Tuesday, July 24, 2007

YouTube Owes the Blogosphere an Apology

It was a great idea in theory. CNN was teaming with YouTube for a Democrat Presidential debate on the 23rd, and instead of having a moderator or journalists asking questions, the questions came directly from YouTube members.

And it sucked. Out loud. "Gigli"-level suckitude.

Take the example of the person who dressed up like a snowman to ask a question about global warming. Or the YouTuber who asked Barack Obama if he was "black enough." And those were just the memorable questions. This experiment was a combination of "Meet the Press" and the first round of "American Idol."

As much as I'd like to chalk this up to just the silliness of the faux left, there's a part of me that wonders if this wasn't a set-up from the word go. Granted, this is black helicopter...sorry, African-American helicopter stuff, but it is at least worth some consideration.

CNN represents one of the "old media" that has been losing audience to the "new media," which includes the Internet. And what's the hottest site on the Internet...well aside from LiveNudeMomsWithBigT...well, you get the idea? It's YouTube. Since CNN used to be the big dog on the political block, it's entirely possible that they planned to use the latest Democrat debate as a means to marginalize the "new media" all at once by putting on some of the lamest video questions they could find. That way, CNN comes off looking more serious, and the "new media" is left with images of grown people dressed up like snowmen as the standard bearers that the "old media" painted the "new media" to be.

Even if CNN wasn't plotting against the "new media" to the extent that I just posed they did, the YouTube people owe the blogosphere an apology. Granted, there are blogs and websites out there that don't elevate the grander elements of the Internet (like mine, for instance), but there are some hard-working people out there who really do as good if not a better job than the "old media" have done in the past 20 years. You guys had an opportunity to showcase the best we in the "new media" have to offer.

And you treated the opportunity like crap.

But at least an adult got to ask a question about global warming dressed up like a snowman, right?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

My Opinion on Valerie Plame's Lawsuit Being Dismissed


There. I feel better now. :-)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A REAL Do-Nothing Congress

As you might have guessed from my columns, chat, and blogging, I don't have a high opinion of Congress. Back in the good old days, Congress members listened to the public and acted in the best interests of their constituents and the country. Now, members of Congress are concerned about getting reelected, getting money from special interest groups, and doing whatever it takes to expand the power they have.

Normally, I don't have a problem with a do-nothing Congress because it means they can't pass more laws that do nothing. But with the recent "all night" Senate session, we saw the concept of a do-nothing Congress taken to a new extreme. After making a big deal about rolling in cots so Senators could rest during the "all night" session, Harry Reid accomplished...nothing. Not even a non-binding resolution about how the Senate felt about string cheese or if they liked maple syrup or fruit on their waffles.

The one big question I have is how much did this charade cost us? Granted, the Senate is pretty much a salaried gig, but what about the people who rolled in the cots and rolled them back out? They get paid with federal tax dollars just like the Senators do. And from the way it sounds, some Senators left and slept at home, while others like Senator Barbara Boxer urged Reid not to make the Senators stay all night. Some stayed and played cards, others took naps, and the fires burned in the Senate for no real reason.

Where is Al Gore to lecture the Senate about all the energy wasted? We're still waiting on the Goracle to enlighten us on that, but until we hear from him, let me hand out some well-deserved criticism. If I were a Democrat right now, I would be furious at Harry Reid for this travesty of a circus. He has lead the Senate Democrats into a situation matched only by the incompetence of Nancy Pelosi in the House of Representatives.

And if I were a Republican, I'd be pretty mad at the Senate Republicans for going along with this fiasco. You guys are supposed to be fiscally responsible, and since 1995, you've all decided to become spending freaks. When Democrats can run and win on being fiscally responsible, you have a problem. And no 12 step program is going to help you.

As William Shakespeare once put it, a pox on both your houses. But as long as you are never held accountable, we'll see more of the kind of pointless action (or lack thereof) like the Senate "sleepover." But just remember, we voters put you where you are...and we can vote you out.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Who's the Boss?

