Archives for September 2005

Today's Winner

…of the “you’re fulla crap” award is Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent for The Times in the UK

She’s the undisputed winner with this gem:

Societies are worse off when they have God on their side

Here’s just a little crap sample to wet your whistle:

RELIGIOUS belief can cause damage to a society, contributing towards high murder rates, abortion, sexual promiscuity and suicide, according to research published today.

The story Ruth wrote reported strung together is the crapiest of crap. As a matter of fact, it’s so chock-fulla-crap that future crap stringers will be hard pressed to knock ‘ol Ruth off of the crap heap.

Be sure to send her a congratulatory email. Heck, send two, or ten if you want.

Go ahead and send emails of praise to Ruth’s colleagues!

And be sure that readers of the newspaper Ruth works for hear how proud you are!

Goodonya Ruth!

Throwing In The (Dirty) Towel

Was New Orleans Police Superintendent Eddie Compass a contributor to a serious problem of police corruption or is he just a quitter?

Police Superintendent Eddie Compass resigned Tuesday after four turbulent weeks in which the police force was wracked by desertions and disorganization in Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath.

“I served this department for 26 years and have taken it through some of the toughest times of its history. Every man in a leadership position must know when it’s time to hand over the reins,” Compass said at a news conference.

Yeah, I’d say the writing was on the wall. Talk about leaving on a low (ok, really low) note.

As the city slipped into anarchy during the first few days after Katrina, the 1,700-member police department itself suffered a crisis. Many officers deserted their posts, and some were accused of joining in the looting that broke out. Two officers Compass described as friends committed suicide.

Police corruption in New Orleans is hardly a revelation. I’m more interested in the two officers who committed suicide. Why did they kill themselves? Did they know something? Did they commit a crime? It seems hard to believe that the tough conditions they faced in the city after Katrina made landfall was by itself the impetus for taking their own lives. There’s got to be more to the story.

Neither Compass nor Mayor Ray Nagin would say whether Compass was pressured to resign.

“It’s a sad day in the city of New Orleans when a hero makes a decision like this,” Nagin said. “He leaves the department in pretty good shape and with a significant amount of leadership.”

Hero’s don’t quit and leaders don’t abandon those they lead. Something’s rotten here.

Lt. David Benelli, president of the union for rank-and-file New Orleans officers, said he was shocked by the resignation.

“We’ve been through a horrendous time,” Benelli said. “We’ve watched the city we love be destroyed. That is pressure you can’t believe.”

Benelli would not criticize Compass.

“You can talk about lack of organization, but we have been through two hurricanes, there was no communications, problems everywhere,” he said. “I think the fact that we did not lose control of the city is a testament to his leadership.”

The thin blue line, alive and well in Nawlins.

Earlier in the day, the department said that about 250 police officers — roughly 15 percent of the force — could face discipline for leaving their posts without permission during Katrina and its aftermath.

Each case will be investigated to determine whether the officer was truly a deserter or had legitimate reasons to be absent, Deputy Chief Warren Riley said.

“Everything will be done on a case-by-case basis. The worst thing we could do is take disciplinary action against someone who was stranded in the storm or whose child is missing,” Riley said.

Sally Forman, a spokeswoman for the mayor, said it is not clear whether the deserters can be fired. She said the city is still looking into the civil service regulations.

Benelli said true deserters should be fired.

“For those who left because of cowardice, they don’t need to be here,” Benelli told the paper. “If you’re a deserter and you deserted your post for no other reason than you were scared, then you left the department and I don’t see any need for you to come back.”

Amen.

But just when you think Benellli is the real deal…

But Benelli said he believes only a small fraction of the officers will wind up being deserters.

“We know there were people who flat-out deserted,” he said. “But we also know there were officers who had to make critical decisions about what to do with their families.”

Riley said some officers lost their homes and some are looking for their families. “Some simply left because they said they could not deal with the catastrophe,” Riley said.

I guess that thin blue line is as thick as Benelli’s intellect.

If Compass is a true leader and he’s being pushed out as a part of a bigger cover-up, I expect we’ll hear a more descriptive story from him soon. If he disapears, I’ll write him off as just another part of the stink in the department.

Until then, I await the drop of the other shoe.

