Thursday, June 28, 2007

Just Two Quick Seemingly Unrelated Points...

Someone needs to clue in Ann Coulter that while she indeed has the right to spread her brand of cultural pollutant, others have the right to reject it, and recommend that others do the same. That right does not disappear when one becomes a presidential candidate, or the wife of a presidential candidate.

Oh, I still wonder though: What's the point of even engaging this? The more coverage she gets, the more power she has.

Taking my own advice, I'll stop talking about her... See, that was easy!

Oh, and just as a sort of brief statement on my view of the much discussed fairness doctrine...

It's bad policy. Fundamentally bad. Illiberal, actually. I actually plan to discuss at length later, but I just wanted to share that.

Well, I Guess That's It For Immigration Reform

Another key vote was today, and it fell 14 votes short. The way things were going in the Senate yesterday, I wasn't sure this would pass anyway. Oh well, I guess we don't get secure borders, or a rational immigration policy then.

UPDATE: If you say so, I guess. (Sigh...)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Chipmunk High Seriousness

It's all too much for him to bear.

HT: Garance

Young Liberal Hawks Unite!!

Yes, this makes a lot of sense to me, and quite frankly (with a few qualifications), I like it a lot.

Kee p in mind, that I'm not suggesting that we should be somehow uncritical of the justifications of war, or fail to criticize war policy when appropriate, or even that this study is at all ironclad. Nor am I suggesting that the current tough times in Iraq are not a reality (I still cling to hope, however). I just think that younger, more liberal people tend to be more cautiously idealistic about the prospects of defending freedom abroad. Remember that a lot of the opposition to this war came (and still comes) from old-school conservatives.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Now Maybe I'm Grabbing At Straws,

but this statement:

I’ve heard all the rhetoric — you’ve heard it, too — about how this is amnesty. Amnesty means that you’ve got to pay a price for having been here illegally, and this bill does that.”

hardly counts as an admission of the recently revived comprehensive reform bill as being amnesty. I know how opponents of this bill would like to cast it that way, but it's not. It's just another regrettable Bush gaffe. He does have a habot of those, you know.

Ok, I'm done with this.

UPDATE: James M. in the comments, who supports the bill, argues that this bill is amnesty, and supporters should just admit that. With all due respect, I cannot that do that. This is not amnesty. It's a sort of leniency, sure, but not amnesty. Now, if one believes that the penalties are too light, than we can debate that, but let's be clear on the meaning of words first.

Monday, June 25, 2007

On The Benoit Tragedy

Wow. I'm still at a loss for words. The wrestling world has lost one of the greatest of all time, in Chris Benoit. Chris, his wife Nancy ("Woman" from WCW and ECW), and his son Daniel were found dead this afternoon at their home in Atlanta. Still can't believe it. I was certainly shocked not to see him at the PPV last night, and I, we lost another great one, folks. Chris Benoit will be missed (along with Woman), and my heart goes out to his family.

Tonight's Raw was scrapped, and a very moving three hour tribute to Benoit was done. It was really good. The McMahon "death" angle has been scrapped (Vince and crew handled tonight's show with as much class as anyone could). I wanted that angle over with, but not like this.

Again, Chris Benoit, RIP.

UPDATE: Apparently, their deaths are being ruled a double murder-suicide. Good Heavens, this is horrible.

UPDATE #2: It's been confirmed. Apparently, Benoit killed his wife and son over the weekend, and himself late on Sunday. Good God, this just gets worse and worse. WWE has removed all tributes from TV and the website, and Vince has apologized for the tribute. Honestly, the WWE handled this the best they could. None of us knew the whole story at the time. Still don't know what to think.

UPDATE #3: I removed the picture, and adjusted the title, as you can see. I just doesn't feel right leaving it there, for obvious reasons.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I'm Sure She Bought It Because She Thought It Was Hip,

but perhaps Cameron Diaz really should have thought things through just a bit more, because sometimes a fashion statement isn't just a fashion statement, you know?

Let me be clear and say that I don't think Diaz is a Maoist. Rather, I suspect she had no clue of the meaning of the imagery:

A prominent Peruvian human rights activist said the star of "There's Something About Mary" should have been a little more aware of local sensitivities when picking her accessories.

True dat.

UPDATE: I fixed the link.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

About That New Hillary Ad, Part II

You know, I didn't quite see it first, but I thjink Ann Althouse really is on to something with this ad. I'm a writer (I'd like to think of myself as one), so I usually pick up on these things. I'm not sure if I was just being lazy, or what, but the carrot vs onion rings sexual imagery fits.

Oh, and I guess the carrot really is a phallic symbol. Nothing like those masturbation stories, huh? Thanks, Google!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

About That New Hillary Ad...

I've seen the ad, and frankly I thought it was cool. I suspect that there are various reasons why Hillary chose to do the ad, and various interpretations of its meaning. In case you haven't seen it, it's a spoof of the final scene of The Sopranos, with Bill and Hillary sitting in the diner, eating, picking songs in the jukebox. Ann Althouse has an interesting analysis, but I think she reads a bit too much into it.

I think the problem of non-Sopranos watchers is interesting, but it's fair to say that Hillary made a safe judgment in assuming that the average person who would watch the ad probably watched, or at least heard of the show, and with the coverage of the finale, the reference was already out there. Of course, assumptions are by their nature fallible. I suspect the only ones who would think using a Sopranos reference is elitist, are those who probably won't vote for her anyway.

Ann's second point is entirely valid. Let us not forget that in the midst of this great story about these complex characters, that we're dealing with hardcore criminals. Tony Soprano is the protagonist, but he is the boss of an organized crime family, and Carmela turns a blind eye. We love these characters, but they aren't exactly role models. Such associations could backfire. You know full well how this could be spun.

