Archive for Culture

Poland Is Nothing But A Graveyard

“We are a graveyard for the Jews!” they chant

Is Poland doing enough to combat overt displays of anti-Semitism by rabid soccer spectators? A major American Jewish organization doesn’t think so.

The Anti-Defamation League on Wednesday called on the Polish authorities to reverse a decision by prosecutors not to bring forth charges against fans of the Lech Poznan soccer club who were heard making anti-Semitic chants during a September match against Widzew Lodz.

The ADL cited local media reports which claimed fans chanted “Move on, Jews!” and “Your home is at Auschwitz!” among other incendiary remarks.

Polish prosecutors declined to pursue criminal charges after determining that the chants were directed at Lodz players in the heat of a sporting battle, and were not intended to harm Jews in general.

“[Poznan municipal prosecutor Monika Rutkowska’s] twisted reasoning cannot stand,” said ADL chief Abe Foxman. “Anti-Semitic incitement is illegal in Poland, and these chants are clearly anti-Semitic.”

What a cesspool.

- Aggie

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You Tell ‘Em, Camille!

On gender differences, life, and the effete academy.

This is funny and so true. The only thing that ruins it for me is in the midst of making one logical and oh-so-true point after another, she casually admits voting for Obama! What?! That proves that the level of rot in our culture is so pervasive that even people who absolutely see it for what it is still jump into the cesspool.

‘What you’re seeing is how a civilization commits suicide,” says Camille Paglia. This self-described “notorious Amazon feminist” isn’t telling anyone to Lean In or asking Why Women Still Can’t Have It All. No, her indictment may be as surprising as it is wide-ranging: The military is out of fashion, Americans undervalue manual labor, schools neuter male students, opinion makers deny the biological differences between men and women, and sexiness is dead. And that’s just 20 minutes of our three-hour conversation.

It give you a taste of her comments on education:

Ms. Paglia argues that the softening of modern American society begins as early as kindergarten. “Primary-school education is a crock, basically. It’s oppressive to anyone with physical energy, especially guys,” she says, pointing to the most obvious example: the way many schools have cut recess. “They’re making a toxic environment for boys. Primary education does everything in its power to turn boys into neuters.”

A key part of the remedy, she believes, is a “revalorization” of traditional male trades—the ones that allow women’s studies professors to drive to work (roads), take the elevator to their office (construction), read in the library (electricity), and go to gender-neutral restrooms (plumbing).

She proudly recounts her battle, while a graduate student at Yale in the late 1960s and early ’70s, with the New Haven Women’s Liberation Rock Band over the Rolling Stones: Ms. Paglia loved “Under My Thumb,” a song the others regarded as chauvinist. Then there was the time she “barely got through the dinner” with a group of women’s studies professors at Bennington College, where she had her first teaching job, who insisted that there is no hormonal difference between men and women. “I left before dessert.”

BTL, this one’s for you:

Politically correct, inadequate education, along with the decline of America’s brawny industrial base, leaves many men with “no models of manhood,” she says. “Masculinity is just becoming something that is imitated from the movies. There’s nothing left. There’s no room for anything manly right now.” The only place you can hear what men really feel these days, she claims, is on sports radio. No surprise, she is an avid listener. The energy and enthusiasm “inspires me as a writer,” she says, adding: “If we had to go to war,” the callers “are the men that would save the nation.”

Everyone should read this at the link. She’s just great.

- Aggie

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Why Was Martin Bashir Permitted To Resign?

Why didn’t MSNBC fire him?

Just over two weeks ago, MSNBC host Martin Bashir delivered a harsh piece of commentary that culminated in the suggestion that someone should “s-h-i-t” in former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin‘s (R-AK) mouth. Bashir offered an abject apology on his next broadcast, but a chorus of critics continued to demand action against the host. After a reported “vacation” for the host earlier this week, Bashir announced, in a statement to Mediaite Wednesday afternoon, that MSNBC and Martin Bashir are parting ways.

Here’s the statement to Mediaite, from Martin Bashir, via email:

After making an on-air apology, I asked for permission to take some additional time out around the Thanksgiving holiday.
Upon further reflection, and after meeting with the President of MSNBC, I have tendered my resignation. It is my sincere hope that all of my colleagues, at this special network, will be allowed to focus on the issues that matter without the distraction of myself or my ill-judged comments.
I deeply regret what was said, will endeavor to work hard at making constructive contributions in the future and will always have a deep appreciation for our viewers – who are the smartest, most compassionate and discerning of all television audiences. I would also wish to express deepest gratitude to my immediate colleagues, and our contributors, all of whom have given so much of themselves to our broadcast.’

