I Truly Hate Michael Moore

This week when people die, or lose all they have as a result of a terrible natural disaster with the name Gustav, I’m sure it will be comforting for the victims to remember that Michael Moore is standing in the corner laughing at their expense.  What a bastard.

On the Keith Olbermann’s MSNBC show he said that the timing of Hurricane Gustav is “proof that there is a God in heaven.”  Really. 

To say this is offensive is an understatement.  It shows that this guy- who purports himself to be some champion of the little man- really does not care about the little man at all.  It’s just as we suspected all along, this slug of a person has one agenda, and that is damaging the Bush administration and conservatism.  Oh, and I forgot making more money to feed his fat, cretin face with.

Unfortunately, the truth is that there are lots of liberals who feel the way that he does, and they should all be ashamed.  On the other hand I guess I am supposed to feel bad that Ted Kennedy is going to die too.  Good luck with all that.

The simple truth is that bad things happen.  I just wonder how the GOP got saddled with the responsibility to keep America safe from all natural disasters. 

 

Wow! That rant felt almost cleansing.

 

Christian Mobs Terrorize Europe!

Dateline Bolzano, Italy:

 

For the past 48 hours mobs of Christians have flooded the streets of most of Italy’s cities and towns burning frogs and artists in effigy, as a reaction to the Pope’s condemnation of a piece of art depicting a crucified frog.  Several innocent and uninvolved people have been caught up in the mob violence and killed.  Unfortunately people wearing smocks, berets, and the color green have been unmercifully attacked and killed by the bloodthirsty bands of angry churchgoers.  By this time, sympathetic incidences of violence and organized marches have spread to cities all over Europe.  The news arm of Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), the Catholic cable station, is doing everything it can to slant the coverage of this event in a way as to encourage more violence, and make the people in the mobs look like the real victims.

Of course, it has all had an impact.  The governments of Belgian and Demark have banned art in general and condemned the artist Martin Kippenberger, even though he is already dead.  French authorities have closed the Louvre, and British legislators are reviewing the Old Testament and examining the possibilities of codifying the laws found in the Pentateuch.  Finally, laws suits claiming violations of Canada’s hate crimes laws have been filed by Catholics against artists and museums all over Canada.

The Pope seemed a little more sanguine as he said of the artist, “He’s dead now, I’ve got it handled.”

 

This was a fun little bit of satire to write, though it is not my usual style.  The point is that the Christians and Catholics of Europe did not act in this manner.  I wonder what would have happened if the artist had sculpted a frog and called it Muhammad.  Set aside the imagery of the cross.  Muslims would have gone crazy.  See the Danish cartoons if you need evidence. 

There is an interesting dichotomy here.  Muslims seem to have unreasonably violent reactions to these matters, but are appeased by progressives who do so under the guise of tolerance and fighting hate crimes.  While, when the same thing (or worse) is done to icons that the Christian religion deems as holy, the Christians appropriately protest them.  These peaceful admonitions and protests are met by the same progressives with disdain and snickering.  What a bunch of hypocrites.

Click! Your’re Fired!

I think Robert Paxton, the former president of a community college in Iowa, may have delivered the biggest give-up of an excuse that I have ever heard.  After a photograph surfaced showing him dispensing beer from a mini-keg into a young hottie’s mouth while in a boat on a lake, his genius defense was to say that the keg in the picture was broken and not dispensing beer at the time.  That’s like being caught on the sixth floor of some building with a smoking rifle in your hands after a guy is shot, and saying, “This gun isn’t even loaded,…anymore.”

I guess the point he was making was that it is OK for a university president to stage a picture in which he and a group of young people are standing around acting as if they are drunk in bathing suits on a boat in a lake.  That makes sense.  He should have added that he was just helping them to do a little research.  Or, even better, they were all taking part in some sort of promotion that was actually going to be intended as a warning against the dangers of drinking while in a boat on a lake.  Remember, colleges are bastions of liberal thought, and nothing warms a liberal’s heart like some good ole’ good intensions, even if they have a horrible result.

In the end, Paxton chose the give-up, and the $400,000 severance package because he knew there was no getting away from this picture.  Good move.  I’m charging my camera as we speak.

My Faith is Shaken

The fact that Marcus Eriksen and Joel Paschal have survived affects my faith, and it is, at the same time an argument against Darwin’s law of natural selection.  Usually, when you get a group of people who do something extremely dangerous for a cause, you can count on emergency personnel being called at the least or, more probably a call to the coroner.  Somehow, these two numbskulls survived their ordeal.

