Scylla & Charybdis
A journey through the narrow channel between the Scylla of a controlled press and the Charybdis of effete thugs with immunity.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Monday, March 27, 2006
Summers and Standard Deviation
Harvard President Summers was run out of office by vested faculty who could not tolerate that he noted a correlation, at 4x or 5x standard deviations from the norm, an anomoly between men and women.
The Scopes Monkey trials folks sorta took the same position.
Speaking of whacked-out standard deviations, what is the statistical possibility that, out of over 3 million entries, only 3 would correctly pick all 4 NCAA tourney "Final Four" teams?
You'd think that tens of thousands would have done so ... .
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Mexican't Redux II
Imagine you're an electrician for a large company. Imagine every day your boss pulls into the parking lot, there are several hundred people along the driveway with signs begging the boss to fire you and hire one of them, for half your salary. And no health or retirement benefits. And 30% longer hours. And not a single person in that line has his electrical contractor's license. They are all illegal workers.
If you were subjected to that scenario, everyday, you would soon go postal. Or threaten your government to do something. Or, you might also just get fired. Welcome to the average work day of blue collar workers in Southern California. And elsewhere.
But, you've paid union dues; so did your father. Your union is fighting for you, right? Your union is grappling with this issue, the best it can, right? Well, let's see what the AFL-CIO says about all these illegal aliens who want your job.
First of all, they've got a name for all these illegal aliens: "Immigrant workers."
Second, the AFL-CIO's position is that your boss should try to pay benefits to your replacement, when you are fired.Read the AFL-CIO website and it Workers Without Borders stance. The AFL-CIO supports the illegals who are begging for your job every day. That's your union's position regarding the 10 to 18 million illegal immigrants that are here, with another 150,000 per month coming over the border.
The UFCW Food Workers Union website doesn't refer to the fact that illegal immigration depresses their members' wages, but rather that, "we must demand standards that protect workers regardless of what country they came from or how they got here. Because the issue is the same: the exploitation of labor."
"The exploitation of labor?" WHAT?
That's it? That's the union's position on illegal immigration? Have I been transported back 25 years, to a state college Intro to Politics class, complete with the hippy T.A. who liked those clove cigarettes?
The LIUNA (Laborer's International Union of North America) website gives you the comfort that, "We endorse the call for legalization of all undocumented workers and... also oppose the employer sanctions" for hiring illegals.
The United Auto Workers website gives you the good news that it supports amnesty and welfare for illegal aliens, and wants employer sanctions dropped.
At least the Teamsters' website keeps its beliefs silent as to the influx of illegal orkers.
You're making $10 per hour, and you really need $14 per hour to get by. The dozens of illegal immigrants waving the placards at your boss each morning - drawn from an army of millions - will take $5, without benefits.
So what do you think are your chances over the next few years of working yourself up to $14 per hour, instead of $10? Or, avoiding health benefit cutbacks? Your chances are Zero.
"We'll strike," you are assured. "And united in striking, we shall prevail."Strike? With 15 million scabs ready to take your place?Ask the thousands of Southern California grocery clerks how that "strike thing" worked out for them a few years ago:
"GroceryStrike Ends in Defeat; UFCW officials’ failed strategy led workers into a dead end."
What are your chances of having your job in 4 years? Pretty good, if $5 an hour works for you. If you learn Spanish and can act as a crew chief, maybe you can pull $8 an hour.
What on Earth has happened to the labor unions? Why are the unions in favor of destroying the livelihoods of their members, the protection of which is their reason for existence? Why are the unions in favor of flooding the lower end of the labor market, and inevitably destroying the ability of their members to get $15 an hour instead of $10?
Is it some sort of secret long-term plan to re-populate the union rolls ... to re-establish an environment where 1960's-style union corruption will again be possible? Do the members have any clue what is going on? What is going on? What am I missing?
There are some issues with our southern border.
Issues so dirty, even the Teamsters blush.