Electability

Thinking more about Ben Affleck and his people floating the idea of a political career for the ‘actor’ got me thinking about the real problem in American politics. It’s what worries me most. It is this whole idea of ‘electability’. This is a code word meaning ‘how much is the candidate liked’. To be appropriately ‘liked’ you need to be as inoffensive as possible and preferably front-loaded with an asset, like celebrity. This electability obsession has become priority number one for political parties on both sides of the aisle.

  • Does a candidate need to be smart? Nope, not necessary. They just need smart staffers.
  • Do they need to come up with good ideas? Naw, the PACs and the consultants will do that.
  • How about campaigning on a solution to one of America’s long term problems? Forget it. Career politicians need a broken system.

I think the last point is an important one. A career politician who is addicted to a system that feeds him doesn’t want problems solved. Oh, he’ll talk like he does, but what he really wants is unlimited time. It’s far better to push small incremental fixes to portions of the big problem, so long as the problem still exists. If something gets fixed, he might just disable the one hot button political issue that got him elected in the first place. And if that problem is solved, he won’t have to work on it anymore. Therefore, his value is diminished. His time is up.

And the career politician won’t have any of that.

The solution then is to fill the party with people who will vote the way the career politician votes. And they can’t be smart people. If they are too intelligent the career politician will be forced to debate every inch of his personal agenda. That takes up a lot of time and there are just too many free lunches and cocktail parties that might be missed. And that’s just too big a risk. The party must focus on campaigns with candidates that can be elected. Then, the career politicians can get them drunk on the beltway lifestyle and ensure that their pet project gets a ‘Yea’ vote. 

In this country, where pop culture is king, it’s easy to find electable candidates. The more popular, the better.

We’ve been electing familiar television faces to power for years. Fred “Law and Order” Thompson of Tennessee, Fred “Gopher” Grandy from the Loveboat series. Sonny Bono. (Check the full list here.) I think a significant turning point was the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger in California. Clearly, ‘The Terminator’ swept into office on his celebrity status as an action movie hero. It sure wasn’t about his position on greenhouse gases. 

Whomever the example is, the acceptability of putting a pop culture icon in political office is increasing. Career politicians know this, they love this, and they’re taking advantage of this. The end result is disturbing. If voters in America remain deaf on the important issues and only vote for their favorite TV sitcom actor or the pretty-boy candidate who has a (D) or (R) by their name, we will end up with a political system run by a small handful of aging career Democrat and Republican politicians whose primary goal is ultimate power. A dependency will develop between this select group and their dumbed-down (but well-known) colleagues. Their control will guide these half-wits to vote, talk, and walk exactly as their told. And if the dim bulbs comply, they’ll earn a seat at the head table or appear with their other low-watt friends on camera during a bill signing. And if they play their cards right, they just might get to meet with the president (not alone, of course).

Avoidance of major issues and an ever increasing attitude of complacency will deplete our nation of an important resource – political capital. We, the voters in this country need to demand a higher standard. The “2nd string” rarely, if ever wins the game.  Don’t settle for Class-B leadership.

Do you really want to wake up one day to find that the President of the United States is P. Diddy and his line of First Ladies include Paris Hilton, Tara Reid and Lindsay Lohan?

Don’t give power to pop culture and allow it to select those who govern us.

Related: Benator?

Benator?

Dear God, No!

Picture This: Ben Affleck, Senator from Va.

If you liked him as Bennifer . . . you’ll love him as Benator!

That’s the hot new idea being tossed around by Virginia Democrats, who are desperately searching for a big name to challenge the reelection bid of rising GOP star Sen. George Allen next year, now that outgoing Gov. Mark Warner has ducked out.

Affleck spokesman Ken Sunshine said the rumors are baseless, though “he would be a superb candidate for public office in the future. Right now, he’s very busy directing his first feature movie for Disney, ‘Gone, Baby, Gone.’ “

And why would he be a “superb candidate for public office”?  Would it be his broad knowledge in foreign affairs? (No). Perhaps it is his brilliance in domestic economic matters? (No).

Teeth! Sparkly eyes! Box office draw! Yeah baby, that’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout. And Matt Damon can be First Lady! Wow, what a winning ticket!

Yuck.

I can’t wait for his first appearance with Bill O’Reilly.

