Tuesday, September 26, 2017

"Rev." Jesse Jackson's Cotton Picking Advice on Taking A Knee

Jessie Jackson on the NFL Taking The Knee to Protest Donald Trump

Perhaps Jesse Jackson should remember that the First Amendment refers to the government making laws against the free exercise of speech. Private entities, such as a professional football team, can restrict or fine speech and behavior by their employees. Hence, the NFL's Take The Knee moment does not apply, notwithstanding President Trump's blue collar blurtation about "Sons of Bitches" who do not respect the flag or the National Anthem. 

Despite "Rev." Jackson's assertion that the Take The Knee protest is not about race, he uses a Cotton Picking analogy, which would be a micro-aggression if it was uttered by someone else.

Jackson's suggestion again demonstrates that he is more inclined to organize political factions than organizing a church much less evangelizing the Gospel.

UPDATE 10/23/2017

A month after first making his controversial "cotton picking" sports analogy, Jesse Jackson was still trying to make hay over the controversy on Fox Sports F1.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Ellen De Generes on Donald Trump

Ellen De Generes tells Megyn Kelly that she would not have President Donald Trump on The Ellen Show

One can understand why a partisan might be chary about giving a political foe a platform. However, De Generes cited dangers which she feels as a homosexually oriented woman. It might have been educational for her to chat with Mr. Trump, as he has been the most friendly national Republican ever to the LGBTQQ? community, so her feelings of being in danger may well be chimeras. 

Steven Wright on Nature

Steven Wright on Nature

Thomas Sowell on Socialism

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

President Trump on the "Rocket Man" Kim Jong Un

During his United Nations General Assembly speech, President Trump refers to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un as "Rocket Man"

Ambassador John Bolton on Trump's United Nations Speech

Ex UN Ambassor John Bolton on Trump's United Nations General Assembly speech

Celebrating International Talk Like a Pirates Day

Black Sam Bellamy

Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day.  This parodic holiday was dreamt up in 1995 during a racquetball game between John Baur (a.k.a. Ol Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (a.k.a. Cap'n Slappy)

One of us might have been reaching for a low shot that, by pure chance, might have come off the wall at an unusually high rate of speed, and strained something best left unstrained. 'Aaarrr' 

[L] Cap'n Slappy (a.k.a. Mark Summers) and [R] Ol' Chumbucket (John Baur)

In 2002, the pair sent a "message in a bottle"  letter to syndicated columnist Dave Barry who championed and promoted the idea.  Part of the reason that Talk Like a Pirate Day has grown virally is because the faux holiday has not been trademarked, even though Baur and Summers have a website to garner some booty.  John Baur's "pirate" family  also participated in an episode of "Wife Swap" in 2006.

Michigan State Sen. Roger Kahn (R-32 Saginaw Twshp.)
Funny how a farcical pain cry became a parodic holiday.  But believe it or not, in 2013 the state of Michigan officially recognized Talk Like a Pirate Day as a holiday, with Michigan State Senator Roger Kahn (R- MI 32nd Saginaw Township) introducing the resolution wearing an eyepatch.  Better to pass resolutions for farcical holidays than plundering the taxpayers' pocketbooks or truly taking away their liberty.

If you want to petition other legislators to make Talk Like a Pirate Day into a holiday, you ought to send your electronic missive in Pirate argot.    To quickly translate, try using  Post Like a Pirate.

Monday, September 18, 2017

GAB Faces Big Fat Dilemma Balancing Free Speech and Censorship

Milo Yiannopoulos on the cyber censorship of GAB by internet overlords

Of late, there has been a growing realization that our internet overlords are controlling the public square.  In 2016, Facebook faced some consternation when the social media giant's curation of news in the sidebar consistently slighted conservative news stories.  Twitter took to banning some who defied the politically correct weltenanschauung that our cyber elites favor in their posts.  Milo Yiannopoulos was permanently banned from Twitter for posting  alt-right opinions while similar sort of liberal content continued unabated.  It is not uncommon for conservative sites to experience shadow-blocking, which covertly thwarts wider dissemination of posts through censoring algorithms. Platforms can summarily block access based on anonymous, spurious complaints, and due to the Star Chamber handling of such charges, it is almost impossible to protest much less redress any alleged issues.