Many Democrats are simply selling out their base. So are Republicans.
You racist ratfaced bast*ard.
Anyway, 500,000 march in Los Angeles. (Note: 97 % cannot vote.) Battle lines are forming.
Meanwhile, the MSM and the politicians ignore the opinion of a supermajority of actual voters.
Methinks this is the issue for '06, and likely '08.
The Left remains fascinated with crowds. The proles. But Mexiproles don't vote.
The Right is too beholden to big donors. And big donors only get one vote.
Q: Which candidates will connect with the positionheld by 70-80% of the voting public?
A: The winning candidates.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
Just in case no one is archiving the nonsensical writings that are included in spam emails (which apparently are included in spam in an attempt to fool filtering software into allowing the message to pass through to the inbox) I present to you , below, my collection of poetic spam masterworks.
If anyone ever had to read so-called "Critical Legal Studies" law school jurisprudence essays (that is, pinko law school essays that were impenetrable in order to make you think there was a smart thinker behind it) or college level socialist political literature in the 70's (ditto), you'll note a common cadence.
Some Important Email Essays from March 2006
" 'Step up, please! ' cried Faggot. ' Don't be shy! ' The audience began to fidget, but no one dared mount the stage. At last a brunette emerged from the tenth row of the stalls and smiling nonchalantly walked up the side stairs on to the stage. 'Bravo! ' cried Faggot. ' Our first customer! Behemoth, a chair for the lady! Shall we start with the shoes, madam? ' The brunette sat down and Faggot at once spread out a whole heap of shoes on the carpet in front of her. She took off her right shoe, tried on a lilac one, tested it with a walk on the carpet and inspected the heel. 'Won't they pinch? ' she enquired thoughtfully. Offended, Faggot cried: 'Oh, come, now!' and the cat gave an insulted miaow. 'I'll take them, monsieur,' said the brunette with dignity as she put on the other shoe of the pair. Her old shoes were thrown behind a curtain, followed by the girl herself, the redhead, and Faggot carrying several model dresses on coathangers. The cat busied itself with helping and hung a tape measure round its neck for greater effect. A minute later the brunette emerged from behind the curtain in a dress that sent a gasp through the entire auditorium. The bold girl, now very much hg mqmk..."
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Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Thug Cancels Cartoon - Redux
Islamofascists are not the only group that censors cartoons.
No, not silly Danish cartoons of Mohammed. Rather, cartoons of Colorado school kids. South Park.
Movie assassin, secret agent and Depends diapers spokesman Tom Cruise has stepped up and squelched the re-airing of a "Scientologist who needs to come out of the closet" South Park episode.
This simply cannot be true....can it?
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Fake But Accurate - Redux
The NYTimes, like an aging home run hitter trying to break a record, focused on the Abu Ghraib prison story as an anti-Bush, anti-war, leftist rallying cry. It ran dozens and dozens of front page stories - in one month alone, an unbroken string of 32 consecutive days of front page stories.
Wanting to breathe new life into the story, the NYTimes recently ran another front page story about the political adventures of the "hooded man on the box" from one notorious Ghraib image.
Surprise! The story is false; a hoax. The man in the hood is a fraud.
The NY Times, and the hoaxster, intimate that "fake but accurate" excuses this nonsense:
"Certainly, he was at Abu Ghraib, and appears with a hood over his head in some photographs that Army investigators seized from the computer... . And he suffered mistreatment and humiliation at the hands of the same people who photographed the man on the box: photographs investigators seized show him forced into a crouch, identifiable by his mangled hand, with the nickname guards gave him — "The Claw" — scrawled in black marker across his orange jumpsuit."
OK, I see the Times' point. The fact that this was a hoax is irrelevant. It's fake, but accurate. And, I guess, that excuses the NY Times' shoddy standards used, as it desperately wanted this story to be true, and what the hell we know that it is "accurate," if not true, so that's enough to green light another front-page Abu Ghraib story.
Even hoax stories.
