Archive for the ‘culture’ Category

Obama said to me, “I bowl like a retard”

March 21, 2009

“If you say things like that on Leno, what do you say at home?”

That was the question posed by Hannah Jacobs, an advocate for those with special needs, on the Fox News channel during the 7-8 AM hour on March 21.

“What was he thinking?”

“He was saying, ‘I bowl like a retard,'” Jacobs said.

The reason we have so called “political corerctness” is because pwople want to point out that sometimes what you think and say is who you are: which may cause others some problems.

President Obama didn’t just make a funny joke or a gaffe on Obama the other night: he offended a lot of people who think he also revealed to us who he really is.

“He hurt a lot of American families and a lot of good people,” a reader emailed to us.

We are sure as hell that if Joe Biden said some racial slur, there would be a huge public outcry….

Just a thought…..
“This was a degrading remark about our world’s most precious and unique people, coming from the most powerful position in the world,” Sarah Palin said in a statement released Friday.
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“These athletes overcome more challenges, discrimination and adversity than most of us ever will. By the way, these athletes can outperform many of us and we should be proud of them. I hope President Obama’s comments do not reflect how he truly feels about the special needs community.”

Palin’s son, Trig, has Down Syndrome.

Related:
American Democracy With Checks and Balances is Broken; Media, Congress Failing

 Psst: Obama; Biden Was Supposed To Be the Gaffe Prone Guy

Obama Fails During Tone-Deaf, Humorless Week: No Progress on Economy, Russia, Iran

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) laughs as he speaks to host ... 
U.S. President Barack Obama (L) laughs as he speaks to host Jay Leno on the NBC late night comedy show “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” in Burbank, California March 19, 2009. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Related from CNN:
“R-Word” Can Be Hurtful
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/0
3/20/obama.special.olympics/index.html

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“Republicans Rape Truth,” and The “Over the Top”

February 12, 2009

You come to us today on your bicycles after buying Girl Scout cookies and helping out Mother Teresa and telling us ‘we’re sorry, we didn’t mean it, we won’t do it again, trust us.’ Well, I have some people in my constituency that actually robbed some of your banks and they say the same thing.”

“America doesn’t trust you any more… I don’t have one single penny in any of your banks — not one…. I don’t want my money put into CDOs and credit default swaps and humongous bonuses.”

That tongue lashing came from Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MASS) to some of America’s top bankers yesterday.

Cute, self-serving and unnecessary.

Here’s a suggestion nobody will follow — aimed at all those involved in political theater: and you know who you are.

Over the top language just used to get your face on TV and, worse, to distort the truth, demeans our political pocess and tells our children that politics and lawmaking is a game of buffoonery for buffoons.

Politics, we have to conclude, is a say anything and get yourself on TV game.

Rod Blagoyevich showed that.

And he got into trouble.

But nobody seems to have learned anything from him.  Blago has been dismissed as an abhorrent aberration.  An abomination.  Shame on him.

But every other jerkweeed still in office can say what he wants.

Over night, nearly every TV report on the testimony of bank executives before Congress started with “Bankers were hauled before Congress yesterday…”

Well, “hauled,” in the care of people and not furniture, is a pejorative use of the word.

People going before Congress are being “hauled” these days because they are about to be pilloried as in exposed to ridicule and abuse.

That’s what it looks like so that is why media thinks “hauled” is appropriate.

Listen to the tone of testimoy and ask yourself, “are we seeking truth? ” Or are we  just being critical in the form of a question?

So you have to expect media to use a word like “hauled” when they  see the antics of Congressmen acting like moneys and putting words into the mouths of those executives they invited to testify.  Often at Congressional testimony the witnesses are  in jobs those we elected could never, ever be expected to do themselves because they just aren’t good enough.

Demonizing executives and others at testimony is demeaning.  Demonizing makes one feel superior, I suppose….  But in the end the practicioners might just end up like Blago (and I hope they do).

The legislators are making a mockery of the systems created by Jefferson and Washington to do what?  Get on TV?  Get reelected?  Distort the truth?  Create wrong impressions?  All of the above?