To counter efforts of cyber-censorship, Andrew Torba et ali. created GAB during the summer of 2016.  As a social media platform, GAB exhorted users to #SpeakFreely and vowed not to censor posts unless it advocated violence or child pornography which was against laws.

As a start up, GAB not only faced typical challenges of funding and creating a market, but faced difficulties from a politically correct driven cyber community. GAB encountered tremendous difficulties from Apple to have a i-phone mobile app approved because of the Speak Freely philosophy.  Even after GAB successfully developed and started distributing an Android mobile app, there are concerns that the GAB appl will be removed from the Play Store because users might post objectionable contention on GAB's platform.

Alas, it is not only technology giants who are exerting their power as internet overlords.  The latest controversy involves a fat meme posted from a neo nazi (who has been banned from other sites and platforms).  Torba politely responded to the post that it was a violation of the Terms of Service and asked that it be taken down.  This uncharacteristic action roiled users who wrapped themselves around the mantra of #SpeakFreely.

Torba later clarified that Asia Registry, demanded that the post be banned or else GAB's registry would be revoked. The GAB leadership is currently scrambling to address the issue.

It is ironic that a fat joke would be used as the linchpin to destroy GAB, however that is the cause celebre which is being exploited by small time internet player Asia Registry, but they have the power.  Yet is mirrors the other tech giants efforts to obstruct alternatives to their virtual monopolies by using politically correct Trojan Horses.

In an age in which alleged micro-agressions, such as a Hobby Lobby customer is triggered by the "racist" notion of using cotton flowers in a vase, that the left countenances bilious blurtations when it tracks the progressive agenda of the moment. Such in loco parentis progressive sensibilities prompted a Zerohedge pundit to wonder if Internet behemoths are acting as colonial powers.

UPDATE: September 19, 2017

GAB was successful in finding other registrar for the domain which would not play games with them.

Thomas Paine on Freedom

Thomas Paine on Freedom

Friday, September 15, 2017

Anthony Bourdain Would Have No Reservation about Serving Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump Hemlock

Anthony Bourdain quips that he would poison a catered North Korean summit with President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un

During an impromptu interview at Los Angeles Airport, celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain served up some hot quotes about international affairs.

Bourdain's current television series Parts Unknown, is a travelogue premised on food prowess with CNN's sensibilities on the world. 

The independent journalist asked Bourdain if he would do a show based on North Korea.  Bourdain opined that such a show would not work because the North Korean regime would control what is shown and North Korea is really prone to famine under the Kim communist dynasty. 

The interviewer then asked how Bourdain would cater a hypothetical North Korean-US summit. 

In such an unlikely event, it would be advised to avoid using the ketchup with that well done steak. 

Rod Blagojevich on Jurisdictions

Ex Illinois Governor and convicted felon Rod Blagojevich on Jurisdiction

Thursday, September 14, 2017

"Littlefinger" on History

Game of Thrones Littlefinger Petyr Baelish on the realm and history

On the Star Spangled Banner

Gen. Jerry Boykin on the National Anthem

In 2014, America celebrated the the bicentennary of the penning of Francis Scott Key's of the Star Spangled Banner. Our National Anthem is based on a poem "The Defense of Fort McHenry" about the bombardment of Baltimore by the British during the War of 1812.  The British had just burned Washington, DC  and their forces were heading North to beat "rebel" American forces in Baltimore.  What stood in the way of British military dominance was Fort McHenry, which blocked warships from entering Baltimore harbor.

