It simply didn't use the words "republican" or politics. It was a piece about movie studios and Comic Con.
It's college football season, and that means corruption and scandal. (Margaret Soltan at University Diaries blogs superbly and tirelessly about that corruption.) We've actually gotten to the point where Sports Illustrated, not the Chronicle of Higher Education but Sports Illustrated, has called for a major university football team to be disbanded. But the moral conversation about college sports remains so focused on abstractions like tradition and idealism that the "moral" conversation itself is corrupt, and corrupting. Arguing about ideals is fine. Mistreating actual human beings in the service of your ideals is depraved. [Read more]
Although it's been crowded out by actual news, there's been another uptick of interest in whether or not Sarah Palin will attempt to run for president. Palin herself is being even more inscrutable than usual these days. Her mixed messages seem baffling until you realize that Palin does not want what most people considering a presidential run want.
A few weeks ago, when I wrote about the Bulwer-Lytton contest for the worst first sentence of a novel, I had no idea there was actually a worst novel in the world, too. The consensus, from what little research I've done on the subject, is that Amanda McKittrick Ros is the author who wins, hands down. (A literary group that included Tolkien and C.S. [Read more]
I can't believe they prefer Al Sharpton to this guy.
Picking on Fox News stopped being fun a long time ago. It's a right-wing propaganda station, period. Hell, books have been written on the subject.
But I do admit to enjoying seeing when Fox News "journalists" so plainly admit that they are hacks and paid shills. Like in this off-camera moment from this weekends Fox Show "News Watch," which did handstands to avoid mentioning Rupert Murdoch and News Corps crimes in the UK:
The FBI has caught Whitey Bulger, after a mere sixteen years. The arrest made national news because of the FBI's well-earned embarrassment and because of the mythology around Bulger. As a crime boss, Bulger was not nationally significant. He was a formidable gang leader with firm control over one slice of Boston's organized crime, but it was only a slice. He was the scariest gang leader in Boston, but not necessarily the biggest or richest. [Read more]
Sarah Palin knows her history. It's our history that throws her. Go ahead and laugh if you want to. Sarah still says Paul Revere was warning the British, and if you can't figure out why, it's your problem not hers. People who like her (or maybe it was people whose bread she butters) even tried to change the Revere story on Wikipedia to more closely reflect Palin's version. It didn't happen, but it doesn't matter. She's just so darned cute, idn't she? Golly.
The media can't resist talking about Congressman Weiner's penis. That's no surprise. The American entertainment industry exists to talk about penises and the things various penises like. And our news media is only a minor subsidiary of that entertainment empire.
I don't always read or agree with Maureen Dowd, but I do have her on my blogroll and now and then a title grabs me. Yesterday she wrote "Your Tweetin' Heart". Yes, I knew it was going to be about Anthony Weiner, but I read it anyway because sometimes her take on odd things like that is refreshingly different.
She talked not just about Rep. Weiner, but about what has been bothering me for so long about the men (it's been men so far) we liberals count on to help solve the country's problems. [Read more]
Speaking as a some-time member of the corporate media, let me just say that Sarah Palin's recent Bus Tour has been driving me nuts. Not only won't Palin tell the Media what the main purpose of the tour is, aside from the hazy patriotic gibberish, but she hardly gives the "Lamestream Media" the time of day!
Now, I understand that Palin quit her job as Governor of Alaska half-way through and that it's highly unlikely she'll ever hold a political office again. But what is the bus tour about!?
Also, I know she effectively tanked the floundering John McCain Presidential candidate when millions of Americans reacted to her with a shudder. But why is she touring the nation?! [Read more]
Over the course of the day, I've come across three stories from major media outlets that shared two things in common. First, all three stories were trivial. Second, all three of these trivial stories were based on comments from anonymous sources.
First up, Derek Thompson at the Atlantic:
GOP Aide: Republicans Not 'Intellectually Honest' on Taxes
"But a senior GOP aid I spoke with, who asked that his name be withheld to speak freely, said the Republicans' no-tax-increase stance wasn't "intellectually honest" in the real world." [Read more]
If you need more proof that Libertarianism is an ideology of the soul-less, let John Stossel finish the deal:
After my FBN show last week, where I let critics of my FREELOADERS show talk back, I got this e-mail:
Dear Mr. Stossel,
I am a veteran who is rated and compensated as 100% disabled.
Do you, and Libertarians in general view me as a “freeloader;” and should I not be compensated according to your views of this situation?
Like your show, and I am truly curious. While I register as a Democrat, I’m probably a Libertarian at heart.
I responded: [Read more]
When the stories of Michael Vick's abuse of dogs came to light, there was understandable outrage from both the public and the media. But the case also seemed to serve as a wake-up call for some sports journalists, who seemed to realize that something was amiss with their own lack of outrage over athletes who commit domestic violence against women.