Friday, June 2, 2017

Another Half-Assed Defense Of Kathy Griffin.

Please go away, KG. But not just yet.

Am I the only one who laughs out at he crash and burn press conference?

Griffin might make Lefties cringe and for good reason. She is honestly reflecting the malice that is The Left's very essence. It might seem like satire but her claims to victimization are no more ridiculous than the daily parade of creative grievance and harm. Griffin even recruits Sleazeball Hall Of Fame member, Lisa Bloom to, umm, uhh, I have no idea why Bloom is there but we can rest assured that some sort of legal action will be threatened.

If Griffin is an embarrassment to our social superiors, so be it. I never laughed at Kathy Griffin's shtick before but then again I never her saw her cry fake tears and claim refugee status. Yes, Griffin is a train wreck and out of respect, we should divert our eyes. But not just yet.

Note: I am not embedding her press conference. It's easy enough to find if you want to view it.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Once More: There Is No Middle Ground With The Left

If we owe anything to Barack Obama, it is that he has unmasked The Left for all to see. Leftism is not just one more ism. Or perhaps it fits James Joseph's description that the Left is like every other ism, only more so.

It is dangerous to think that we have common goals with The Left. Our goal is to improve health care. Their goal is to control health care. We might like to improve the economy. They want to control the economy. We see merit it improving education. They don't give a rat's ass about the quality of education, so long as the dole out the checks.

We want to make America great again. The Left's position is that America was never great but it was briefly redeemable before the 2010 wave elections. We want to drain the swamp, they want to organize the mosquitos.We would like to make places like Detroit and Chicago more livable, they want to keep the coffers out of the hands of Republicans. Citizens be damned.

It is not just incompatible goals, it is incompatible perspectives, It is a whole set of incompatible mental processes that pit a brain dead and dangerous mob against a coalition of the desperate. Donald Trump and Franklin Graham and Wayne Alan Root might not agree on anything at all except that they all perceive the real threat posed by George Soros, Barack Obama and their goose-stepping minions.

A lot of other people are saying something similar. That we are in a cold civil war and dialog is dead. This jumps off the page. It is from the ever-insightful Ace of Spades,

In order to learn at all, it is required that someone first believe that he has anything to learn at all, and we know that progressives do not see conservatives as people from whom anything can be learned -- they see us as subhumans to be re-educated and reconstructed into civilized savages who at least won't embarrass them as we tend their gardens.

Leftist students cannot be taught anything -- they now routinely scream at professors (you know, the people they're allegedly paying to learn from) that they must SHUT UP AND LISTEN. They come to the university already knowing all there is to know, and in fact are only present to teach their professors; one wonders, then, why it isn't the students being paid, and the professors paying tuition to learn their collective, shouty, expletive-filled wisdom.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

In Partial Defense Of Kathy Griffin

No matter how disgusting a person might be, there is something to be said for putting one's cards on the table. Kind of like the old black man who was more comfortable with bigots than with liberals because he understood the bigot's perspective. There was no hidden agenda.

Ditto ISIS and others who profess their desire to kill us. I respect their candor. So too, Kathy Griffin. Sure, Griffin is obnoxious but she has always been obnoxious. She has been a shock value for shock value sake kind of performer. She is labeled a comedian (or as we used to say, a comedienne) but she is more a performance artist than a wit. Her objective is more about getting a visceral reaction of any kind rather than spreading risibility. Like Popeye, she is, who she is,

So I have a morsel of respect for Kathy Griffin which is more than I have for Scott Pelley, Anderson Cooper, or any other purveyor of fake news. Their intent is to damage Donald Trump and all who support him. They will use falsehood, innuendo and character assassination of every kind imaginable to advance their objective. It's all done without the honesty and sincerity that Griffin brings to the table.

Kathy Griffin might be despicable but if we grade on the curve, she isn't half as bad as the colleagues in the fourth estate. But getting rid of Griffin...that is a good start.

Sununu Skewers CNN


Monday, May 29, 2017

The Myth Of One (Or Two) Bad Apples, Lone Nuts And Lone Wolves

One of my favorite movies is "And Justice For All." I have included the final scene below. If you have not seen the whole movie, you might want to skip the embed. It is a classic and should be viewed from beginning to end without edit or interruption.

When they made "AJFA", they broke the mold. Hollywood has, as far as I know, never made another movie like it. The film lays out the dysfunctional nature of the American criminal justice system and concludes with the most chaotic, anti-Hollywood ending in the history of Hollywood.


Pop culture shatters taboos but an idea that will not die is the meme of institutional integrity. Sure, bad apples come along but there is nothing wrong with the health care/criminal justice/educational/bureaucratic system that an occasional pruning can't cure. TV shows are outright propagandistic in their ongoing portrayal of our social institutions. Nothing here to bother your pretty heads, folks.

I am of the strong belief that the people who adamantly believe that Lee Harvey Oswald (could he be described as self-radicalized?) acted alone and then a second unrelated lone nut (could he be described as a lone wolf?) named Jack Ruby also acted alone less than 48 hours later commit themselves to this belief because they find the idea of institutional corruption too disturbing. Better to believe in lone wolves, lone nuts and bad apples. Sweet dreams.

Traditionally, movies have been more daring than television, due to the different methods of monetization. TV, being reliant on cautious sponsors never wants to rock the boat. So we are served up endless streams of "Law And Order" and other tripe whose central message is, "If only there were more than us." By shelling out cash for a movie, there we could hope for something less insulting to our intelligence. Sadly, Hollywood changed since 1979.