The British bombarded Fort McHenry for 27 hours.  Key was aboard a Royal Navy warship negotiating the release of a prison.  During the aerial siege, the American lawyer was taunted that soon the Stars and Stripes would be replaced by the Union Jack.  On the dawn of September 14, 1812 when Francis Scott Key saw the American flag still flying over Fort McHenry, he was inspired to write: 'Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?".

Shelli Jones Manuel 
Shelli Manuel, an accomplished musician and vocalist, was inspired to educate people about the Star Spangled Banner when she interviewed Baltimoreans about the National Anthem in the city of the song's birth, yet 80% of the adults and none of the youths knew any of the verse.  No wonder people chuckle nervously at scene in The Naked Gun (1988) when Detective Frank Drebin stumbled along when singing the Star Spangled Banner at a ballgame.

There have also been movements to replace the Star Spangled Banner as the National Anthem with the Woody Guthrie folk song "This Land Is Your Land" (1940).  Guthrie's ditty was written in reaction to his repulsion to hearing Kate Smith sing  Irving Berlin's "God Bless America" (1918) on the radio, as he thought that the lyrics were unrealistic and complacent. Guthrie tinkered with the tune to occasionally include overtly political verses which showed communist sympathies. It may be a fun song to sing around a campfire but does it really depict universal American values?

Pit Bull singing Nuestro Himno (2006)
In 2006, there was a push by a bunch of Latino pop stars like Pit Bull and  to make "Nuestro Himno" a de-facto hip-hop Hispanic National Anthem. Clearly, a Spanish version of a National Anthem takes away from the unity of one song brings a nation. This was foisted on the public in the midst of the 2006 push for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.  What a way to Balkanize the country! 

But there is also the trickiness of translation.  The first stanza of "Nuestro Himno" was fairly accurately rendered, although references to bombs and rockets were referred to as "fierce combat" so as not to sound too militaristic.  However, the second stanza seems to totally rewrite Key's lyrics, expressing "we are equal, we are brothers."  An alternate version of "Nuestro Himno" including rapping in English exhorting: "Let's not start a war With all these hard workers They can't help where they were born."  Did they channel Woody Guthrie with some Latino flair? Fortunately, Nuestro Himno got mixed reviews and seems to have faded into the sunset. 

Miley Cyrus at 2015 VMA
In 2014, Miley Cyrus backed a "We the People" petition to President Obama to change the National Anthem from the Star Spangled Banner to "Party in the USA". Of course that publicity stunt should have been taken as seriously as Miley Cyrus would be by a Music Conservatory.  Still, the petition only fell 90,000 votes short of being addressed by the White House. Shelli Manuel and the Veterans of Foreign War also muted this mutiny of our National Anthem.

Why is it that there are multiple moves to replace the Star Spangled Banner as America's National Anthem?  Obviously, education is a key component for the anthematic cognitive dissonance. Our educational system seems to stress social history in lieu of patriotic concentrations.  Moreover, students are conditioned to consider the United States a warmonger, misinterpreting the "bombs and rockets" as aggression rather than standing in self-defense.

Another aspect which people wonder "What the Hail?" about our National Anthem is the tune.  Key was a lawyer and poet, not a composer. Hence he borrowed the already established tune "The Anacreontic Song" (To Anacreon in Heaven). Unfortunately, that was a popular English tavern tune which was used as a sobriety test-- members could be refused another round if sang off key or flubbed the lyrics.   Key ought not be chagrined at borrowing popular melodies, as that is what Guthrie did for "This Land Is Your Land" too.

There has been some consternation about stylized instrumental arrangements of the Star Spangled Banner, like Jimi Hendrix guitar solo rendition at Woodstock (1969) or Jose Feliciano's soulful arrangement at Tiger Stadium during the 1968 World Series.  

Tastes can differ but so long as the musician does not make a mockery of the National Anthem like Rosanne Barr did in 1990, we can tolerate it so long as the lyrics are not butchered or altered.