No, I'm not going to talk about the Tony Danza-Judith Light vehicle that gave us the ever-so-yummy Alissa Milano. (I know how that disappoints all 3 of you Tony Danza fans, but, hey, I have standards.) Instead, I'm going to be talking about an interesting notion that popped into my head today after reading an interview Elizabeth Edwards did with Salon.com.

But first, a bit of background information. The modern left has maintained that there are some things only certain people can understand. For example, only African-Americans can understand African-American culture, only gays can understand gay culture, women can only understand women's issues, and so on. To them, what makes us different from one another is part of both a shared and an exclusionary experience.

Which brings us to the Salon interview. In a particularly contentious portion of the interview, Elizabeth Edwards tees off on Hillary Clinton. Here is that portion for your review:

I'm sympathetic -- she wants to be commander in chief. But she's [Hillary] just not as vocal a women's advocate as I want to see. John is....And I'm not convinced she'd be as good an advocate for women.

Now, let's go back to the idea of the collective experience for a moment. If the faux left believes only women can understand women's issues, there can be only one logical conclusion.

John Edwards is a woman.

Think about it. Trips to dayspas, $400 haircuts, letting Elizabeth do all the talking for him. Either Edwards is the most p-whipped man in history (sorry, Alan Alda), or he's a woman.

Your Honor, the prosecution rests.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A Biblical Sign of Armageddon? You Be The Judge!

Ever have one of those surreal moments when the planets seem to align in a way you didn't expect? That happened to me recently when Dennis Kucinich said something that I actually agreed with 100%. What prompted this strange turn of events?

Thank Hillary Clinton and John Edwards.

Two of the three top Democrat candidates for President were caught on tape talking about how they agreed that the debates should be limited to only so-called serious candidates. In a party where a former First Lady who can't perform under any circumstances that aren't heavily scripted and a former trial lawyer who spends more on his hair than Marge Simpson are two of the top three, they should be careful about judging who constitutes "serious candidates." Anyway, Kucinich heard about this and was understandibly upset. Granted, he would be one of the ones excluded in the debates if Clinton and Edwards got their wish, but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and say he was speaking out of a sense of personal integrity.

Limiting debate to only the allegedly viable candidates is a bad idea. Sure, people like Mike Gravel or Ron Paul don't really stand a chance of getting the nomination, but they do provide a service in that they give people an alternative to the standard cookie-cutter candidates both major parties seem to put out there election after election. Also, a diversity of opinions gives a much better view of different issues and can bring light to issues that the major candidates may not approach that often, if at all. Who wouldn't want an intellectually diverse candidate for President? Besides, America was built on a foundation of free speech. Limiting it on the basis of the perception of viability is weak, at best.

Oh, and there's one more reason I think it's a bad idea. Because Sean Hannity advocated the same thing that Hillary and Edwards did.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Quick Hits

There are so many news stories to cover, but not enough time to devote a full blog post to them all, so I did the next best thing. One blog post for all of them. Strap yourselves in and keep your hands inside the car at all times.

- I know I've already talked about Cindy Sheehan running against Nancy Pelosi, but I have to mention the fact that it was only a couple of months ago that Sheehan said she was retiring from the public life and going back home. And for those of you who went after me for calling Sheehan a liar, I accept your apology. Oh, and get that egg off your face.

- Headline from CNN's "The Situation Room" today: "Combatting Mental Illness: Carter and Kennedy Team Up." Well, they say the first step towards recovery is admitting you have a problem...

- Senator Barbara Boxer says impeachment against President Bush should be "on the table." Wait. Wouldn't Bush have to have committed a high crime or misdemeanor for there to be a legitimate impeachment attempt? And, no, "He lied to get us into a war" won't work because a) he didn't lie, and b) Democrats were saying the same things Bush was prior to the war.

- Time is running a story about how Democrats are finding God and using Him to try to attract Christian voters. First off, I wasn't aware God was lost. From what I understand, He tends to have a really good GPS (God Positioning System). Second, two of the Democrats featured prominently in the piece are Hillary Clinton and John Edwards. Hillary doesn't come off as genuine, and Edwards comes off as a genuine scumbag. Of the top three Democrats, I have to say only Barack Obama seems to have an honest connection with his faith. Why? Because Hillary and Edwards didn't start looking at the religious angle until after Obama did.

