"Feminism is a Crock - and Other True Stories." That's the title for a book I'd like to write someday. The reason I say feminism is a crock is because it has morphed from "equal rights for all" to "women are better than men, and if you disagree you're a sexist pig who should be castrated." It's also morphed into a sexual free-for-all: what used to be sauce for the gander (and those ganders were usually considered cads) is now sauce for the goose. This image is being perpetuated by pop culture and entertainment, and women are more and more frequently being portrayed as strong through their sexuality, not through their actual accomplishments. Is this the standard to which we want our daughters to aspire?
Early feminists fought against the centuries-old image of a "woman on a pedestal." Gloria Steinem (she of the "a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle" who in later years ended up getting married anyway) once said, "A pedestal is as much a prison as any small, confined space." I suppose a bra is also a small, confined space, which might explain the bra burnings of the 1960s. But the early feminists had a point - to a point. If a woman wants to be put on a pedestal and admired and adored, fine. But if she doesn't, she should have the right to do with her life as she chooses. She should be free to pursue any vocation for which she is qualified, either as a single or married woman, children or no children.
You know, liberals should be celebrating. Their man, The Won, is in the White House. They have control of both the House and the Senate, and legislation such as cap and trade and nationalized health care may well become reality - European socialism without having to leave the comfort of home. The Brave New World is on the way. Rejoice in mediocrity for all!
So why are they so grumpy? I suppose it’s because the idea that anyone might stray from the reservation is anathema to them, and this little thing in our Constitution called the First Amendment kind of gets in the way of collective happiness and singing Kumbaya around the campfire.
This article appeared a couple of days ago in the Johnstown (PA) Tribune-Democrat, but it just came to my attention today. It's about Republican William T. Russell, the career Army man who is launching a campaign to unseat Rep. Democrat John Murtha in Pennsylvania's 12th District in 2008.
What stands out isn't the topic of the article. It's this little paragraph inserted close to the midway point:
Russell and his wife, Kasia, were in the Pentagon when a hijacked jetliner crashed into the building on Sept. 11, 2001. They escaped unharmed.
A hijacked jetliner? Which one would that be? Goodness, there have been so many hijackings in the past decade, it's hard to keep count.
Do you remember hearing about a BBC documentary about Queen Elizabeth II this summer? During filming, Her Majesty walked out of the room in a huff when photographer Annie Leibovitz asked her to remove her crown for a photo. This is the stuff tabloid dreams are made of, and they had a field day with this tasty tidbit. But apparently it never happened: selective editing of the film footage in the trailer, which was shown to journalists, made it seem as though it did.
Back in July, when the controversy erupted, Peter Fincham, the controller for BBC One apologized for the "mistake," but said he wouldn't resign.
"In 2000, Americans were reminded that electoral votes select presidents. In 2004, Democrats were reminded that Bruce Springsteen does not."
I guess the Boss doesn't read George Will.
His concert at the Hartford (Conn.) Civic Center last night wasn't just an evening of classic tunes mixed with an introduction to his new album. He must have memorized some kind of script, because the following (from the Hartford Courant's review) was similar to the screed he gave when he performed live for the "Today" show last week:
Considering the mainstream media's penchant for highlighting negative aspects of our involvement in Iraq and for shining a positive light on anyone who protests the war in any way, how is it we didn't hear about this guy? (hat tip: Moonbattery)
Bill McDannell, 58, of Lakeside, California, quit his job and sold nearly all his possessions (including his home) in order to trek across the country on foot to protest Iraq. It took him about nine months.
Returning to normal life won't be easy, either. He's broke now. He's got no place to call his own. And he didn't garner the national attention he had hoped for.
Apparently when he arrived in Washington D.C., there were no reporters and no cameras. Perhaps his problem is that he didn't walk in the nude or on his hands or something similarly outrageous. Just walking? With today's 24-hour news cycle, you have to do something nutty in order to get the attention-span-challenged producer's eye. Just ask Code Pink.
On the face of it, this Hartford (Conn.) Courant editorial about Fred Thompson's long-awaited entry into the presidential race seems fair. Or is it?
Initially, the editorial tries to give Thompson the benefit of the doubt when it comes to some of the more popular charges against him:
He has some baggage, too. He carries a reputation, deserved or not, of being a bit lazy. (So did Ronald Reagan, and it didn't hurt him.) And back when Mr. Thompson was minority counsel on the Senate Watergate Committee investigating the Nixon White House, the paranoid occupant of the Oval Office was said to have considered Mr. Thompson none too bright. (Critics said the same thing about Mr. Reagan, but that didn't hurt him either, and besides, it wasn't true.)