Even though we are frequently presented stories where people do not respect nature, I am surprised each time I see another.  The past few years have brought us the stories of Timothy Treadwell (the Grizzly Man), Christopher McCandless (Into the Wild), and Carl McCunn who each paid the ultimate price for their lack of respect for nature.

So, today I was surprised when I read the story of the two guys who made it to Hawaii from California in a makeshift raft that had pontoons filled with empty plastic water bottles.  This is amazing, because the ocean is one of the most dangerous places on the Earth.  A person should never get out in the ocean in a ‘makeshift’ anything, and if you do, you are most likely to die.  Unfortunately, these guys made it, and I say ‘unfortunately’ because undoubtedly this will inspire more young people to make these foolish decisions. 

These guys are going to even get more publicity for their irresponsible activities because they have tied their trip to the green movement.  You see, they used the plastic bottles in an attempt bring awareness to the problems presented by too many wasted plastic bottles.  And, we all know that in the green movement intent is everything, whether it ends up hurting the planet (or actual people) or not.  A good example of this is the green movement’s continued support for biofuels even after it has been shown that they are impractical and will cause real damage to the world (in the form of destruction of habitat to provide land to grow enough corn) and people (through starvation caused by lack of sufficient grain sources and higher prices) if they are accepted.  Moreover, these guys have provided themselves a place in the lore of all green people for performing a quest based in the highest of all green motivations, Awareness.

Honestly, it is best for all if people who take part in these foolish schemes meet a bad fate, that way the rest of us are reminded that nature is something to be respected and sometimes feared.  This healthy respect keeps the rest of us safer and gives us good examples that we can use to teach our kids.

As a parting shot, here is a picture of the load of garbage that these two guys left on the islands that the rest of us call paradise.

I hope they get a ticket for littering.

 

A Whirling Vortex of Bitterness

The bitterness in this story is almost incomprehensible.  I am reminded of a Bible verse from Galatians after reading this one: “What you sow, you will reap.”  I am just glad that I don’t know any of these people

Baby, I can’t help it that I’m crazy, I was just born that way.

I have kept no secret of my general disdain of psychologists and the field of psychology in general.  Like a lot of people, I can say that I was a psych major for three semesters in college.  The throw-it-against-the-wall-and-see-if-it-sticks mentality of many psychologists and especially researchers in the field of psychology left me with a bad taste in my mouth.  Someday, when I have a lot more time to expound on this I will, but for now, suffice it to say that I believe, for the most part psychologist are people who attempt to find emotional solutions to spiritual problems.  Don’t get me wrong, I know there are seriously chemically imbalanced people in this world who need to be medicated or institutionalized even in some cases, but you have to go to psychiatrist (medical doctor) for this to happen.  Also, I believe that there are some people for whom common sense counseling and caring can have a real, positive effect, but unfortunately, most of the time psychologists are more worried about propping up a persons feelings whether they are helping the person or not, and extending their sessions which translates to money in the bank.  I’ve said it before, I’ll start taking psychologists more seriously when they are able to get their divorce rate down somewhere near the national average (the divorce rate for psychologists is around 70% while the national average is about 55%).

Researchers in the field of psychology are famous as empire builders.  They continually try to come up with new diagnoses in order to expand their authority, their business, and their ability to file claims for insurance on behalf of their clients.  Today, we are greeted with a study done by researchers in the field of psychology arguing that insanity or even ‘moderate mood swings’ may be the result of evolution as affected by the process of natural selection.  Make no mistake, while this looks like an interesting theory, it is really another power-grab by the psychology field.  If they can say that some, most or even all aspects of our personality are determined by genetics, then they will be able to greatly increase their sphere of influence, diagnoses and treatments.  Cha-ching. 

Sometimes I feel like these guys are driving me crazy, but wait, according to them I was just born that way. 

On a side note, I find it odd that all of this natural selection stuff has not been used by homosexual advocacy groups up to this point, but it’s pretty obvious that homosexuality and natural selection are logical enemies.

Paula Sounds a Little Defensive

Find my latest American Idol article here.

Paula sounds a little catty in this story.  I think she sees the writing on the wall.  Good.

How Petty Can a Person Be?

Unfortunately, it is not that much of a surprise to find petty parents involving themselves more in more in their children’s lives, often to the emotional or even physical detriment of other children.  People can be pretty petty.  There are the famous cases of the “cheerleader murdering mom” and the mom who got in a fictitious internet relationship with a teen on line which eventually resulted in her (the teen’s) suicide.