Remember the motives of the CBS Memogate team? Succinctly archived in 2 emails from Mary Mapes:
“I desperately want to talk to you. . . . Do NOT underestimate how much I want this story.... I am DEADLY serious about it.”
Mapes' producing partner - also desperate when the TANG story appeared to be leftist polemic myth - proposed bribing Burkett with a publishing advance, in order to goad Burkett to forge the needed documents:
"What if there was a person who might have some information that could possibly change the momentum of an election ... . What kinds of turnaround payment schedules are possible? ... What I am asking is in this best case hypothetical scenario, can we get a decent sized advance payment, and get it turned around quickly. "
The NY Times is a leftist newpaper that decided a generation ago that its politics should not be limited to its editorial page. Since then, the NYTimes has been at the forefront of slanting the hard news to fit its ideological agenda. Because the NYTimes (along with the AP, UPI and Reuters) were the major hard news syndicators to the U.S., its political slant on hard news was particularly effective. That is beginning to wane, but the Times is relentless.
As the leftist Mapes crowd said, "Do not underestimate how serious and desperate" the NY Times is when it comes to politicizing its front page.
I wonder if the NY Times will investigate the identities of those funding the hoaxster's campaign?
Friday, March 17, 2006
The Cost of MSM Bias
Death Cab for Cutie: The NYTimes begins to quantify the market value of bias:
Moody's may downgrade New York Times ratings
Mar 17, 2006 - SAN FRANCISCO -- Moody's Investors Service on Friday placed New York Times Co.'s A2 senior unsecured long term debt, and P-1 commercial paper ratings on review for possible downgrade.
The agency said the review is prompted by Moody's growing concerns about the media company's high financial leverage, deteriorating operating margins and weak free cash flow available for debt reduction, combined with concerns over intensifying
cross media competition, including the Internet, and growing event risk in the newspaper sector. A multi-notch ratings transition will be considered in light of the company's financial and operating challenges, Moody's said.
Translated: NYTimes has too much debt, and it's gonna start losing money. Right now, its commerical paper is OK, but Moody's is likely going to downgrade it to junk status. So begins the death spiral: downgrade to junk status means the NYTimes must pay more for its borrowings; this in turn decreases earnings (or increases losses), which further pushes the debt into junk status. If it gets bad enough, the company will have to issue stock. But any rational buyer will want power to change the management that is hurting the paper's performance.
I love markets. I really do.
Pesky Iraq Documents
March 16, 2006 — Following are the ABC News Investigative Unit's summaries of four of the nine Iraqi documents from Saddam Hussein's government, which were released by the U.S. government Wednesday.
The documents discuss Osama bin Laden, weapons of mass destruction, al Qaeda and more.
The full documents can be found on the U.S. Army Foreign Military Studies Office Web site here.
"Osama bin Laden and the Taliban"
Document dated Sept. 15, 2001
An Iraqi intelligence service document saying that their Afghani informant, who's only identified by a number, told them that the Afghani Consul Ahmed Dahastani claimed the following in front of him:
-That OBL and the Taliban are in contact with Iraq and that a group of Taliban and bin Laden group members visited Iraq. That the U.S. has proof the Iraqi government and "bin Laden's group" agreed to cooperate to attack targets inside America.
-That in case the Taliban and bin Laden's group turn out to be involved in "these destructive operations," the U.S. may strike Iraq and Afghanistan.
-That the Afghani consul heard about the issue of Iraq's relationship with "bin Laden's group" while he was in Iran.
At the end, the writer recommends informing "the committee of intentions" about the above-mentioned items. The signature on the document is unclear.
(Editor's Note: The controversial claim that Osama bin Laden was cooperating with Saddam Hussein is an ongoing matter of intense debate. While the assertions contained in this document clearly support the claim, the sourcing is questionable — i.e. an unnamed Afghan "informant" reporting on a conversation with another Afghan "consul." The date of the document — four days after 9/11 — is worth noting but without further corroboration, this document is of limited evidentiary value.)