MSNBC released Bashir’s statement, plus the following statement from MSNBC President Phil Griffin:

“Martin Bashir resigned today, effective immediately. I understand his decision and I thank him for three great years with msnbc. Martin is a good man and respected colleague – we wish him only the best.”

Seriously, why is it ok to suggest that someone piss and shit into a woman’s mouth, just because she has the gall to be a conservative woman? Why is this ok? Why did it take this long for him to go, and why was he allowed to resign?

- Aggie

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Nice Kid Kills Teacher, Wounds Two Students

He was a good kid.

No one knows why he picked this day, this time, these victims.

It was the first day back from fall break at Sparks Middle School. Students milled about, waiting to hear the morning bell.
Within moments, two 12-year-old students were wounded. A beloved teacher and military veteran lay dead. And the young shooter — armed with his parents’ gun — took his own life, silencing any way of understanding what he was thinking.

Before Monday morning, the gunman seemed like the antithesis of a school shooter.
“He was really a nice kid,” schoolmate Amaya Newton said. “He would make you smile when you were having bad day.”

Yes, dear, but what happens when he has a bad day? Hmm?

I don’t know about our readers, but I experienced bullying from time to time. As did my kids. And I’ll be you and yours. Because it is part of life. And guess what? We didn’t pick up guns and kill people. What restraint!! We all deserve medals, clearly. Clearly. What in the heck is wrong with this culture? We are barking mad. First, because there is so much media violence, and so little parental involvement, that kids can’t figure out the difference between angry fantasies and permanent reality, and second because we then claim he was “a nice kid” – just like the Boston Bomber, who was apparently delightful and popular and never bullied – and don’t forget that it is all the fault of outside, unseen characters – Dick Cheney will do. The gun lobby. Whatever.

We need to look in the mirror. We need to take responsibility for our own behavior.

And that is the rant of the morning.

- Aggie

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Airport Security, ObamaCare And YOU

I recently had the opportunity to attend a great wedding in New Orleans. Fabulous city, we should all just drop everything and hang out in New Orleans. Seriously. Why spend time in the Somber North when you can listen to great music and eat wonderful food? Think about it.

But that’s not the reason I’m writing this post, not at all. Instead I wanted to share a realization I had in the airport returning home. The security line stretched to Mobile, Alabama, and our flight was leaving in an hour. I asked someone working there if we were going to miss it. “I don’t know,” she said with a perky smile. They are very, very nice in the South, and somehow even bad news is ok. But then, through our blurry eyes, my husband and I noticed that we were somehow “preferred” or somehow very special people. I sought out the same perky lady and showed her the tickets, the very special tickets. “Oh, you just move along beside the line, up to the front, then.” So we did. And had a leisurely cup of coffee and boarded the plane in the first or second batch. We sat in the cattle car section, but we made it.

So, here’s my advice. Become Special. Make enough money, contribute some to political thugs, use the right credit card, attend the right political event… whatever it is. And you too can move to the front of the line. Because missing a plane is no big deal, but you do want a good doctor when you need one.

Do you like the clarinet?

- Aggie

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People Are Not Always Rational?

Say it ain’t so!

This is a topic near and dear to my heart. Most of us grew up assuming that the world would be a better place as education, medical advances, and economies grew, as our generation took over and introduced more compassion, darn it all!

Nina Munk admired him, too. In 2006, she was commissioned by Vanity Fair to write a profile of him. She shadowed him for months as he launched the Millennium Villages Project, a bold experiment that would use a handful of African villages as his test cases. She was so inspired that she even thought of giving up journalism to join the cause. Instead she decided to write a book. “I wanted to write about Africans who live in extreme poverty,” she explains. “I wanted their stories to be heard.” Above all, she told her publisher, she wanted to write a story of hope.

The story she wound up writing is quite different. The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty is a devastating takedown of Mr. Sachs’s technocratic fantasies. It is essential reading for anyone who thinks that brilliant people with the right interventions can save the world.

The Millennium Villages Project was pitched as the most promising idea to come along in years. The aim was to smother the selected villages with help and jump-start them into self-sufficiency. The villages wouldn’t get just schools and health clinics. They’d get schools, health clinics, fertilizer, bed nets, water, food, roads, and instruction in agriculture and entrepreneurship. Mr. Sachs hoped to have 1,000 villages by 2009. He was convinced the models would be so successful that the world would be morally forced to fund the expansion of his plan throughout Africa. He was fuelled by the profound conviction that the world can be changed for the better – and that he was right and everybody else was wrong.