The rest of it I'm not touching, because it reeks of reading too much. As one commenter put it, sometimes an onion ring is just an onion ring (BTW, the carrot really is a phallic symbol? I didn't know that!).

At the end of the day, just as the show was a show about family, that happened to involve mobsters, this ad was a clever way for Hillary to try to be hip, current, and edgy, I suppose.

And Johnny Sack was in it. That was cool.

Oh, and the comments are getting ugly on her blog, BTW.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Foibles of Modern Journalism Notwithstanding,

This isn't just an overstatement, this is outright bomb-throwing hysteria. Don't get me wrong, the media truly needs to do a better job in practically every area, but the way Dick McDonald tells it, you'd think..well I'll just let you read it.

What The Heck Was That?

The Sopranos finale just ended. SPOILER ALERT. Everyone except Meadow is sitting at the table in the restaurant, and Meadow is taking forever trying to park. She finally gets through the door, and...blackout. Blackout. THen credits. No music. I thought my cable was out, but that was the end. Confused as hell. Did David Chase execute the biggest swerve of all? Were they all killed, and we just don't get to see it? Did he just override all speculation and just decide to leave us in the dark, forever?

You don't end a series with a cliffhanger! WTF?!

Is it really the end? Was the biggest swerve that this wasn't the real finale? I don't know what to think.

UPDATE: You know what, after reading the comments over at Althouse, I'm wondering if the feeling in my gut is correct that this a stroke of genius by Chase. In one sense he wants us to suffer, never really knowing, and in other sense he expects we'll be figuring out the ending in our heads for years. Heck, we could just look at it for what we saw: Tony and his family lived. Period.

UPDATE#2: You know what, I think this guy nails it.

UPDATE#3: Well, if you were looking for the big bang finale, it seems the WWE has done it. I was thinking in the back of my head how crazy it would be if something like the limo blowing up happened, and how it would never happen. That's silly. And then it happened. Wow. REally didn't see that coming, that it actually happened, I mean.

Friday, June 08, 2007

It's Starting To Sink In

This Sunday really is the final episode of The Sopranos. No kidding. It is really is starting to sink in.

The Grand Bargain Fails

The comprehensive immigration reform bill may have been dealt the death blow yesterday in the Senate. I really do plan on blogging about this later in-depth, but frankly, I'm kind of worn out. There has been so much hysteria and distortion in this debate, that one wonders whether anything will get done. Marc Cooper basically calls it on why the bill failed:

Meanwhile, the "grand bargain" immigration reform bill has collapsed in the Senate. For this I blame opponents in both parties. The bill was essentially amended-to-death by a fruit salad of Republicans and Democrats who were cynically trying to smother it.

Shame on them.

Here's the bald truth about comprehensive immigration reform: there were only two real-world choices. Either pass an imperfect bill that would at least begin to improve the current outrage of policy. Or do nothing and conform to the current outrage of policy. Period. Compromise or Death, to paraphrase Fidel Castro. Any body who believes differently is living on a different planet.

Now what do we have? From the perspective of the restrictionist Right, instead of bringing some order and some identification to the sea of undocumented in America, we will continue to have 12 million "illegals" around (whom I suppose will continue to serve as convenient scapegoats). And, take my word for it, they will continue to pour across the border -- fortified or otherwise.

From the perspective of the restrictionist Left, those like Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan who helped kill this bill by objecting to the guest worker program, an equally pyrrhic victory has been achieved. In the name of protecting American workers from job-grubbing braceros, as well as protecting would-be guest workers from becoming super-exploited braceros, they have now guaranteed the continued existence of a 12 million strong pool of low-wage undocumented workers -- most of them bereft of any labor or legal protection and not very different from braceros.

Many are wondering if the system is totally broken, and have called this "a scathing indictment of the political culture in Washington." Mickey Kaus, (whom I disagree with on this--I'm pretty sure he's against the bill) nonetheless has some interesting points on the coverage and politics of the bill, basically pointing out that for various reasons (see above as well as his analysis), that it just wasn't going to pass. The anti-immigrant and anti-guest worker program forces just couldn't agree. The far-right wants to basically deport them all (regardless of how much they tell you otherwise), and regard anything less as amnesty, and many on the Left have issues with the guest worker aspect.

At the end of the day, as one who supports comprehensive reform, one wonders about the future of this thing. I'm continually reminded of the line in Pulp Fiction, in which Marsellus says to Butch:

"You came close, but you never made it, and if you were gonna make it, you would've made it before now."

Sounds a lot like John Edwards' political future, but I'll leave that segue for later in the day.

UPDATE: I want to reiterate how much this debate is totally off-balance. The anti-immigrant right, while refusing to budge on this, fails to own up to its own arguments. Michelle Malkin wishes her critics would stop accusing her and the opponents of comprehensive reform of wanting to deport all 12 million undocumented workers. I'm more than happy to do that, Michelle, but I'm afraid you'll actually have to stop advocating that position first. O'Reilly said on his show that the Left doomed the bill with unpopular amendments. The fact is, the GOP base opposed this bill from the start, and would've found any reason to kill it. As it's been said, they don't want real reform. The opponents of the bill, are the ones who are for amnesty. It's that simple.

Paris Hilton Back To Jail

Ok, then. Story here.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Paris Hilton in Jail

I just wanted to share my thoughts on Paris Hilton's jail time and the supposed implications...wait, hold on..what? She's out? Really? Damn, that was quick. Oh, never mind, then.

HT: Althouse

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Christopher Hitchens on the Stakes, and how the Far-Left Fails To Acknowlege Them

This is good. A little religion-bashing thrown in, but it is good. The look on lack-witted Chris Hedges' face at the end is priceless.

Hat tip: David Thompson

UPDATE: From Zombietime, comes a full-report on the debate, and the context, as well as more videos.