I remember when party leaders would quietly put an end to childish behavior.  But now there are too few senior legistalors left who have good sense and good manners themselves.

John Warner went home.

Are these antics in hearings meant to show that lawmakers are superior to workers and executives?

Well, you know what?  I just don’t believe that the lawmakers are smarter than anybody….  especially when they need to grab the “over the top” tool so often.

Making money pays taxes and hires people and pays for health care.  Witnesses who make money and provide jobs and pay taxes should be treated with respect.  In fact; we should treat all with respect and allow them to dig their own graves — which is what many lawmakers are generally good at.

President Obama, no virgin at “over the top” language, said Monday night,  “the federal government is the only entity left with the resources to jolt our economy back into life.”

He didn’t even say “good government.”

He also characterized the stimulus debate as a talk between those who had a solution (Democrats) and those who had no solution (Republicans). Of course if this were true there would be no need for bipartisanship — which has been sent to the ash heap after what?  Three weeks?

Can we never be honest? 

No.

Our government has become a pack of dishonest hacks making a mockery of good government.  And that government is about to get even bigger.

Those with some years and wisom watch all this over the top buffoonery on TV and shake their heads in dismay — many of us retired and will die soon, thank God…. with memories of Truman, FDR and Lincoln.

Well, not Lincoln.  That would be over the top.

The youngsters among us might just watch these jerks on TV because they have no jobs and are awaiting the only institution the president says can help: government.

Good luck.

Bad government.

Related:
“Banking Spanking”: Barney Franks Unleashed

Obama: Let’s Be More Honest About Economy, Plans, Republicans

Quotes from the banking hearings:
http://www.reuters.com/article/ousiv/id
USTRE51A7GY20090211

Methamphetamine use costs U.S. $23 billion a year

February 4, 2009

Methamphetamine use costs the United States about $23.4 billion a year considering lost lives and productivity, drug treatment, law enforcement expenses and other factors, according to a report released on Wednesday.

Methamphetamine, also called meth, is a highly addictive stimulant that users inject, snort, smoke or swallow. A form called crystal meth looks like fragments of glass and is smoked using a glass pipe like those used to smoke crack cocaine.

By Will Dunham, Reuters

The report by the nonprofit RAND Corporation found that costs relating to the 900 people who died from using meth in 2005 and the addiction of many thousands of others accounted for two-thirds of the total economic burden.

“Our study represents the most comprehensive assessment so far of the economic costs of meth use in the United States. It shows the impact of methamphetamine is substantial,” RAND economist Nancy Nicosia said in a telephone interview.

Arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating methamphetamine users plus the economic cost of various crimes they commit amounted to $4.2 billion in 2005, according to the report.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/2009020
4/hl_nm/us_methamphetamine_usa

Oprah, Britney, China, ‘If U Seek Amy’ and What Next Rod Blagojevich?

January 26, 2009

China says there is porn everywhere and has shut down over 1,000 web sites to show who’s boss.  Britney Spears supporters say her new album “Circus” is all about fun but critics say she is spelling a nasty word for intercourse in the song about Amy.

And Rod Blagojevich is saying his impeachment is not aboout selling the Senate seat once held by Barack Obama and he is pleading his case on TV and everywhere else….

Blago says he thought about naming Oprah to the Senate….

Here’s what we think: China cares nothing for public morality but it does want to totally control all media so that pro-democracy messages and movements are difficult.

Britney is just trying to make money.

Oprah would be a horrible senator as she doesn’t do her homework.  But then, that is where a lot of people go when they don’t do their homework.

And screw Blago….

Related:
Internet: Do You Really Believe China Cares About Porn, Public Morality?

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From New York Daily News

Britney Spears is back, annoying parent groups with a new song they say is a crude lyrical trick that doesn’t belong on the airwaves.

The song’s title, “If U Seek Amy,” is sung in such a way as to sound like a crass entreaty instead of advice for finding a girl, according to the Parents Television Council.

“There is no misinterpreting the lyrics to this song, and it’s certainly not about a girl named Amy,” council President Tim Winter said of the third single from Spears’ new album, “Circus.”