What he forgot was the human factor. It turns out that people are not always rational. They don’t always do what’s in their own best interests, even when the benefits are completely clear to a development economist.

Take bed nets. The greatest plague in Africa is malaria, which is spread by mosquitoes, and bed nets treated with insecticide are a great way to tackle the scourge of malaria – theoretically. But there are big logistical problems, including distribution, looting, and costs. And even if you solve those, there’s no guarantee that people will use them for the purposes intended. Sometimes they use them to protect their goats, or to catch fish. The trouble is that malaria is so prevalent that a lot of people treat it as an inevitable fact of life. Years of social marketing campaigns to promote the use of bed nets have scarcely made a difference.

I could be snarky here, but I won’t. I completely understand why Sachs thought he could help and why so many people tried. What else is there to do? It is very difficult, at any age, to observe suffering and to just shrug it off. But unfortunately, for reasons we might never understand, some people, some entire cultures, just don’t want our “help”. What we see as horror – high childhood mortality rates, disease, extreme poverty – they apparently see as just normal life.

At every turn, Mr. Sachs’s master plan was undermined by culture. In the remote Kenyan village of Dertu, which is located in a vast and arid borderland dominated by Somali camel-herders, the planners decided to set up a local livestock market so that the herders wouldn’t have to travel to a far more distant market. The market flopped. Why? Because Somali nomadic pastoralists don’t think like us. To them, time isn’t money, and spending three or four days trekking to the distant market was no big deal. Also, as Ms. Munk writes, the whole concept of selling their livestock is antithetical to Somali values. The more camels they have, the richer they feel. “Somalis hoard camels, even when it makes no good economic sense to do so.”

In Dertu, Jeffrey Sachs was revered as the Great Professor. But gradually it became clear that even he didn’t have all the answers. As Ahmed Mohamed, the local Millennium Fund project manager, sighed, “What can we do? We cannot enforce. We try to explain. We want to empower. But no one can come and change them if they do not want to change themselves.”

Does that sound like your grandfather or what?

Ok, a teeny, tiny bit of snark. I have a friend from South Sudan who explained to me that in his village culture, cattle = wealth. The more cattle, the wealthier. If little ‘ol me understood it within the past few years, why can’t the professors of the world get it? There is a listening problem, perhaps. Because they know that they are “right” on almost any metric, they assume that people will jump at the opportunity to join modernity. But there are powerful forces preventing that. Think gravity.

- Aggie

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Hillary Would Be The First Female President And The First Bisexual President.

Cool

Their 12-year affair made Gennifer Flowers one of the most high profile mistresses in America. Now, two decades after they split amid scandal, the former news reporter from Little Rock, Arkansas wants to ‘sit down and talk’ with Bill Clinton.
In an exclusive interview with MailOnline, Gennifer has spoken of her deep regret at turning down Clinton’s pleas to talk some eight years ago and revealed her belief that they would still be together today, were it not the birth of Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea.
She said: ‘We have some unresolved issues that it would be nice to sit down and talk about now. He was the love of my life and I was the love of his life and you don’t get over those things.’

Well, I heard from people in the know that Clinton was an absolute dweeb in Junior High and High School, and only because Lustful Bill later on. I think this could get good. An Oprah pick, if she ever writes it.

On 23 January 1992 tabloid, The Star named Gennifer as Clinton’s mistress. Three days later he and wife Hillary appeared on 60 minutes, side by side, flat denying the claim.
Six years later Clinton admitted to having sexual relations with Gennifer ‘one time’ in 1977 in his deposition to lawyers representing former Arkansas State employee Paula Jones in her sexual harassment lawsuit against him.
By then Flowers was already well and truly defined by the scandal which had made both her, and Clinton, household names.
Apparently driven on by the belief that the ‘truth will set you free,’ she proceeded to tell her story in a best-sellling book and pose for Penthouse magazine.
Penthouse alone reportedly earned her close to $1million in the aftermath of the scandal.
She said: ‘I was singing in nightclubs, wearing very sexy outifts and gowns, a very independent liberated woman. I was the Madonna of my day – in Little Rock.’
On posing for Penthouse Gennifer said: ‘I made the decision to do it.
‘No-one made me do or asked me to do anything that made me feel uncomfortable.