To combat this ignorance and indolence about the Star Spangled Banner, Shelli Manuel took a multi-faceted approach.  After singing at a subdued 2014 bicentennary celebration for the Star Spangled Banner in Baltimore, Shelli Manuel sprang into action.  Manuel organized Sing It America to educate the public about our National Anthem.  The group convinced the United States Senate to honor and give thanks to the Star Spangled Banner  to have a year long celebration of the Star Spangled Banner. Moreover, Senate Resolution. 550 (2014) expresses the Senate sentiment that all the current verses of the Star Spangled Banner remain the National Anthem in perpetuity, including the "Forgotten Prayer Verse"

But aside from symbolic Senate votes, Sing It America launched a comprehensive educational program to help students learn about the Star Spangled Banner.  

In the Bicentennial year, the National Symphony Orchestra premiered a new symphonic arrangement of the Star Spangled Banner at "A Capitol Fourth". But Shelli Manuel wanted to demonstrate that the Star Spangled Banner can be performed well in a variety of arrangements and settings.  So Sing It America arranged a Marathon 24 hour celebration of the Star Spangled Banner on the 201st anniversary from 5am to 5am on the National Mall in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Dozens of groups will sing the National Anthem every hour on the hour.

This dedication to the Star Spangled Banner shows that the National Anthem is not just a pro-forma tradition before sporting events.  The Sing It America Marathon and educational efforts invite Americans to deeply enter into the meaning of the Star Spangled Banner and see the lyrics of our National Anthem as a credo reflecting our freedom, our history, acknowledgement of Divine Providence, and self defense.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Stevie Wonder's Vision About Climate Change Deniers at Hand in Hand Telethon

Stevie Wonder disses climate change deniers during Hand in Hand hurricane relief telethon

Hand in Hand was a charity telethon that was simultaneously broadcasted on all major networks in the aftermath of Category 4 Hurricane Harvey in Texas in late August 2017.  The mission should have been to raise money for the victims of the flooding and wind damage.  Instead, celebutards treated it as a time to raise consciences.

The telethon led off with an appearance by Motown wunderkind Stevie Wonder who chided anyone who denied climate change as being blind and unintelligent.

Despite his adherence to the liberal shibboleth on climate change, was Wonder talking about himself?

During the Hand in Hand telethon, Canadian hip hop artist Drake addressed viewers as if they were zombie-like automatons, instructing how the elite echelon's want their subjects to act on politicized environmental issues.

In the first twenty four hours, Hand in Hand allegedly was able to raise $44 million, including a $5 million donation by Apple in a seemingly quid pro quo free ad.

While it is noble to try to raise monies for victims of natural disasters, it is foolish to polemicize them or to shift the focus to liberal non-sequitur environmental conclusions. But this presupposes that the purpose was to raise money for victims, rather than Hollywood virtue signaling.  Perhaps the telethon should be better know as Foot in Mouth. 

Of course, politicizing charity telethons is nothing new for celebutards. Consider how  Kanye West claimed that President George Bush doesn't care about black people after the Hurricane Katrina telethon in 2005. 

George Bernard Shaw on Knowledge

George Bearnd Shaw on Ideas

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

On Celebrity Candidates and Whether Stephen King is It for Maine’s Governor

Ex Maine Gov. John Balducci renews Draft Stephen King campaign

Recently, former Governor John Baldacci (D-ME) has revived an effort to draft home state author extraordinaire Stephen King to run for the top post in Maine.  Aside from King’s celebrity status, the best-selling author has running grudge with the incumbent Governor Paul LePage concerning a quip that the writer left the state to avoid income taxes.  Even though King issued a Shermanesque denial of candidacy in March 2017, Democrat partisans still are seeking to draft him for Governor in 2018..

There have been some successes in celebrities turned into politicians. Obviously, President Donald Trump (R-NY) gained fame by parlaying his realty mogul status into a starring role in The Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice before successfully running for the White House in 2016.  