"Election Campaign Laws in France"
Documents dated July-August 1999
Correspondence regarding election campaigns in France. This includes a document from the Iraqi intelligence service classified as "secret," ordering the translation of important parts of a 1997 report about campaign financing laws in France. It also includes a document from the foreign minister's office indicating the report was attached. The attached translated report included very detailed information about all the regulations regarding financing of election campaigns in France. Translation was done by someone called "Salam Abdul Karim Mohammed."
(Editor's Note: This is an intriguing document which suggests Saddam Hussein's regime had a strong interest in the mechanics and legalities of financial contributions to French politicians. Several former French politicians are implicated in receiving oil vouchers from Iraq under the U.N. Oil for Food program.)
"Hiding Docs from the U.N. Team"
Document dated March 23, 1997
A letter from the Iraqi intelligence service to directors and managers advising them to follow certain procedures in case of a search by the U.N. team, including:
-Removing correspondence with the atomic energy and military industry departments concerning the prohibited weapons (proposals, research, studies, catalogs, etc.).
-Removing prohibited materials and equipment, including documents and catalogs and making sure to clear labs and storages of any traces of chemical or biological materials that were previously used or stored.
-Doing so through a committee which will decide whether to destroy the documents.
-Removing files from computers.
The letter also advises them on how they should answer questions by U.N. team members. It says the intelligence service should be informed within one week about the progress made in discarding the documents.
(Editor's Note: This document is consistent with the Report of the Special Advisor to the Director of Central Intelligence, which described a pattern of deception and concealment on the part of Saddam Hussein's government towards the U.N. inspectors in the mid to late 90's. Hussein halted all cooperation with those inspectors and expelled them in October 1998.)
"Al Qaeda Presence in Iraq"
Document dated August 2002
A number of correspondences to check rumors that some members of al Qaeda organization have entered Iraq. Three letters say this information cannot be confirmed. The letter on page seven, however, says that information coming from "a trustworthy source" indicates that subjects who are interested in dealing with al Qaeda are in Iraq and have several passports.
The letter seems to be coming from or going to Trebil, a town on the Iraqi-Jordanian border. Follow up on the presence of those subjects is ordered, as well as comparison of their pictures with those of Jordanian subjects living in Iraq. (This may be referring to pictures of Abu Musaab al Zarqawi and another man on pages 4-6)
The letter also says tourist areas, including hotels and rented apartments, should be searched.
(Editor's note: This document indicates that the Iraqis were aware of and interested in reports that members of al Qaeda were present in Iraq in 2002. The document does not support allegations that Iraq was colluding with al Qaeda.)
Monday, March 13, 2006
This film - Bobby - will be nominated for a bunch of '07 Oscars. It will likely win either Best Picture or Best Director. Toss in a few techical and staging awards for good measure.
Saturday, March 11, 2006
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Hang 'em High
13 down. 10,000 to go...
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq hanged 13 insurgents Thursday, marking the first time militants have been executed in the country since the U.S.-led invasion ousted Saddam Hussein nearly three years ago, the government said.
One of those hanged confessed that he had worked with Syrian foreign fighters to enlist fellow Iraqis to carry out assassinations against police and civilians. It said Farid had "confessed that foreigners recruited him to spread the fear through killings and abductions."
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Why, Exactly, Is This Not Sedition?
The US ramps up a new intelligence/spy mission. It operates on foreign soil. CIA insiders get jealous that their turf is being invaded. So the disclose classified details to the NYTimes.
The NYTimes discloses the existence of the program, and some details:
WASHINGTON, March 7 — The military is placing small teams of Special Operations troops in a growing number of American embassies to gather intelligence on terrorists in unstable parts of the world and to prepare for potential missions to disrupt, capture or kill them.