When I started reading this story about a young man who was not being allowed to play baseball because he was too good, I thought that I was going to get to blog about another case where expectations were being lowered and mediocrity encouraged.  This unfortunate trend seems to be the norm in our society at this time.  For a good example, all you have to do is look at the Dallas Independent School District where failure is no longer an option, it’s a feature.  Students no longer get a zero for homework that is not turned in, and failing grades can be reattempted until they are passed.  That’ll get those TAAS scores up (please read this sentence with sarcasm).  This doomed policy will only last until the state threatens to take over the district for low test scores, and they’ll do it.

I expected that this rush to mediocrity was behind the story of a young man in New Haven, Connecticut who was being told he could not play baseball anymore because he pitched too well.  Occasionally a child who is physically larger and stronger that the other kids will be allowed or asked to play a grade-up in football.  This can work out for all involved because the kid who is, say, 50 pounds heavier than his peers will not be able to really hurt them, and he will find a greater challenger and quicker advancement playing with children who are better and more his size.  Baseball is different.  It is mostly a skill-based game where cognitive ability is more important than size and strength.  In the original Foxnews and Google News stories, it was portrayed that this young man was being kicked out of the league because he was too good- specifically, because he threw too hard and the parents were scared of him.

If this were true it would be bad enough, and it would be indefensible, but unfortunately, it appears that the truth is even worse.  Something in the story did not sound right, so I followed the link to the local paper, and therein lay the sad, petty story.

It seems that Jericho Scott is a very good pitcher for a nine year old.  So good, in fact, that Reynaldo Reyes, the president of the league, who also happens to own the barber shop that sponsors the best team in the league, approached Jericho and his parents about joining the league, and his team of ringers.  Jericho was already playing in another league, but decided to take up the invitation.  However, instead of joining Reyes’ team of ringers, he joined another team coached by one of his father’s friends. 

You would think that the league would have been all for this.  Adding a good platyer to a team that was not as good would add to the competitiveness of the overall league.  That just makes sense.  Unfortunately, the team that Jericho joined was not supposed to go 8-0, and be unbeatable this season.  They were supposed to be just another punching bag for the team of ringers whose parents all have thoughts of future professional baseball careers dancing before their eyes.

So, in the grand tradition of parents who become involved in sports everywhere, the parents of the ringer team, and the president of the league decided that Jericho was dangerous (to their winning percentage), and had to be stopped.  They demanded that this child be removed from the league, and not allowed to pitch.  When he took the mound, the umpire forfeited the game for them, and later games have been called-off.  The team has now been ordered to disband, and the coach and Jericho have been kicked out of the league.  Now, of course the court battles will begin, and who knows who will win as the truth will be obscured by feigned parental concern.  In the end, all we are really left with is a nine year old boy crying on a mound wondering why, and a bunch of loser adults who should be ashamed of themselves.

Does a New Judge on American Idol Portend the Departure Of an Old One?

Find my latest American Idol article here.

These are the types of stories that set my conspiratorial heart aflutter.  The producers of American Idol have announced that they are adding another female judge, Kara DioGuardi, to the show for the upcoming season.  They claim that they want to add more ‘girl power’ to the show. But I am anticipating that they are paving the way for Paula’s removal.

I don’t know the lady but from her picture, but she looks nice (as opposed to the ‘leather bag stretched over a skull’ look from Paula), and she looks intelligent (as opposed to the drugged-out, vacant look Paula usually sports).

I hope and pray that the producers are going to use this as an easy way to force Paula off the show, if not this season, then next.  It is not as if there is room for another opinion anyway.  They will not be able to fit in another cogent thought if they allow Paula to continue to ramble.  My bet is that they put this lady on the show for a season until everyone sees how much more she adds than Paula (Lord knows she could not give less).  Once the house-frau has accepted Mrs. DioGuardi, then all the producers have to do is bide their time until Paula either implodes or shows up looking smashed again.  Getting her off the show at that point will be easy.

The possibilities have me expectant, but I can be patient and hope for the best.

A Parting Shot at the Olympics

I want to start off this rant by saying that for the past two weeks I have watched a lot of the Olympics.  I can be a little obsessive about things like this, and with the greatness of the invention of DVR, I was able to record and playback an significant portion of all the televised events, liberally fast forwarding through the fluff and replays to see all of the important (and some unimportant) events.  I also want to say that, for the most part I enjoyed what I saw.  The Olympic games carry with them a mystique that is hard to screw up in the first place, and the added element of patriotism that I felt, and good sportsmanship that was exhibited by almost all of the athletes (I do exempt the numb-skull from Cuba who kicked the referee in the face from this statement) made watching the events that much more enjoyable.  I will also credit the host country, China, for putting on a great spectacle and providing great venues for the events.  The presentation (excluding NBC’s coverage) was unrivaled and deserves to be lauded. 

