Billy Crystal: Still got it
No, I didn’t watch the Oscars, but I did read a story on it. Billy Crystal was the host and, as usual, managed to show he’s still got it. The comment he made while talking with best actress nominee Keisha Castle-Hughes regarding his own first show 13 years ago is priceless. Even if you’re a fan of President Bush, you have to admit this was funny:
|Space Here||“Things were different. Bush was president, the economy was tanking and we were at war in Iraq,” he said.||Space Here|
Who’s making the unsubstantiated claims now, Hans?
In the wake of allegations that other members of the UN have had their offices and phones bugged, Hans Blix is now claiming that the US was spying on him. He explicitly states that he has no evidence of any kind that any such bugging went on. The story even relates that a telephone problem at his house prompted him to get the UN anti-surveillance team to come in to check for bugs. Obviously they didn’t find anything, but that’s not stopping Mr. Blix from saying we were doing it anyway. I guess it’s OK to make the baseless claims when he’s the one doing it.
Blatant Racism in Congress – Updated
You know there are racists out there. Most of the time it’s even a subtle thing. The obvious ones are usually shunned and dismissed, as they should be. You almost never see it in publicly-elected officials because there’s just too much oversight by the press and constituents for it to go unchallenged. So it’s with great surprise that I read about comments made by U.S. Representative Corrine Bown directed at Assistant Secretary of State Roger Noriega during a hearing yesterday. From the article:
|Space Here||U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown verbally attacked a top Bush administration official during a briefing on the Haiti crisis Wednesday, calling the President’s policy on the beleaguered nation “racist” and his representatives “a bunch of white men.”
Her outburst was directed at Assistant Secretary of State Roger Noriega during a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill. Noriega, a Mexican-American, is the State Department’s top official for Latin America
Brown sat directly across the table from Noriega and yelled into a microphone. Her comments sent a hush over the hourlong meeting, which was attended by about 30 people, including several members of Congress and Bush administration officials.
Noriega later told Brown: “As a Mexican-American, I deeply resent being called a racist and branded a white man,” according to three participants.
Brown then told him “you all look alike to me,” the participants said.
These comments should be loudly and publicly condemned, both in Congress and in the Media’s editorials. I can assure you that any white official making a similar comment about a black official would be hearing howls of anger and calls for removal from office. The added fact that Mr. Noriega is clearly Latino, not Caucasian, only adds to the mess. Ms. Brown should be making a serious, serious apology for her racist remarks. And that apology had better not include anything remotely like “but I was only thinking about the Haitians”, etc., etc. It should be an apology – one felt seriously – and nothing more.
I don’t expect her to step up and do the right thing, but it should be interesting to watch what happens next in any case.
Update – As expected, Rep.Corrine Brown issued the standard “I apologize but not really” statement in response to the comments made to Mr. Noriega. She didn’t mean to offend Noriega by telling him that he and all other white men “all look alike to me.” She doesn’t say that she didn’t mean it, mind you, only that she never intended Mr. Noriega to be offended. One wonders just what Mr. Noriega’s response was supposed to be. Oh, and to the rest of the white men out here: you’re all racists anyway, so who gives a flip if you’re offended?
The remainder of the statement is nothing more that the aforementioned “I was only thinking about the Haitians” crap. I note that her statement goes to great lengths to accuse the administration of being racist, racist, racist for staying out of Haiti. This from the same woman who voted against sending troops into Iraq. Her statement invokes the human suffering of the Haitians when she says, “Indeed, there is a terrible crisis on the island, and the U.S. government is sitting idly by while thousands and thousands of Haitians will likely be slaughtered when the rebel groups reach the Capitol.” She is less concerned, apparently, for the millions of Iraqis that suffered quite similarly. Now why is that?
Of equal interest is the literal silence on the matter in the mainstream media. Go check out CNN, the Washington Post, CBS, ABC, and MSNBC and guess what you’ll find on the subject? Nothing. Not a single word. If this had been Trent Lott speaking to Jessie Jackson you wouldn’t have been able to escape the firestorm of media attention on the topic anywhere. For all the badmouthing they get, Fox News was the only national news source to carry the story (and a follow-up). Even the Miami Herald, which carried the original story I linked to, doesn’t have the follow up and doesn’t produce the article when you search for Ms. Brown’s name! No media bias? I see plenty of bias here. A Democrat black woman mouths off like this and no one issues a peep. A Republican white guy makes a comment that doesn’t come half this distance to being blatantly racist and they’re all screaming for his head. Totally expected but pathetic and inexcusable nonetheless.
Repeating the lie: saying it over and over doesn’t make it so
I caught this story regarding comments made by Senator Clinton critical of the Bush Administration’s foreign policy. Her reference to the President’s “go-it-alone” policies and belief in independent action flies in the face of the facts. Once again, a Democratic official is trying to paint the actions in Iraq as “Bush’s war” and a “unilateral action” on the part of the administration. As the President himself so eloquently replied to such criticism in his State of the Union address:
|Space Here||“Some critics have said our duties in Iraq must be internationalized. This particular criticism is hard to explain to our partners in Britain, Australia, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Italy, Spain, Poland, Denmark, Hungary, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania, the Netherlands, Norway, El Salvador, and the 17 other countries that have committed troops to Iraq.”||Space Here|
Get it through your head, Senator. We are not in Iraq alone. We have allies there, they’re just not the allies you’re wishing were there. Just because France, Germany and Russia have declined to be part of the Coalition doesn’t suddenly make our alliances with other nations go poof. We have some fine friends in there with us, and your constant repetition of a factually incorrect statement doesn’t make you right. It’s also insulting to the efforts of those allies working with us, not that you care, obviously.