Senior Pentagon officials and military officers say the effort is part of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's two-year drive to give the military a more active intelligence role in the campaign against terrorism. But it has drawn opposition from traditional intelligence agencies like the C.I.A., where some officials have viewed it as a provocative expansion into what has been their turf. ...
I don't care why the Rosenbergs were spying. I don't care why I.F. Stone was on the Soviet payroll. I don't care why kind of fur coat Adlrich Ames wanted to buy for his wife. I don't care if a couple of CIA punks like to play politics. This is criminal sedition.
Why won't the Bush Administration go after this?
MSM Discomfy With Unanimous Decisions
The MSM hates unanimous court decisions, particularly when the decision debunks a Leftist myth.
The LATimes goes front page today with the story. (Bummer's 23 have known for months of this development.)
Very Little 'Versus' Yet in Roberts' High Court
"WASHINGTON — Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., in less than six months as leader of the Supreme Court, has turned the famously quarrelsome justices, at least for now, into a surprisingly agreeable group that is becoming known for unanimous rulings. Monday's decision rejecting a free-speech challenge to having military recruiters on college campuses marked the ninth consecutive ruling in which all of the justices agreed.
"Among the decisions were those on such normally contentious issues as abortion protests, religious liberty, the death penalty and antitrust law. "
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Ebert Mimics Bummer
America's best-known film critic, Roger Ebert, pretty much picks up where Bummer left off, in pointing out the bitterness and irrationality of LA Times has-been critic Kenneth Turan's tirade against Crash:
"One of the mysteries of the 2006 Oscar season is the virulence with which lovers of "Brokeback Mountain" savaged "Crash." When the film about racism actually won the Oscar for best picture Sunday, there was no grace in their response."
Silly little people.
NYTimes Smells the Una-Glove
The Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision - 8-0 - upholding the Solomon Amendment. In doing so, the court rejected the political arguments of a group of law schools that the US government's linking of federal school aid to the schools obligation to allow military recruiters access to students, was somehow violative of the free speech rights of the students and schools.
The NYTimes today runs a front page, lead column story (curiously below-the-fold at the website....) about the decision.* What a sad day for the progressives in Muddville, as the NYTimes was forced to spit it out:
"The opinion by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. was unanimous."
Underestimate not the disappointment of the NYTimes over a unanimous decision. It strikes the MSM at its core.
*- The decision is a moral blow to leftist law professors and the MSM. Law school faculty lounges are liberal havens. MSM is a liberal haven. Often may the twain match. Toss in liberal appeals court judges, and its quite a recipe. A non-electoral political party, somewhat. The professors have come to believe that their ability to craft a political argument in quasi-constitutional verbiage, sent to their equally leftist bretheren on the court for approval, and reported by the MSM as being justice waiting for its day, had somehow become the settled law of the land. A perfect storm of leftist thought: gay rights trump everything; law schools are 'special places,' where no RoC concerns should fear to tread; and the vaunted SCt., to offer up a couple of votes and maybe even a majority, in agreement and validation of leftist thought; and the MSM focusing on the leftist opinions and positions. Even in defeat, the opinion of 2 or 4 justices would serve as the "truth" for leftists, until the day when they can snatch back the court from the clutches of the right wingers.
A unanimous decision destroys all of the foregoing. Watch for the reaction over the coming weeks. CogDis !
Monday, March 06, 2006
Oscar Bitter Weiner
A decade ago, the LA Times' film critic, Kenneth Turan, complained that Titanic was a mediocre film. As it went on to become the all-time box office champ, and sweep the Oscars, Turan threw a hissy-fit. He dug in. His basic position was: "Movie-going consumers are all stupid, the Academy voters are all stupid, and only I see that this film is mediocre and a fraud." (No, he never said, "Well, I guess I'm wrong.")
Anyway, apparently the aging Turan really wanted the gay sheepherder movie to win Best Picure, and perhaps other awards, too. That would have satisfied him, deeply. This morning after his favored horse didn't win, Turan posted this story:
"In the privacy of the voting booth ... people are free to act out the unspoken fears and unconscious prejudices . .... that acting out doomed "Brokeback Mountain."
