Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Bits and Pieces
PSAYINGS.5Q.79-80. I explained not long ago that I am angry. It's not hard to explain why: if the smartest people are supposed to be highly educated intellectuals, then why are they uniquely inoculated against reason, history, common sense, and human decency? What is hard is believing it worthwhile to speak at all. Right now, I can only do it in dribs and drabs, as if the whole army of the intelligentsia were suffering from ADDS and could process only sound bites and 'pitchers' instead of fully articulated ideas. I'm probably wrong, but humor me. Eventually, faith will restore a voice that has something worthwhile to say. I don't know that to be the case here, but I can try to utter a phrase or sentence or two. Meanwhile, I am grateful for the continuing resolve and humor of Chain Gang, the Headhouse Gang, the Glimmers, the XOFF News Team, and all the other rambunctious contributors who keep this site going. For now, here's my brief potpourri.
The mainstream media pursuing truth, justice, and the [inaudible] way.
Mary Mapes, the Medusa of RatherGate, has a book out and a plethora of MSM interviewers who are willing to provide a platform for her peculiar definitions of objective reporting. Here's a sample from ABC's Good Morning America (h/t Drudge):
Mapes says she is continuing to investigate the source of the controversial documents whose authenticity was seriously questioned by the CBS panel. She tells Ross that she had no journalistic obligation to prove the authenticity of the documents before including them in the "60 Minutes II" report. "I don't think that's the standard," she said.
Me, I don't think that's spicable. I don't believe it a dication of journalistic responsibility. I don't find it even slightly gusting. But, remember, I'm an idiot rightwinger. For all you other idiot rightwingers who don't get the Napoleon reference, it has something to do with the concept of 'guilty until proven innocent.' Why am I tempted to picture Ms. Mapes on Devil's Island? Typical conservative mean-spiritedness is my guess.
Les Garcons Seront Les Garcons
The Islamic South Park Defense
Grace a Dieu. An observer on the scene (h/t InstaPundit) has finally decoded the French crisis:
There's a generation gap, as well, between the wild child element in the street, and the mainline Islamic leadership, who remember the hard life in the old country. While overall unemployment in France is ten percent, it is much higher in immigrant communities. Thatís because French law makes it very difficult to fire anyone, which means employers are very reluctant to hire anyone. This makes jobs precious, and rare, commodities. The migrant families donít have the connections and clout to compete with native French families when it comes to getting jobs for their young. Thus, a disproportionate number of young men from Middle Eastern and African countries are unemployed. Those without jobs are not happy. A job provides status, and the means to make a good marriage..
(T)he street violence is partly a lark, because the kids know the cops are not going to use lethal force, and anyone who gets caught will, at worst, do maybe a year in the slammer (for burning cars looting stores)...
There are some Islamic radicals running around in all this, but they are a minority. The Moslem kids like to talk about respect and payback, but very few see this as a religious war. Itís become a sport, with various groups competing to cause the most destruction. Text messaging, Internet bulletin boards and email made it possible
Ah. It's about horny adolescent boys who just happen to be the computer-literate products of an insular medieval culture that discourages female births and perpetuates a desperate minority of unmarried, prospectless males who can be converted into killers for the promise of getting laid in the afterlife. Muhammed Cartman. (And Kenny never really dies, n'est-ce pas?) Surely, the French can solve that particular problem, can't they? Move the 'banlieus' to the Pigalle and all will be well again. I feel such a fool for suspecting that France had inadvertently subsidized the spawning of a generation of sociopathic arsonist anarchists. Vive La France!
A Raisin in the Sunset
Principle will out... eventually. Very eventually.
The worst President of the United States in history has a new book out, which means he's in the mood to give interviews rather than pompous anti-American pronouncements. For example:
Former President Jimmy Carter yesterday condemned all abortions and chastised his party for its intolerance of candidates and nominees who oppose abortion.†
"I never have felt that any abortion should be committed -- I think each abortion is the result of a series of errors," he told reporters over breakfast at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, while across town Senate Democrats deliberated whether to filibuster the nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. because he may share President Bush and Mr. Carter's abhorrence of abortion.
"These things impact other issues on which [Mr. Bush] and I basically agree," the Georgia Democrat said. "I've never been convinced, if you let me inject my Christianity into it, that Jesus Christ would approve abortion."
Mr. Carter said his party's congressional leadership only hurts Democrats by making a rigid pro-abortion rights stand the criterion for assessing judicial nominees.
Is he dying? Is he trying to compensate for some of his infamous rhetoric and treasonous solo foreign policy adventuring over the past 20 years? We'd like to think not, but he also made some staggering admissions for a man who has expressed nothing but ugly contempt for the man who ousted him from the White House:
(T)he best treatment he has received since leaving the Oval Office was from the first President Bush, and the second-best treatment he got was during the Reagan administration, especially from Secretary of State George P. Shultz. The worst treatment he's received, the former president said, was from President Clinton.