- Michael Moore has been having a one-man feud with CNN lately. He snapped at Wolf Blitzer, made fun of Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and got upset that CNN ran a piece prior to his appearance on "The Situation Room" that put at least some of Moore's commentary about the American health care system into question. What is it about the fringe left that they fail to realize that acting like jackasses on national television and attacking people who are friendly to them doesn't help their cause any? And in a battle of wits over health care between Dr. Gupta and Moore, I'm going with the good doctor over the bad documentarian. Dude, where's your brain?

- "America's Got Talent." Too bad the judges don't.

- A New Jersey state Senator is pushing for a ban on...get this...toy guns. Yep, out of all the things in the world New Jersey has to worry about, toy guns top the list. Listen, with all the regulations surrounding toy guns now, you'd have to be a complete moron not to be able to tell the difference between a toy gun and a real gun. No word yet from the state Senator's office on that yet, but given the proposal, I'm pretty confident in saying this Senator fits the bill nicely.

- The Dow hit a new record high today. DAMN this bad Bush economy!

- Irish Nobel Peace Prize winner Betty Williams said during a speech at the International Women's Peace Conference said, "Right now, I could kill George Bush. No, I don't mean that. How could you nonviolently kill someone? I would love to be able to do that." And you thought the Nobel Prizes were a joke!

And one more for the road...

- After seeing Michael Bay's latest film "Transformers," I have one question: Isn't there a Subway franchise looking for a new "sandwich artist" that Bay could do instead of directing? He'd do a lot more good making six inch turkey clubs than he has making movies.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The GOP's Secret Weapon?

It was one of those stories that put a smile on my face. "Peace Mom" and attention addict Cindy Sheehan threatened to run against Nancy Pelosi in 2008 unless she started impeachment proceedings against Bush and Cheney by July 23rd. Then, within a day of that threat being made public, Sheehan announced she would be running as an Independent for Pelosi's House seat.

And in the Midwest, a pundit chuckled quietly to himself.

The prospect of seeing the Speaker of the House get sent back to her house in San Francisco aside, Sheehan actually daring to run against Pelosi showcases a major problem within the left these days. The fringe players are no longer content with holding their noses; they want people who will actually put their pathetic and insane notions into practice. The fringe players don't see that as a problem, but the moderate and conservative Democrats do, and if they bolt, the party loses votes and money, both of which are going to be very important if the Democrats want to retain control of at least one house of Congress after the 2008 elections.

With Pelosi and Sheehan fighting over the votes of Democrats who aren't scared away by either of the aforementioned women, this opens the door for the Republicans in one of two ways. First, a Republican might be able to pick up Pelosi's seat if Sheehan draws enough votes away from Madame Speaker. The other way is on a national level. Even if Republicans fail to pick up Pelosi's seat, if other fringe liberals run against Democrats, it may split the Democrat vote enough that other seats may fall. And considering Democrats don't have that big a cushion keeping them as a majority in the House and keeping up the illusion of a majority in the Senate, it doesn't take a lot of seats to swing the balance of power to the Republicans.

In short, the Republicans' best political operative may just be Cindy Sheehan. And as long as they keep their mouths shut the era of Pelosi may be over before we know it.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

A Live Earth Wrapup

Well, the Live Earth reviews are in, and it can be summarized in one word:


Look, I know the people who particpated in Live Earth meant well, but let's face facts. It was going to bomb one way or another because Al Gore thought of it! The man couldn't be cool if he were at Ice Station Zebra, for the love of Pete! And Live Earth pretty much proved it.

Of course, being cool wasn't the purpose of Live Earth; raising awareness of the environment was. Did it happen? Well, at $350 a ticket for the best seats at the venue and network and Internet coverage of the event...not so much. If good intentions were enough to stop the natural phenomenon that is global warming, Live Earth wouldn't have made a bit of difference because the concert at its core wasn't about doing right by Mother Earth. To get a better understanding of what Live Earth was, we have to do a brief history lesson.