"... But I do question the film [Crash] they've made. ... [T]he reason [Crash] won the best picture Oscar, is that it is, at its core, a standard Hollywood movie, as manipulative and unrealistic* as the day is long.
"And something more. For "Crash's" biggest asset is its ability to give people a carload of those standard Hollywood satisfactions but make them think they are seeing something groundbreaking and daring. It is, in some ways, a feel-good film about racism,** a film you could see and feel like a better person, a film that could make you believe that you had done your moral duty and examined your soul when in fact you were just getting your buttons pushed and your preconceptions reconfirmed.
"So for people who were discomfited by "Brokeback Mountain" but wanted to be able to look themselves in the mirror and feel like they were good, productive liberals, "Crash" provided the perfect safe harbor. They could vote for it in good conscience, vote for it and feel they had made a progressive move, vote for it and not feel that there was any stain on their liberal credentials for shunning what "Brokeback" had to offer. And that's exactly what they did."
Yes, Kenneth, we understand you really, really liked the gay sheepherder movie. We understand that for you, a vote for it was a litmus test of whether a member was a bona fide Hollywood liberal. You fell in love with the idea of that movie, regardless of what was actually onscreen.
And yes, Kenneth, we understand that you, and only you, are genius enough to see that the flickering images on the screen are manipulative and unrealistic, and that the audiences are just stupid to agree. And Academy members are too "scared" to vote for the movie idea that you are so taken by.
So everyone is stupid....
Whatever you do, Mr. Turan, don't for a minute examine whether you, yourself, might have fallen in love with the idea of the movie, its right message-ness, its correctness, its political timeliness, its... its political correctness.
Don't think about those things, Mr. Turan. Don't examine that maybe you have become a stereotype of the 60's left-over socialist, acting out your emotional turmoil. Yes, Kenneth, like the obscure, excellent, Academy Award winner from 2003, The Barbarian Invasions. ***
* - As if really good looking cowboys with wives, have secret gay sex lives while camping?
** - As opposed to, say, a feel-good film about a couple of husbands living secret homosexual lives?
*** - Yes, Kenneth, I chose this reference knowingly. Examine thyself.
Sunday, March 05, 2006
Bummer Pix Flix
Crash won the Best Picture Oscar tonight.
Was there any doubt, following this Bummer posting last December?
Friday, March 03, 2006
Fake Katrina Tape Rumor Mongering
Rumor - completely unsubstantiated - that the "Bush Katrina Tape" may have forged elements.
I pass this along not because I have any insight. I just wanna be first. And in 5 days I can delete this post and down the memory hole it goes.
I am ... irresponsible.
Likely, this is just Republican noise and psychological operations, intended by some hack as fodder for true believers, the same device, e.g., whereby certain nutjob black polemicists claimed that Bush "blew up the levees."
updates from chatrooms:
1.[Hugh] Hewitt did mention something last night about the AP cherry picking the comments from the video, but I wasn't listening all that carefully. I'm not sure about official doctoring, but I wouldn't put it past them.
2.Brit Hume had a piece on Special Report last nite that pointed out the cherry-picking done by CBS, but if you watch the video, it makes the administration look pretty good. You'd have to work pretty hard to use that tape to make them look bad.....and that's what CBS tried to do.
3. #157 On tapes.
This is known.
Bush was tolded that the levees could be "topped", meaning water could spill over the top.
Blanco said that a "breach" is unlikely. MSM and DNC said "Bush was warned that the levies would breach and lied about it 4 days later". They (Bush haters) didn't bother to doctor the tapes, they just lied about what was in them.
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
- Newspaper Frontpage Scans
- Kind Women
- Newspapers Online
- Internet Film Data Base
- Lib Congress Oral History Tapes
- L.A. Library Search
- Family Winemakers of California
- Phil Hendrie, Sick Dude