The Fairfield County [Conn.] Weekly is one of those papers that is available for free at diners and bus stations, and it's usually very liberal in its views. (A sampling of recent article titles includes one where the author claims Rep. Chris Shays (R-Conn.) was checking out her décolletage at an event, and another calling former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales a "quaint torture-monkey.")
In the first read-through, this article took me by surprise...could one of Fairfield County's most cherished liberal institutions be going "right"? Entitled You're Worth It! For one measure of your worth to society, look back at all you W2s, author Phil Maymin tries to make sense of who is revered in our society and why. He goes through a series of examples (Bill Gates, sports stars, philanthropists and artists whose work gains wealth posthumously), and finally decides:
Americans are often exhorted to be more like Europeans in the environmental department. We're told to buy less! Leave the SUV at home and ride your bike more often, or take public transport! Fix old appliances rather than replace them! And of course, environmentalists constantly whine that the U.S. government has yet to ratify the Kyoto protocol like our more enlightened continental friends.
Yet it seems that perhaps the Europeans aren't quite as concerned about being green as our media and other global warming cheerleaders purport them to be. Reuters reported yesterday that at IFA, a huge consumer electronics fair being held in Berlin through September 5th, consumers were more interested in how big and bright television screens were than how green the electronics companies are striving to be.
It'll be interesting to see how many people spend an hour and a half in the theater this Labor Day weekend watching Leonardo DiCaprio's documentary about how we are teetering on the edge of global warming catastrophe. It sounds like a bummer way to end the summer. But if moviegoers turn to the Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips' review of the film for guidance, then the movie may well be tossed into the rubbish heap along with the year's other flops.
Essentially, according to Phillips, "The 11th Hour" tries to cover everything under the sun...and then some. It's a "panicky blur" that goes "broad, but not deep," and begins with a "frenzied montage of global calamity." Gee, for a guy who's been in the movie business since he was knee high to a grasshopper, you'd think Leo might have come up with a more winning formula.
The Hollywood Reporter has the news that actress-comedian and former Air America talk show host Janeane Garofalo will be joining the cast of Fox's "24" next season:
The political left and the political right are going to meet on Fox's "24" this coming season.
Actress-comedian Janeane Garofalo, an outspoken liberal, is set to co-star on the conservative-leaning real-time drama, whose co-creator/executive producer Joel Surnow jokingly describes himself as a "right-wing nut job."
On the Imagine TV/20th Century Fox TV series, Garofalo will play a government agent who is part of the team investigating the crisis befalling Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) and company in the upcoming season.
While a picture says a thousand words, certain words set the tone for news articles...a tactic the media is well aware of. Consider the following Reuters headline:
Mexican immigrant who sought U.S. sanctuary deported
An immigrant seeking sanctuary? Was she being politically persecuted in her homeland? Did she fear for her life? No. It turns out that Elvira Arellano was an illegal immigrant who hid out in a Chicago church over the past year, with the church offering her sanctuary. Arellano had a child here in the U.S., an anchor baby, and claimed she should not be deported because she had to stay and care for her son.
The first paragraph of the Reuters article continues:
WASHINGTON - To see the type of person who still backs him, President Bush need only look in the mirror. The president fits the composite of today's Bush supporter: a conservative, white, Republican man, an evangelical Christian who goes to church regularly.
Hammered by bad news in Iraq, congressional investigations and recent failed domestic initiatives such as immigration reform, Bush's job approval rating has spiraled to record lows for his presidency. Two-thirds of Republicans and about one-third of independents still support him, but virtually no Democrats are left in Bush's camp.
Really, were there ever any Democrats in his camp (besides Sen. Joe Lieberman)? After Bush *cough* stole the 2000 election and all...
The saying goes, if you tell a lie often enough, people will begin to believe it.
Such is the case with Valerie Plame. In reporting about Plame's setback in publishing her memoirs (a judge ruled she cannot include the dates of her employment with the CIA as they have not been declassified), Reuters says the following:
The ex-spy whose unmasking led to the conviction of Vice President Dick Cheney's top aide cannot disclose the dates she worked for the CIA because the details were never declassified, a federal judge has ruled.