"The Big Easy" was released in 1986. It deals with the systemic corruption in New Orleans. Spoiler. Two bad apples are isolated and punished. Hollywood ending. It could have been a nuanced, thought-provoking film but it was converted into pabulum.

"True Believer" appeared in 1989. I was expecting "AJFA" redux but I would be disappointed. What a difference a decade makes. No nuance or complexity. Bad apple isolated and removed. Roll the credits.

I was tipped off about "The Hurricane" and thus I never watched the movie. It would have made me depressed. There were a lot of facets to the real life story of Hurricane Carter. As I understand it, the movie guys reduced it to the story of a man persecuted by one bad apple. Interestingly, Norman Jewison directed this movie as well as "And Justice For All" nineteen years earlier. Maybe success ruins artistic perspective. Maybe things look different from the top. Hooray for Hollywood!

Which brings us to "Black Mass" and segues into back to the real world. "Black Mass" succeeded at depressing this viewer. They should have called it "White Wash." The Boston FBI field office was corrupt from top to bottom and their evil spanned decades.

While Whitey Bulger was a small time robber and inmate, the Boston FBI worked assiduously to send a wrongly-convicted man to prison in an effort to protect their mobster informants. From Wikipedia (but confirmed by multiple public records)

Edward Deegan Murder[edit]

Within hours of his murder, J. Edgar Hoover had a memo from the Boston field office on his desk accurately identifying all the shooters, the actual shooters, as opposed to the four innocent men who would be convicted of the crime on the false testimony of Joseph Barboza in 1968. The memo never mentioned Salvati or his co-defendants.[7]
Salvati, whose criminal record begins in 1954, was working odd jobs and owed Barboza $400. He refused to pay the debt. Salvati's lawyers believe Barboza, the first in Boston recruited for the FBI witness protection program, set him up "simply to settle old scores.",[8][9]

Many of the uber-corrupt FBI agents who would later serve Whitey Bulger had cut their teeth assisting other mobsters. One of those was H. Paul Rico, who died in jail awaiting murder charges. Rico created a long and storied career in the Boston Field Office. When an honest businessman named Roger Wheeler puchased a jai alai fonton in Oklahoma that had been infiltrated by Boston mobsters, Rico suddenly retired and took a job as director of security at the facility even though he had no known contacts in the Tulsa area.

It might just be circumstantial but Roger Wheeler would be assassinated at his Tulsa fonton by legendary Boston hit man, Johnny Martorano. The movie, "Black Mass" performed acrobatics to delete Rico from the story. They sold the idea of two bad apples, John Connolly and John Morris. Even then, the crooks' lines were written with kid gloves. From the usually-obsequious "Boston Globe":

Disgraced FBI agent John Morris gets off really easy in Black Mass

Like any movie based on a true story, Black Mass was bound to take dramatic license with the story of the FBI’s unholy alliance with James “Whitey’’ Bulger.
But no character is as mispresented as FBI agent John Morris. 
Actually, Rico--being deleted from the script altogether--got off even easier than Morris. Now that Connolly's homicidal accessorization has been established beyond a reasonable doubt, even Hollywood is piling on. For years and years and years, news organizations would take pains to explain that Connolly was in over his head or that he was played by the evil Whitey Bulger. A good kid who had fallen in with the wrong crowd. Reluctantly perhaps, even Hollywood and "The Boston Globe" and yes, even the FBI, has to concede the existence of one bad apple at the Bureau. But there's nothing wrong with the FBI, nosiree.
Which brings us to James Comey, the FBI and the obvious existence of institutional corruption. The best seller, "Shattered..." reveals that Hillary invented the Russian hacking narrative. This falsehood was advanced without a scintilla of evidence all the way to the White House by several corrupted spy agencies. Putting a cherry on top of the sundae of falsity, the crookedest president in US History imposed sanctions on a sovereign nation with information that he knew to be fake.
And we are supposed to rest assured that swamp king Robert Mueller is heading an independent investigation into collusion between Trump and the Kremlin? Remember Ruby Ridge? The burnt-alive children of Waco? The FBI snooze fest during the Obama years where they ignored ongoing abuses of power, blatant criminality involving Hillary Clinton and obvious malfeasance by Obama's DOJ? 
Remember how Jeannine Pirro, et al, described dirty cop Comey in such glowing terms? A straight arrow whose character was unassailable. Insert laugh track here. Now the same horseshit verbiage introduces James Mueller. If we believe Comey was the lone bad apple and his removal will restore the integrity of the FBI, we are probably setting ourselves up for disappointment. This ain't Hollywood, at least not Hollywood, vintage 1979. 
To paraphrase Al Pacino, the entire country is out of order.

Congratulations Takuma Sato

The Naptown Half Thou is the only Indy Car Race I watch every year and each year it delivers on drama.

I want hometown hero/Butler grad/friend of the Pences, Ed Carpenter, to win. I had a few other second choices as well. How can you not like a guy named Will Power?

Takuma Sato ran a great race and held off three-time winner, Helio Castraneves, no small feat.

It amazes me how few mechanical failures there were for most of the race, but three of the Honda motors blew as the afternoon progressed. Included in the carnage was two-time Formula 1, Fernando Alonso, whose motor ceased with 21 laps remaining.

All the pageantry and circumstance and tradition. What a race! Congratulations Takuma Sato.