Officials from Spears’ label, Jive, could not be reached for comment.

From:
http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/2009/01/21/
2009-01-21_britney_spears_comes_under_fire_fo
r_cras.html

Actress/singer Britney Spears appears on ABC's "Good Morning America" to promote her new album "Circus" and celebrate her 27th birthday at Lincoln Center in New York City on December 2, 2008.    (UPI Photo/Ezio Petersen)
Actress/singer Britney Spears appears on ABC’s “Good Morning America” to promote her new album “Circus” and celebrate her 27th birthday at Lincoln Center in New York City on December 2, 2008. (UPI Photo/Ezio Petersen)

Asian New Year Down in Many Countries Due To Economy

January 25, 2009

Our Vietnamese-American New Year got off to a slow start I thought and our pastor said to enjoy God’s blessings.

In years past, we just had fun!

Then a friend suggested the economy had depress the New Year’s start globally, which is undoubtedly true….

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From Czech News, Czech Republic

“They say the year of the water buffalo will not be good. People who are born this year will have to work hard,” Mr. Hai says worryingly in a Vietnamese restaurant Little Hanoi in Prague’s outskirts where a celebration of New Year is about to begin.

The Vietnamese zodiac calls 2009 the year of the water buffalo and the Czech Vietnamese community is likely to experience a bad year, not only because of the water buffalo.

Hard Times

Lots of food and fun festivities welcome the Vietnamese Lunar New Year. This time Prague’s Vietnamese community invited Czech journalists to celebrate New Year with them and thus discover the charms of Vietnam’s most popular holiday called Tet.
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The relaxed atmosphere of the Tet celebration was however occasionally interrupted by a mention of the economic downturn that has mercilessly hit the world, including the Czech Republic.

“Why don’t you wish this economic crisis is over soon,” says one of the Vietnamese organizers to a guest who is about to say his wish to a Vietnamese-sign painter.

It is understood by everybody present in the room why the guest should wish the end of the economic crisis. The facts are well known – Czech factories are massively sacking employees and foreign workers are the first ones to lose their jobs.

As soon as their work contracts are terminated, jobless foreigners must return home but often find themselves in a difficult situation, not having any money to buy a ticket. According to humanitarian organizations, hundreds if not thousands of Vietnamese happen to be in a such desperate situation.
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“Laying off people is a great problem. We are trying to find some kind of solution for these people, get them a new working permit and we have been appealling to Czech companies to give them at least temporary jobs,” says Le Minh Cau, vice-president of the Vietnamese Association in the Czech Republic.
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According to Marcel Winter, the chairman of the Czech Vietnamese Society, the Vietnamese markets that are so abundant in every Czech town are expected to disappear in about three years as a consequence of the global economic meltdown.

“We conducted a survey and our profits dropped down to half in the past year. It is because of the financial crisis,” representative of Asia Dragon Bazar Hong Nguyen said for Aktuálně.cz not long ago. “The truth is nobody really knows what is going to happen,” he added.
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In January a Czech green card program kicked off, which allows guest workers to get working permits in the country but has been limited to 12 non-EU countries by the Interior Ministry. Vietnam was excluded over alleged security risks. The only Asian countries included in the list are Japan and South Korea.
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The Vietnamese community is the third largest immigrant group in the Czech Republic and Vietnam is also among the 9 priority countries of Czech development aid.
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The Czech Republic is the only country in the world that has been providing a continuous humanitarian or development aid since 1945. The first Vietnamese came to the country in 1950 and the prolific cooperation went on until 1989 when the communist government was toppled.

Fixing America: Obama Challenges us To Beat Back Raging Consumerism and Metastasizing Celebrity Culture

January 25, 2009

Feckless as it was for Bush to ask Americans to go shopping after 9/11, we all too enthusiastically followed his lead, whether we were wealthy, working-class or in between. We spent a decade feasting on easy money, don’t-pay-as-you-go consumerism and a metastasizing celebrity culture. We did so while a supposedly cost-free, off-the-books war, usually out of sight and out of mind, helped break the bank along with our nation’s spirit and reputation.