The decision, made public on Friday by U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones, was a victory for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, which sought to block former agent Valerie Plame Wilson from including the dates in her upcoming memoir, "Fair Game."
This is interesting. In an article that describes frustration by the State Department over recent hawk-like commentary coming from presidential candidates, only the Republican is labeled a "radical."
First it was Barack Obama's talk of dialogue with dictators and invading Pakistan to kill Islamist militants, then it was Hillary Rodham Clinton refusing to rule out the use of nuclear weapons to that end. Now, the Democratic front-runners have been joined by radical Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo, who threatened to bomb Muslim holy sites to stop terror attacks.
The mainstream press has been shying away from a case that should worry everyone who is concerned about freedom of speech and how terrorism is funded. Faced with a civil suit, the Cambridge University Press has agreed to destroy any unsold copies of the book "Alms for Jihad" (2006). The publisher has also said it will contact some 200 libraries to ask that copies in their possession be returned.
Written by American authors Robert Collins and J. Millard Burr, the book became the subject of a libel suit in Britain when one Sheikh Khalid Bin Mahfouz claimed it defamed him as a terrorist. Rather than fight the allegations in court, the publisher apologized, said it would destroy the remaining copies, and will pay damages and court costs. (Interestingly enough, Sheikh Mahfouz is worth $3.1 billion. He plans to donate the money to UNICEF.)
An inmate of Guantanamo Bay who spends 22 hours each day in an isolation cell is fighting for the right to stay in the notorious internment camp.
Ahmed Belbacha fears that he will be tortured or killed if the United States goes ahead with plans to return him to his native Algeria.
Zachary Katznelson, senior counsel with the human rights lawyers Reprieve and Mr Belbacha’s lawyer, has asked the US courts to block any transfer. “Ahmed is being held in camp six, the harshest part of Guantanamo,” he said. “His cell is all steel, there are no windows, he is not allowed to communicate with other prisoners and he gets just two hours exercise each day in a metal cage.
Is it just me, or is there something missing in the coverage of the terrible flooding happening in China? Let’s see:
Destruction of life and property? Check.
Daring rescues? Check.
People fleeing their homes? Check.
Floods a result of man-caused global warming? Er…
In all the stories I’ve read from major news outlets about the devastating flooding in China, I have yet to see that the floods have been linked to the phenomenon known as man-caused global warming. Meanwhile, recent flooding in Britain has been connected to it on more than one occasion, as Newsbustershasreported.
In an article written for the Reno-Gazette Journal, the implication is that hotter temperatures in the city can be laid on the doorstep of man-caused global warming. The basis for the article is a nationwide study by U.S. PIRG, an "environmental advocacy group."
Among its findings:
In 2006, Reno experienced 74 days where the temperature hit at least 90 degrees -- 21 days more than the historical average.
In 2006, the average temperature was 3.3 degrees above normal in Reno.
Between 2000 and 2006, Reno's average temperature was 3.4 degrees above the 30-year average, the second-highest reading in the nation for the period.
Nationally, the average temperature during the summer of 2006 was at least half a degree above the 30-year average at 82 percent of locations studied.
There are a couple of reasons to be skeptical of this article -- the main one being U.S. PIRG. The name sounds really official, right? The kind of group you can trust to be impartial in its analysis? In reality, it's a group with an agenda.
My headline really says it all. In an article that sets out to determine why New Haven, Connecticut would choose to offer official ID cards to illegal immigrants, while Hazleton, Pennsylvania enacted legislation that would make it difficult for illegals to obtain employment and housing, Hazleton ends up with the short end of the stick. It's all in the wording.
Right away, we discover that New Haven "has a long and rich history of liberal politics" while Hazleton is "a conservative city in the mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania." It's a classic case of sophisticated city folk versus uncultured hillbilly rubes. I can hear "Duelling Banjos" now...
If you read the article through, you'll notice that New Haven mayor Joe DeStefano is given more quote "airtime" than Hazleton mayor Lou Barletta. Compare this:
As journalism giant Rupert Murdoch's bid to buy the Wall Street Journal's parent company gets closer and closer to reality, the number of hit pieces continues to grow. After all, the man behind FOX News, the New York Post, The Times of London and other conservative-leaning news outlets cannot be allowed to conduct business without an effort to bring him to his comeuppance. Finally, however, someone from the liberal-leaning media is sticking up for Murdoch, albeit in a somewhat backhanded way.