MyDoom still running around
In case any of you have grown complacent, be advised that MyDoom is still around. I just had the MyDoom.F worm knock at my door. Fortunately, a combination of vigilance and updated anti-virus software kept the little vermin from doing anything. Are you as prepared?
RH-66 Comanche Helo Cancelled
Twenty years in the making, $6.9 billion spent, and the Army has cancelled the RH-66 Comanche helicopter program. The Comanche was to be the replacement for the Apache attack helo with added capability to perform as a recon ship as well. The decision today means the Apache will be required for several more years.
The Army has said they will use the money that had been going to the program to purchase helicopters for the Guard and Reserve and also for technology updates to existing birds. Boeing & Sikorsky Aviation, the contractors building the Comanche, were apparently quite surprised by the announcement. Between this cancellation, the halting of the A-12 Avenger II aircraft for the Navy, and the Crusader artillery weapon for the Army, there’s been an awful lot of expensive weapons systems getting the axe in the last several years. Guess all those combat flight simulators for the Comanche will have to be re-packaged, eh?
NEA = Terrorists? UPDATE
Education Secretary Rod Paige described the largest teachers’ union in the country, the National Education Association, as a “terrorist organization” on Monday. He was referring to the Union’s “obstructionist tactics” and the observation that it sometimes acts contrary to the wishes of its rank-and-file. He later released a written statement calling the remark “an inappropriate choice of words.”
No, Rod, calling an androgynous lesbian a “bull dyke” is an inappropriate choice of words. Saying a woman with light hair and a less-than-stellar IQ is a “dumb blonde” is an inappropriate choice of words. Calling the NEA a terrorist organization is factually incorrect, vehemently insulting, and – in every sense I can mean it – wrong. Following the now-familiar practice of issuing an apology that doesn’t apologize doesn’t make things right, either. I would imagine if someone referred to you, Mr. Paige, as loudmouthed black who got where he was because someone higher up felt they needed to darken up the cabinet a little, you’d be less than impressed with a statement from that person saying his words should have been chosen better. You chose the words you did because you obviously can’t differentiate between what a terror group is and a group of Americans who happen to disagree with your politics.
President Bush should come out and flatly state that the comment was uncalled for and dead wrong. He should say that he’s had a talk with Mr. Paige and made sure the Secretary understands precisely what direction he should be going in and that if anything even remotely like this happens again, he’ll fire Mr. Paige using a cannon. It likely won’t happen, but that’s what he should do.
Update – As of this morning, no action from the President but there’s plenty of other stuff flying over this issue. Now, the concept that the comments were a “joke” is being offered. No sale. This wasn’t a joke and anyone who thought or thinks it was is simply being an idiot. Mr. Paige should depart public service. If he can’t muster the courage and honor to resign on his own, the President should show him the door.
DC Sniper Denied Second Trial
In a bit of good news that raises my estimation of the judiciary of late, Manassas, Virginia Circuit Court Judge Millette denied a retrial to John Muhammad, one of the 2 convicted DC snipers. He also denied a defense motion to acquit him. Muhammad is slated to be sentenced on March 9 and the jury that convicted him recommended the death penalty.
Can’t happen soon enough.
Warning to employees: stand well clear of the milk steamer!
|Space Here||MADISON, Maine (AP) – Tired of the same old Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts? The Madison Planning Board tonight takes up a man’s application to open a topless coffee shop on Main Street.
Normand St. Michel says his plan to employ partially nude waitresses is intended to boost the establishment’s chances of success. He says the idea is to do something different to attract coffee drinkers.
Guess it’s time to take up that daily latte habit again!
“Passion” raising passions
I am amazed at the number of people out here who have not yet seen the new Mel Gibson movie “Passion” yet are screaming that it’s anti-semetic. Why is it anti-semetic, you ask? Because it portays Christ as having been killed by the Jews.
OK, let’s examine that for a moment. The records, both in the Bible and in whatever secular records we’ve been able to recover, very clearly show that it was the Romans who actually crucified Jesus. I can’t imagine anyone claiming any different. But why did the Romans do that? The secular records aren’t entirely clear – there’s not that many of them – but it is generally accepted that the Hebrew Scribes and leaders didn’t care for what Jesus was advocating. They did not like that he taught religious topics and was yet not one of the priests. While they weren’t the ones who nailed Jesus to the cross, they were the ones that got him put there to begin with. In our legal system here, that certainly qualifies for someone to be charged with some variant of murder. The concept that they “killed” Christ isn’t too far a stretch.
So is that anti-semetic? If the then-Jews actually were involved and did what it’s claimed they did, how can saying they killed Christ be anti-semetic? The truth is the truth and if it hurts, oh well. Every culture on earth has moments its present members would rather forget. No one currently living had any say in what went on back there, and that’s the important thing. Gibson’s movie sounds to be as close a representation of what really happened as he can achieve. I will likely go myself (if my 2-year-old lets me…) and then I can say for sure. In the meantime, here’s a suggestion to the Jewish community: get over it.