I hope my theory is incorrect. But I fear that Mr. Carter is not entirely well. Let's all wish him well.
"The Animal" was a problem player in his day.
Some good news. Over the years I have wondered and worried about the fate of Mike Curtis, the Baltimore Colt linebacker who rivaled Dick Butkus for violence and ferocity on the field. It was said at the time that if Mike Curtis couldn't play football, he'd be in prison. And since the Philadelphia Eagles-Terrell Owens controversy of the past few weeks, I remembered Curtis again because of the defense so often offered that professional football players cannot be expected to understand ordinary human obligations like loyalty, duty, and honor. They are, we are told, almost a species apart, so godlike in their abilities as to be exempt from censure and even the laws of cause and consequence.
I wound up googling the terms 'Mike Curtis' and 'Animal.' Here's what I found:
'Animal' returning to familiar territory
By BILL BIGHAUS
Of The Gazette Staff
While achieving fame as an All-Pro middle linebacker with the Baltimore Colts, Mike Curtis earned the nickname "The Animal" because of his toughness and aggressive play.
And whenever "The Animal" felt he needed to head for the mountains and - as he puts it - "hide out from the masses" - he chose the solitude and scenery offered by Montana, Wyoming or Idaho.
Curtis, now 61 and living in McLean, Va., will be back in the territory he loves Friday night when he addresses the Parents, Let's Unite For Kids (PLUK) Sports Celebrity Dinner at the Billings Hotel & Convention Center...
Curtis, who owned a cattle ranch near Cody for five years in the mid-1970s and still vacations in the area, said this section of the country remains attractive to him because "people are more sensible and the land is drop-dead beautiful...
Curtis was an All-Pro four times in a legendary NFL career that ran from 1965-1978. His interception late in Super Bowl V led to the game-winning field goal in the Colts' 16-13 conquest over the Dallas Cowboys in Miami on Jan. 17, 1971...
[H]e will discuss a variety of topics on Friday night, including football, his love for the West and his family's dealings with attention deficit disorder.
Curtis, who is happy to help out, said he learned he had ADD about 10 years ago after his oldest son, Clay, was diagnosed with it while attending Duke University.
"The doctors were saying it sometimes runs in the family and they started asking me some questions," Curtis said. "They found out I was worse than (Clay)."
Curtis, who takes medication to improve his concentration, is a fabled character when it comes to pro football...
While the Colts were waiting for the Miami Dolphins to come out of the huddle, a fan ran out on the field at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore and grabbed the ball. While his teammates stood there stunned, Curtis instinctively reacted with a crunching forearm block.
The fan spent a couple hours in jail and a couple hours in the hospital being treated for dizziness.
"I never hurt anybody," he said. "A lot of guys go out to hurt people. I'm not interested in that. I was asked to do a job and I went out and did it with aggressiveness and intensity.
"When you do that, you end up looking like an 'Animal' or 'Mad Dog.' "
While competitive as a player, Curtis said he hasn't followed the sport too closely since retiring. "I just liked to play the game, I wasn't really a fan," he said.
Instead [of football broadcasting], Curtis said he would like to become a veterinarian's assistant - some day. He thoroughly enjoys animals and being in the wilderness.
And some of his closest friends today are outdoorsmen, not football players.
"I liked to play it and I liked the guys I played with," Curtis said of pro football.
But he isn't fond of the latest sideline/end zone antics of Randy Moss and Terrell Owens or the "showbiz side" that seems to overshadow the game now.
"It's not really the game I grew up in," he said.
So he DIDN'T wind up in prison, and 'The Animal' turned out to be an oddly prescient nickname. Does anyone think T.O. is going to get to the place where Mike Curtis is now? I hope so too.
No room for solitary superstars
I was pondering the plight of the Philadelphia Eagles and the T.O. mess when I went out for a lazy drive in my truck this afternoon. November in the South Jersey marshland -- excuse me, wetlands -- hundreds of acres of deciduous scrub forest and winter rye fields and waterfront reeds twice as tall as a man. Then it flew across the road directly in front of me, less than fifty feet in the air. A bald eagle. The first I have seen in full flight here in my lifetime. Huge, graceful, godlike, and alone. I almost ran off the road trying to keep him in sight as he wheeled and wheeled above me. It was only later, after I was home again, that I thought of what I had seen in relation to the Philadelphia Eagles. I had witnessed no anonymous, humble pack of team players. Godspeed, Terrell Owens.
[sniff sniff] "Peanut?"
Speaking of godlike animals... greyhounds are part of this rightwing idiot's life. Molly looks more like the portrait above than anyone would believe (anyone who doesn't own greyhounds, that is). But she's also a naughty girl. She's like a walking (er, running) demonstration of the butterfly effect: if a potato chip hits the floor in a room two floors away from her, she'll generate a hurricane getting to it and a thunderbolt closing her jaws on it. Other than that, she's a perfect and devotedly obedient little sweetheart.
And here's a fun little game. Because even if life is deadly serious, not every moment we spend living it is.