Check out the link, boys. Revealing photos.

‘Ask Mistress Gennifer’ will run daily on the Guccione Collection website – a site devoted to the archives of Penthouse publisher, Bob Guccione.
Demonstrating something of the playfulness that saw her snare the then Governor of Arkansas she said: ‘I’m going to have to thank Bill for some of the advice I’m going to be giving.
‘It will be based on experiences I had with him.

She added: ‘I wish he would write to me.
‘He could do it. People don’t have to send their name.
‘Really he taught me a lot.’
Clinton, now 67, also shared a lot of intimacies regarding his marriage to Hillary.
They left Gennifer in no doubt that the union is far from ‘traditional.’
She said: ‘What they have is very strong.
‘It obviously worked for them but I’ve never considered theirs a traditional marriage.’
When rumours surfaced recently of an affair between Hillary Clinton and her transition office chief, Huma Abedin, 37, Gennifer was not surprised.
The rumours concerning Huma, wife of disgraced former Mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner, 49, emerged as she stood by her husband in the wake of his recent ‘sexting’ scandal.
Revelations that he had sent intimate pictures of himself and steamy messages to 23-year-old Sydney Leathers – a girl he had only ever ‘met’ online – finally did for his New York Mayoral campaign last week.

Gennifer said: ‘I don’t know Huma or the Weiners. I just know what Bill told me and that was that he was aware that Hillary was bisexual and he didn’t care. He should know.’
Yet however much their roles as mistress and wife cast Gennifer and Hillary Clinton as natural rivals Gennifer claimed to feel a sense of solidarity with Hillary, 65, and would support Hillary’s candidacy for President.

You know, I’m beginning to think that Gennifer doesn’t want Hillary to be elected. I wonder if Hillary thinks of her as Lucifer?

- Aggie

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Fingers Crossed For Diana Nyad

For 35 years she had tried to swim from Cuba to Florida

It looks like she might finally succeed! At age 64. What an inspiration for aging boomer women.

Diana Nyad was just 10 miles shy early Monday morning of reaching a goal she’s been chasing for 35 years.
Nyad, 64, is on her fifth attempt to swim the 103 miles from Cuba to Florida without a cage, wet suit or flippers.

At 3:54 a.m., her support team tweeted, “10-mile countdown is ON!” Nyad had never before come so close to Florida in previous attempts, and on Sunday night she broke Penny Palfrey’s record for the farthest anyone has managed on the trek without a shark cage.

In 1997, Australian Susie Maroney completed the swim from within a shark cage. She was 22 at the time.

Nyad’s website reported the leaders of her five-boat support team were planning her final route into Key West, taking into account tides, currents, shipping lanes, reefs and “swarms of jellyfish.”

As of 4 a.m., the website said, “Diana is swimming strong after 43 hours non-stop. She knows where she is and it’s giving her added strength.”
Nyad is using a special mask to prevent jellyfish stings to her tongue — a key factor in her failed attempt in August 2012. Thunderstorms also helped thwart her last year.

Handler Bonnie Stoll wrote on the site Sunday that Nyad was in good spirits.
“The only concern is that she is throwing up everything she eats. She’s quite nauseous from sea salt, but that’s to be expected,” said Stoll. “We’re giving her enough calories and nutrition. We’re just going to keep feeding her, and we hope that some of it is going down. She’s not weak. Her stroke count hasn’t changed.”

The Los Angeles woman has said this is her final attempt. She said on her website that she wants to prove “it’s never too late to chase your dream.”

This is her website. And this is her location in real time.

I sure hope she completes it this time. I am thrilled for her.

- Aggie

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Teaching Kids To Hate America And Each Other

Trayvon Martin dialogues

What a dumb society we are.

Middle and high school students in San Diego, California will be encouraged to vent their frustration that the world lacks justice when they return to school and participate in the “Trayvon Martin dialogues” this fall.

The board of San Diego Unified Schools unanimously approved a proposal recently to establish classroom forums to discuss the death of Trayvon Martin, a black teenager who was shot during an altercation with a Hispanic man, George Zimmerman, in Florida last year. A jury recently acquitted Zimmerman, who claimed that Martin struck first and shot him in self-defense.

The sponsors of San Diego’s Trayvon Martin dialogues, however, believe the resolution of the case has produced in teenagers “feelings of fear, anger, and skepticism that they will live in a just society,” according to The College Fix.