By Frank Rich
The New York Times

We can’t keep blaming 43 for everything, especially now that we don’t have him to kick around anymore. On Tuesday the new president pointedly widened his indictment beyond the sins of his predecessor. He spoke of those at the economic pinnacle who embraced greed and irresponsibility as well as the rest of us who collaborated in our “collective failure to make hard choices.” He branded as sub-American those who “prefer leisure over work or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame.” And he wasn’t just asking Paris Hilton “to set aside childish things.” As Linda Hirshman astutely pointed out on The New Republic’s Web site, even Obama’s opening salutation — “My fellow citizens,” not “fellow Americans” — invoked the civic responsibilities we’ve misplaced en masse.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/2
5/opinion/25rich.html?_r=1

New Year In Asia: Time for Great Food!

January 24, 2009

News of the impending Chinese Lunar New Year or “Tet,” the aroma of my Mother-in-Law’s fresh hot “heart of beast” soup, plus a news story about the Hanoi Zoo and a brief encounter with a friendly black dog reminded me today that it is almost that magical time of year: the celebration of great eating.

No, not “Super Bowl Sunday.”

TET!

My wife’s Mom cooks up many a great delicacy and today it was “heart of beast” soup. I call it this because I have no idea where the heart comes from.

And I mean I don’t know what animal or what vendor.

And I don’t want to know. Like many things Asian, it is made in a mysterious way and it is enough to know that it is no good without a lot of heart…

The BBC News reported today that the Hanoi Zoo had been caught illegally trading in rare animal parts. Carcasses of tigers, elephants and other creatures of God’s good earth had been discovered in strange places. Some parts had been sold or “trafficked.” Some were wrapped in the freezer. An Asian friend said, “Some great eating there.”

Sumatran tiger, file image 

Tigers are used in traditional Asian medicines

Elephant?

I said I didn’t want to know….

Finally, we met a friendly black dog today. We admired her and petted her. Her owner said, “Ten years old. And you know what they say in China? The best dog is black dog.”

I had a feeling this remark came from a chef and not a vet or a dog trainer.

But I didn’t ask.

Related:

I Have Eaten A Pack of Dogs and a Flock of Crow But “Hold the Penis”

How about a nice hot bowl of horse meat and noodle during the Super Bowl?

What’s For Sale? Everything! What Is Virginity Going For?

January 22, 2009

Everything in America is for sale and if you don’t beieve it visit EBay.  But in this economy, even EBay is at a loss so more goodies are being offered for cash….

After reading a short news story about a woman auctioning her virginity, a news anchor in Washington DC said, “Sounds like a good person.”

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Is a woman’s virginity worth $3.8 million? That’s how much Natalie Dylan, a 22-year-old from San Diego, California, said she has been offered through an auction she announced in September.

Read the rest:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/
01/22/virginity.value/index.html

Related:
 Woman Auctions Her Virginity: “Sounds Like A Nice Person”
The London Telegraph's Web site is reporting that Natalie Dylan, a 22-year-old San Diego woman, said she got the idea for the auction after her sister was able to pay for her college educaion after prostituting herself for three weeks.

Natalie Dylan, a 22-year-old San Diego woman, said she got the idea for the auction after her sister was able to pay for her college education after prostituting herself for three weeks, according to the London Telegraph.

Barcroft)

End Of The Era Of Books, Author Says

January 21, 2009

Novelist, essayist and screenwriter Larry McMurtry makes a rare Houston speaking appearance Wednesday night when he delivers the 2009 Friends of Fondren Library Distinguished Guest Lecture.

Best-known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning novelLonesome Dove, the 72-year-old McMurtry remains extraordinarily prolific. He contributes frequently to the New York Review of Books. His screenplay for Brokeback Mountain, co-written with Diana Ossana, won an Academy Award in 2006.

And while he has turned in the last decade to memoir, chronicling his evolution as a writer and antiquarian-book dealer, he’s not done with fiction. His 29th novel hits bookstores later this year.

McMurtry also continues to operate Booked Up, his massive used- and rare-book shop in his hometown of Archer City.