President Ronald Reagan (R-CA) was a “B” movie star in the 1950s and corporate spokesman in the 1960s and was elected President for two terms in 1980. 

While both Reagan and Trump got a leg up from their celebrity status both in name recognition and fundraising potential, they were outsider candidates who rallied on reformist political platforms. Reagan espoused a Western brand of conservatism, which sought to cut the size and scope of government and live up to constitutional principles.  Trump identifies more with nationalist populism and an impetus to “drain the swamp” between the beltways to “Make America Great Again”.  Reagan was more committed to a conservative philosophy than Trump seems to adhere to a strict ideology, but both challenged their party to go in different directions.  

There have been some other recent cases of celebrity candidates.  Senator Al Franken (D-MN) was a contributor on Saturday Night Live along with having a minor movie and radio career until he won an extremel close three way Senate race in 2008.  Despite his self publicity, it is dubious if Al Franken is a Giant of the Senate (2017), even tongue in cheek.

Minnesota has a knack for electing celebrity politicians as Gov. Jesse Ventura (Reform-MN) was a professional wrestler before winning a three way election in 1998.  But Ventura was an outsider candidate who had several years experience being mayor of a Minneapolis suburb. 

In the recall special election to replace Governor Gray Davis (D-CA), Arnold Schwartznegger (R-CA) won the Governorship of California in 2003 against 134 other candidates. So clearly celebrity status helped in that special election, but star status did not boost all celebrities as Gary Coleman's and porn star Mary Carey's campaigns were for naught.   Schwartznegger served two terms as the "Gubernator".

Music sensation Kid Rock seems to be seriously flirting with running for Senate in Michigan in 2018.  Partisans are taking a Kid Rock candidacy so seriously that the Rev. Al Sharpton sought to have Kid Rock’s concerts inaugurating Little Caesar’s Arena to be cancelled as Sharpton's group vituperatively charged that the singer was dog whistle white supremicist. 

Although they have name advantage, celebrity candidates do not always pan out well. Consider the case of Ashley Judd, who took a leap into partisan politics skewering Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) over abortion during the 2012 Presidential campaign. Judd seriously flirted with running for Senate against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in 2014. But Judd opted against the run after the Democrat establishment made it clear to her that  combination of being inexperienced as well as being too liberal and anti-coal doomed her candidacy.

There have been some sports stars who have parlayed their celebrity status into electoral success, such as Congressman Jack Kemp (R-NY 31st, 38th, 39th), Rep. J.C. Watts (R-OK 4th) and Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY).  But all of the aforementioned officials got their start in the House.  

Being in the media also has launched some political careers, such as Congressman J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ 5th) and Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC).  Radio hosts tend to form a bond with their listeners but those on television tend to have more exposure.  The challenge for celebrity candidates is to connect with voters by compelling keeping on message and guarding against exploitable unscripted moments.  Thus it is easy for Ashley Judd to appear in anti-pro-life ads against Santorum but how does she react when her life is an open book and there is not someone off-stage feeding her lines.  Or in King’s case, he is adept at taking pot shots against his bete-noire LePage but how does he sound on the stump if that is his predominant schtick? King is a good public speaker with a friendly audience but he might sound prickly with unfriendly audiences.

It is uncertain if the 69 year old King will back away from his Shermanesque refusal to run. However, Democrats are concerned about the 2018 cycle. In the Senate, Democrats have 24 of 33 seats up in 2018 with 10 vulnerable incumbents.  In the states, Republican have 34 of 50 governors’ mansions.  

It seems that Democrats see an opportunity to gain another statehouse against a weak incumbent Governor. Gov. LePage has a 47% favorable to 48% unfavorable rating so party insiders might think they could pick up a win with King.  And having a high profile governor, even of a small state, would be useful as the national Democrat leadership fights it out as to who will lead them in the 2020 election.  Along with being cajoled from Maine Democrat movers and shakers to run, King might also be swayed by that old typing exercise: “Now is the time for all good men to come to aid of their party.”