In a commentary published on MSNBC's website today, O. Casey Corr goes to bat for Murdoch by saying despite the fact that many of the media concerns he owns tend to favor conservative views, he's not to blame for the current news media atmosphere.
Cuba's president-for-life Fidel Castro is a huge sports fan. Betcha didn't know that! But thanks to Reuters, we know that Castro has been unable to tear himself away from the television set, watching the Pan-American Games in Rio de Janeiro:
Fidel Castro has become so glued to the television set watching the Pan-American Games unfolding in Brazil that he is forgetting to take his pills.
In a column published on Wednesday by Cuba's Communist Party newspaper Granma, the convalescing Cuban leader said he was so engrossed with the sports that he was even forgetting to eat.
"I don't miss a single event on television: weights, taekwondo, rowing, cycling, beach volleyball," he wrote.
Here's yet another addition to the annals of the "do as I say crowd." The rehearsal dinner for Al Gore's youngest daughter's wedding last week featured, among other items, Chilean sea bass for 75. Sounds yummy!
Unfortunately, Chilean sea bass is considered to be a threatened species, although not yet technically endangered:
Also known as Patagonian toothfish, the species is under pressure from illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing activities in the Southern Ocean, jeopardising the sustainability of remaining stocks.
And haunt it does in this piece designed to scare the bejeebers out of women who are considering leaving the workforce in order to stay at home with their children. MSNBC contributor Eve Tahmincioglu warns us that women who leave lucrative careers in order to change diapers and arrange playdates may receive a nasty surprise if and when they need to go back to work.
She includes anecdotes from women whose circumstances demanded that they go back to work, but were unable to simply pick up from where they left off, taking jobs they had to in order to make ends meet.
For professional backup, Tahmincioglu turns to Leslie Bennetts, author of the recent tome "The Feminine Mistake: Are We Giving Up Too Much?"
The battle is over and the troops are withdrawing. No, I'm not talking about Iraq, but something much more entertaining: Michael Moore has decided to end the standoff between himself and CNN, saying he's willing to "move on." As you know, Moore had a live hissy fit with Wolf Blitzer on CNN's "The Situation Room," in response to a taped critique of his movie "Sicko" by CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
"I trust the intelligence of the American people," Moore told The Associated Press. "I don't think there's a whole lot more to do with this other than I and others are going to be a lot more skeptical with what I see on CNN."
Earlier today, Newsbusters' Noel Sheppard pointed out the media's hypocrisy regarding their treatment of Jeri Kehn Thompson, wife of Republican presidential candidate-in-waiting Fred Thompson, and Jackie Clegg Dodd, wife of Democrat presidential candidate Chris Dodd. Both women are considerably younger than their husbands, and both couples have young children together. Yet the media seems to be targeting Mrs. Thompson as a stereotypical trophy wife, a term that has unflattering connotations, while Mrs. Dodd has been treated with courtesy and respect. Of course, part of the reason may be because Chris Dodd's official candidacy has not gained the traction of Fred Thompson's unofficial one, but it's interesting to note the differences that Noel discusses in his post.
Remember the old commercial for aspirin where actor Robert Young, portrayer of '70s TV icon Dr. Marcus Welby, would wear a white lab coat and say, "I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV..."? The same mentality is at work with actor Rob Lowe, who testified yesterday before Congress for tax credits for people who add a plug-in feature to their hybrid cars. Ann Senner, writing for the AP, seems to take his credibility seriously:
Actor Rob Lowe, who portrays a member of Congress on television, appeared before lawmakers Thursday and promoted tax credits for people who add a plug-in feature to hybrid cars and trucks.
What a difference a year makes. The publishing of Muhammed cartoons in the Danish newspaper Jyllends-Posten caused an uproar among Muslims worldwide last year. Despite the newsworthiness of the cartoons as they related to the unfolding story of violent riots throughout Europe and the Middle East, many news outlets reporting on the story refused to publish or show the cartoons out of, um, respect for Muslim sensibilities.
Now, the outcome of a lawsuit resulting from the fracas is left floating somewhere in a media backwater, as journalists seek more lucrative prey. A Muslim group based in Denmark that filed a libel lawsuit against a Danish political party leader has lost. They sued because Pia Kjaersgaard, leader of the Danish People's Party (DPP), accused some members of the Islamic Faith Community of treason for traveling to the Middle East in order to publicize the drawings, thus fanning the flames of violent dissent. The court found the term "treason" non-libelous "because it was used extensively in public debate."