He talked by phone with [Houston] Chronicle books editor Fritz Lanham.

Q: What will you talk about at Rice?

A: The end of the culture of the book. I’m pessimistic. Mainly it’s the flow of people into my bookshop in Archer City. They’re almost always people over 40.

I don’t see kids, and I don’t see kids reading. I think little kids love to have stories read to them, but when they get to 10 or 11 or 12, they run into this tsunami of technology: iPod, iPhone, Blackberries.

They don’t resist it, and it’s normal that they wouldn’t; it’s their culture. I’m not so sure they ever come back to reading. Some will, but most won’t.

Read the rest:
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/hea
dline/features/6221607.html

Gaza: Both Sides Claim “Victory” But All Looks Destroyed

January 19, 2009

The Parliament building here has been reduced to rubble. The five-story engineering department of the Islamic University is a pile of folded concrete. Police stations, mosques and hundreds of homes have been blown away.

By Ethan Bronner
The New York Times

But now that the battle is over — or has paused, after Hamas agreed Sunday to a one-week cease-fire with Israel — what has been accomplished is unclear. Have three weeks of overpowering war by Israel here weakened Hamas as Israel had hoped, or simply caused acute human suffering? Israel knew it could not destroy every rocket or kill every Hamas militant. Israel said its central aim was deterrence, to make Hamas lose the will to keep shooting at Israel’s cities. Did it succeed?

Israeli officials themselves said Sunday in briefings to the cabinet that even though Hamas institutions had been badly damaged, its militants might well keep shooting rockets just to prove otherwise. The chief of military intelligence, Amos Yadlin, asserted that even Hamas had to figure out how badly it had been harmed.

Most Palestinians are furious at Israel over damage like that in Rafah, in Gaza’s south, but there are signs that Gazans feel such pain that they will rein in Hamas.  Photo: Eyad Baba/Associated Press

What is clear is that, despite vague Israeli hopes that Hamas could be completely removed, that has not happened. Much of the group’s manpower remains, mostly because it made a point of fighting at a distance — or not at all — whenever possible despite the fury of the Israeli advance and bombardment.

The caution is at least in part because Hamas wants to keep ruling in Gaza, not return to its previous role as a pure resistance movement. Therefore, Israeli officials say, an offensive that caused average people to suffer put pressure on Hamas in real and specific ways.

“Hamas is the dominant organization in Gaza,” a top military official said in a briefing last week that was given on condition of anonymity. “They are the regime and feel very connected to the people. They do not want to lose that connection to the people.”

The Israeli theory of what it tried to do here is summed up in a Hebrew phrase heard across Israel and throughout the military in the past weeks: “baal habayit hishtageya,” or “the boss has lost it.” It evokes the image of a madman who cannot be controlled.

“This phrase means that if our civilians are attacked by you, we are not going to respond in proportion but will use all means we have to cause you such damage that you will think twice in the future,” said Giora Eiland, a former national security adviser.

It is a calculated rage. The phrase comes from business and refers to a decision by a shop owner to cut prices so drastically that he appears crazy to the consumer even though he knows he has actually made a shrewd business decision.

The Palestinians in Gaza got the message on the first day when Israeli warplanes struck numerous targets simultaneously in the middle of a Saturday morning. Some 200 were killed instantly, shocking Hamas and indeed all of Gaza, especially because Israel’s antirocket attacks in previous years had been more measured.

When Hamas’s prime minister, Ismail Haniya, appeared on Hamas television from his hiding spot last Monday, he picked up on the Israeli archetype, referring in Arabic to the battle under way as “el harb el majnouna,” the mad or crazy war.

For most, of course, feeling abused like this has created deep rage at Israel.

“If you want to make peace with the Palestinians, they are tired of bombs, drones and planes,” said Mohammad Abu Muhaisin, a 35-year-old resident of the southern city of Rafah who is affiliated with Fatah, the rival to Hamas that rules in the West Bank and was ejected from Gaza in June 2007. “But a guy whose child has just been killed doesn’t want peace. He wants war.”

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/19/
world/middleeast/19assess.html?_r=1&hp