The full proposal calls for forum participants to explicitly condemn “stand your ground” laws, which permit citizens to use force to defend themselves in dangerous situations instead of retreating. Florida’s law was erroneously credited with prompting the conflict between Martin and Zimmerman, though the matter never became a significant factor at the trial, since Zimmerman had no option to retreat, according to his official testimony.

The dialogues will “allow students to talk about the world view that prompted George Zimmerman to confront Trayvon Martin,” and “allow students to speak honestly about the ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws that could give one person an unfair advantage over another and the pros and cons of their perceptions,” according to the proposal.

Marne Foster, a San Diego school board member and sponsor of the proposal, said that she had three black sons, and that any one of the could have suffered a fate similar to Martin’s.

“They are still living in a time reminiscent of Emmitt Till,” said Foster, referencing a black teenager who was beaten to death by a white mob in 1955.

Where to begin? Trayvon Martin apparently attacked George Zimmerman, who had a broken nose, lacerations on the back of his head, and grass stains on his back. Zimmerman shot him in self-defense. In contrast, Emmet Till was tortured and murdered by a mob. Rather than trying to bring the country together by raising a generation of kids who understand the constitution and the jury system, San Diego is perpetuating falsehoods and ignorance. In the end it will lead to more violence as unstable kids act out the anger that they learned to experience in school. Crazy, crazy, crazy.

- Aggie

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Scott Brown’s Wild Brother

Makes Billy Carter look tame

The brother of former Massachusetts U.S. Senator Scott Brown was arrested Thursday night in Connecticut on a number of charges, including impersonating a police officer.

Police responding to reports of a man with a gun found Bruce W. Browne, 46, of Wolcott, Connecticut driving a blue Crown Victoria with what appeared to be a disc and antennas mounted on the trunk along with “hide-away” lights.

Browne was wearing military-style pants, according to police. Inside the car in plain view, officers say they found three loaded 9 mm handguns, a black nylon duty belt with two sets of handcuffs, a police baton, 12 fully-loaded magazines with a total of 101 hollow point and 102 ball 9 mm bullets.

Browne also allegedly had a black tactical bullet proof vest with the word “POLICE” embroidered on the front and back with a silver metal TSA badge attached.

Investigators say earlier in the day, Browne commandeered a boat by identifying himself as a “Police/Coast Guard” official.

He allegedly produced an expired Coast Guard identification.

TSA and US Coast Guard officials said Browne is not affiliated with either agency.

Wow.

- Aggie

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ABC News Editor, Formerly Transgendered, Now Male Again

Perhaps we should start an odd hour. An hour a day devoted to odd stories.

ABC News editor Don Ennis strolled into the newsroom in May wearing a little black dress and an auburn wig and announced he was transgender and splitting from his wife. He wanted to be called Dawn.

But now he says he suffered from a two-day bout of amnesia that has made him realize he wants to live his life again as Don.

“I accused my wife of playing some kind of cruel joke, dressing me up in a wig and bra and making fake ID’s with the name ‘Dawn’ on it. Seriously,” Ennis wrote in an e-mail to friends and colleagues Friday, explaining his shock after he woke up from what he called a “transient global amnesia” last month.

The email was first obtained by the website NewsBlues.com

“It became obvious this was not the case once I took off the bra — and discovered two reasons I was wearing one,” he said, referring to his hormone-induced breasts.

“I thought it was 1999 . . . and I was sure as hell that I was a man,” Ennis said in the e-mail titled “Not Reportable, Very Confirmed.”

“Fortunately, my memories of the last 14 years have since returned. But what did not return was my identity as Dawn,” said Ennis, who had been wearing lipstick, skirts and heels.

“I am writing to let you know I’m changing my name . . . to Don Ennis. That will be my name again, now and forever. And it appears I’m not transgender after all.

I wonder how many young transgenders will undergo surgery and then, a month or a year later, discover that it was a mistake? What weird times we live in.

- Aggie

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Bloomberg Overreached In NYC Soda Ban

Illegal

New York City’s crackdown on big, sugary sodas is staying on ice.
An appeals court ruled Tuesday that New York City’s Board of Health exceeded its legal authority and acted unconstitutionally when it tried to put a size limit on soft drinks served in city restaurants.
The state Supreme Court Appellate Division panel upheld a lower court decision that had delayed the measure before it took effect in March.

Obama needs to step in and deem the soda ban the law.

- Aggie

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