Related: Electability

GoogleNation Knows All

Let’s face it. We are citizens of GoogleNation. And in GoogleNation, everyone can find information on anyone.

It’s clear that this guy is a new immigrant. He doesn’t yet know the laws of GoogleNation.

Jed_eddy_fake_republican

  • You don’t pretend in GoogleNation.
  • If you do pretend in GoogleNation, you don’t show your face to GoogleNation citizens.
  • If you do show your face to GoogleNation citizens, you are subject to full disclosure.

So, back to our immigrant.

He’s received a lot of press lately. The members of the media love him. Fortunately for him, the members of the media are strangers in the land of GoogleNation. The know not its ways, and they are never beneficiaries of its gifts. It is because of this that they do not know who our immigrant really is.

GoogleNation knows.

His name is Jeb Eddy, and he lives in Palo Alto, California. He’s a self employed software engineer and author.

He’s not a Republican, he’s a Democrat. He’s not a frustrated former member of the GOP who recently turned Democrat either. GoogleNation has a record of his political contributions to the DNC going back at least 7 years.

Welcome to GoogleNation. That is all.

h/t Wizbang

Others: Conservative Nation | Shock & Blog | Everyman Chronicles

Bush Haters in the Buff

This is just wrong.

FEMA Rehires Michael Brown?

I know. It’s difficult to believe, but CBS News’ Bob Schieffer announced tonight that ex-FEMA Chief Michael Brown has told congressional staffers that he has been rehired by the Federal Emergency Management Agency – this time as a consultant to evaluate the agency’s response to the disaster caused by Hurricane Katrina!

That’s right. The man who couldn’t find his brain in the 72 hours after Katrina made landfall is now going to dig deep to investigate and reveal the actual facts about how he couldn’t find his brain 72 hours after Katrina made landfall.

I’m skeptical of this report, especially because it was Brown himself who told staffers. Michael Brown has a history of telling people things that aren’t completely true. If Brown has been seen hanging around the office a lot when he’s suppose to have resigned I’m sure he’s been pressured to explain. When you’re trying to save face, you’ll say darn near anything.

He’s probably thinking to himself, “Hey, so I’m fibbing a little bit. They’re only staffers. It’s not like I’m standing before a Grand Jury!”

Meanwhile, the Associated Press says that Brown is only serving out his remaining time at FEMA because his resignation isn’t effective until sometime this week.

Still others are spreading word that Brown is having more resume difficulties. Headhunters won’t touch it, or him.

MORE: Duh.

No Dial Tone on the Shoe Phone

Capt.ny1809262147.obit_adams_ny18 Donadams Don-adams

Don-adams_0001 

Gets70

RIP Maxwell Smart.

Gay Penguin Goes Straight

Oh, he’s the talk of the town alright.

Yesterday he was a simple little nancy-boy baggette penguin sportin’ a delicious tuxedo.

Today, he’s a whistlin’ hoo hoo dilly.

The animal kingdom’s most famous gay couple has split up. Silo and Roy, the cohabiting penguins of Central Park Zoo, are no longer an item.

The pair rose to prominence six years ago when they came out with their same-sex relationship.

Since then, they have successfully hatched and raised an adoptive chick (after an uncertain start that involved trying to incubate a rock).

They blazed a trail for six other gay penguin couples at the zoo.

But the affair ended when Scrappy, a new female penguin, moved into the neighbourhood and caught Silo’s eye.

“Silo and Roy stopped spending as much time together or building a nest,” John Rowden, the zoo’s head curator, told The New York Post.

Silo promptly moved in with Scrappy, building a new nest with her.

Zookeepers are at a loss to explain Silo’s sudden conversion.

Here’s a one word explanation: NARTH.

I hear that the Church of Scientology now has an opening for a reorientated mascot with a high tone scale.

Like Omigawd! No Way!

With friends like these…

Naomi Campbell has spoken out in support of Kate Moss, who has lost three modeling contracts and is being investigated by London police on allegations that she used cocaine.

“Kate Moss is my friend … I think it’s like everybody is being bad to her,” the 35-year-old supermodel told a news conference Sunday in the Colombian capital where she was judging a modeling competition.

“It’s not the first time it has happened in the world … it’s really like a vendetta,” said Campbell, who has said that she nearly self- destructed from her use of cocaine.

Gag me with a coke spoon.