During the Middle Ages, the church was corrupt and started selling what amounted to fake insurance policies to ensure deceased loved ones got into Heaven. These were called "indulgences." And thanks to Al Gore, indulgences are back in the form of carbon offsets. See, the offsets don't make you pollute any less, but they make you appear as though you do, and you pay money for that image. And what was included in the price of your ticket at Live Earth?

Carbon offsets.

Maybe Gore's trying to become Pope Self-Pious I. Either way, Live Earth didn't accomplish what it set out to do (mainly because any living sentient being already is aware of the environment by virtue of being a living sentient being) and it was boring in its lack of execution of its stated goal. In other words, a standard "victory" for the faux left, because it doesn't matter if you actually accomplish anything. You just have to feel good about the effort. And judging by who has been raving about the concert, there are a LOT of people feeling good about accomplishing nothing today.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Live Earth, Dead Topic

After months of breathless anticipation, the day is finally here. Live Earth is today! And, boy, what a major undertaking. Nine cities hosting the musical genius of people like Fergie, whose message in "My Humps" with her fellow members of the Black Eye Peas still brings a lump to my throat.

If you haven't guessed, I'm being sarcastic here.

The purpose of Live Earth is to raise awareness of the environment and the various concerns of man's impact on it. How is this going to be accomplished? By doing what all civic-minded folk do: throw a concert! This is Al Gore's baby, and knowing his reputation as being a rocker at heart, it's going to be great.

If you haven't guessed, I'm being sarcastic again here.

Live Earth will be heralded as a success in some quarters because the bar has been set so low. Whenever the faux left wants to make a big deal about a minor accomplishment, they cloak it in the notion of "consciousness raising," which pretty much means that if you're aware that something is going on, they've succeeded. Doesn't matter if anything is actually done about the problem. All that matters is that you're aware they're doing something about. When you think about it, it's pretty egotistic, like a rich man who holds a press conference every time he gives a major donation to charity.

But no matter what Al Gore says or the artists performing today sing or say, nothing will get accomplished today at Live Earth. Sure, there will be a lot of music, but there will also be a lot of pollution. Here's a taste of what is to come.

- jet fuel burned to fly to and from the different venues
- diesel fuel burned to get stage equipment for the various artists to and from the venues
- litter
- fuel to haul away the litter from the venues
- fuel to get the people to and from the venues
- fuel to get the information booths at the concerts set up and torn down
- fuel to haul Al Gore's fat ass around

Okay, so I made that last one up...or did I? You be the judge.

And here's the ultimate twist. We're already aware of the environment. We live in it! As far as man's impact on it, that's still being debated by serious-minded scientists. You know, the ones who aren't holding concerts because they're too busy doing research? Put simply, no matter what the ticket sales say or how well the concert does in the ratings, Live Earth is already a failure because it fails to accomplish anything significant while doing more harm than good for the cause about which the concert is being held.

Only from the mind of Al Gore could something so worthless come.

And if you haven't guessed, I'm not being sarcastic here.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Happy Independence Day

It's a day early, but I wanted to wish you a Happy Independence Day. Not a "Happy Fourth of July." Not a "Happy 4th." Happy Independence Day.

It bothers me that we've gotten so far away from the real reason we have Wednesday off: our independence from England. These days we're pretty chummy, but on July 4, 1776, things were a bit dicier. Most people here just wanted to get along with England and were willing to put up with their whims, no matter how outrageous, just to avoid trouble. But there were a handful of men who dreamed of something better and weren't afraid to risk it all to reach for it. Their efforts and drive defied the odds, a superior fighting force, and more than a few of their fellow countrymen willing to sell them out to the Brits, all in an attempt to bring freedom here.

Really puts Independence Day into perspective, doesn't it? Somehow, a barbeque, some fireworks, and red, white, and blue paper napkins doesn't due the Founding Fathers justice. But, we've reduced it to that pretty much. When we do that, we water down the contributions of those men who took a major chance to establish freedom and turn back tyranny. It wasn't easy by any stretch of the imagination, but it's through their strife that we enjoy the freedoms we have today, freedoms we far too often take for granted. We owe it to the Founding Fathers to remember the hardships and pitfalls they endured to establish this great nation and the audacity it took to write or support the following words that established a nation and shook the world forever:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Happy Independence Day.