That being said, I was angered at the smug attitude exhibited by International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief Jacques Rogge in a three-part interview with Bob Costas over the weekend.  The biggest theme that came out of the interview was that the Olympics were not ever going to criticize China for any reason.  The truth is that China rolled-up the Brinks truck in a way that the Olympics has never seen before.  And, make no mistake about it, the IOC is about making money.  They are not about to bite the hand that just served them the colossal feast that was the Beijing games, and the definitely do not want to cut off this gravy-train.

In the piece, Bob half-heartedly attempted to interview Rogge about several controversial aspects of the games. He asked him about the controversy swirling around the Chinese girl’s gymnastics team, and whether they were cheating by sending underage girls to the competition.  He completely dodged the question by putting the onus on the gymnastic federation.  Let’s be honest, the IOC was not interested in offending the Chinese by strongly pursuing any such allegations.  Besides, the IOC has much more blatant problems to deal with in these games such as the travesty that was the boxing venue.

I said at the beginning of this controversy, that if these girls were under 16 that the rules needed to be changed.  The argument that 13 year olds cannot compete at the Olympic level falls apart when several of them win their respective competitions at the biggest of venues in the sport.  As it is, the Olympics only come around once every four years, and a gymnast’s opportunity to compete is greatly diminished if he or she is unlucky enough to be born in the wrong year.  Costas pointed out that there was a 14 year old British diver at the Olympics this year.  Rogge hid behind the rules of the respective federations on this answer, and added a paternalistic (possibly chauvinistic) statement about protecting the athletes.  This rang especially hollow with China, and its Olympic tradition of taking 3 year olds away from their parents to be trained for the Olympics as a backdrop to the conversation.  As I said, the rule should be, if you are able to compete, you should be allowed to compete, but until the rules are changed, the IOC should enforce them for everyone.

Later, in a discussion of the dropping of baseball and softball as Olympic events, Rogge used the steroid controversy (baseball), and being unfairly associated with the steroid controversy (softball) as reasons for the dismissal of these sports from the games from the games.  I will give Costas a little credit here.  He ignored Rogge’s disingenuous answers and went straight at the truth.  First he alluded to the fact that baseball does not send major leaguers to the games due to the conflict in schedule.  Rogge admitted that the Olympics desired to have the best athletes on the field.  Translation: the IOC would make more money if Jeeter and A-Rod were there.  So, if they can’t have those guys, then they’ll take their Olympic games and go home.  This is odd because baseball, being second only in popularity to soccer in the world, can field competitive teams from any number of Central American, South America, North American and Asian countries even if they do not get major leaguers.  Also, a compromise might easily be worked out by rotating the games from the Northern to Southern hemispheres.  This way every other Olympics could be attended by major leaguers who would be attending the games in the Southern hemisphere in baseball’s offseason.

The reason that Costas forced out of Rogge for the removal of softball was dominance by the USA women.  Of course, the irony of this was the fact that the USA women lost in the gold medal game to Japan.  Rogge, in a classic bit of smugness, suggested that the loss had a silver-lining by proving that other teams could compete with the USA.  Golly, thanks, Jacques.  That makes us feel so much better.  So, all we have to do is lose to in order have our sports accepted in the Olympics.  I wonder if Chinese dominance of ping pong, or Russian dominance of rhythmic gymnastics (not a sport, but that is a discussion for another time) or Hungarian dominance of water polo is going to relegate these sports to the Olympic ash-heap.  I doubt it.  This is simply another in a long line of IOC digs at the USA, its biggest generator of capital.

Finally, Costas brought up China’s reputation for human rights abuses.  In particular he mentioned Joey Cheek, Tibet, and two 80 year old Chinese women who were sent for re-education for the sin of simply applying for a legal permit to hold a protest.  Rogge said that the IOC defended Cheek (fat lot of good that did), but on the matter of Tibet and the two women, Rogge went on the offensive.  He stated (and I paraphrase) that if the governments of the world had no power to expect China to reform, then how could the IOC be expected to force China to reform.  This high-handed comment ignored the point of the criticism which has been leveled at the IOC all along. 

The point of this criticism is that the IOC should not award games to countries that have human rights issues, abusive training regimens for their athletes and tend to bend the rules on a corporate level as it comes to the games.  Of course, the IOC has no power to dictate policy to any country.  It does, however, have the right to express its outrage or even concern for a country’s policies by simply not awarding them an Olympic games in the first place.  The sad truth is that the point of this interview was to show where the IOC stands now, and it is clear that when you come to the IOC with enough money, they will bend over backward to make sure that you give it to them.  Look for China to have a games every 20 years from now on.