Axis of Right

Three Native Rhode Islanders Commenting From the Right on Politics and Anything Else

Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

Sharia Law Creeping Across Britain

Posted by Mike on September 15, 2008

Over the past year, many sharia court decisions in the UK have been backed by the force of law. The legal justification is an Act of Parliament which permits courts to enforce arbitration decisions. On the surface, this justification is nothing extraordinary. Many legal systems, including our own, look favorably upon and even encourage alternative dispute resolution. What’s happening in the UK however is not your typical arbitration system.

The types of cases approved by British courts have included not only your run of the mill contract case, but also divorce, inheritance, and even domestic violence cases. Many Brits were outraged earlier this year when the Archbishop of Canterbury claimed that the imposition of Sharia Law was inevitable. I suspect that those who have noticed and bemoaned Britain’s lax attitude toward Islamic extremism in their midst will have a similar reaction to this latest revelation.

I’d like to think Gordon Brown would have something to say about the unprecedented parallel legal system that emerged on his watch. Then again, that might be expecting too much from a Labour Prime Minister who refuses to identify his nation’s enemy and can’t even hold Glasgow East.

Posted in Culture, Europe, Judicial Watch, Religion, UK Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Barack Obama, Meet Gianna Jessen

Posted by Ryan on September 15, 2008

Gianna Jessen, survivor of a botched saline abortion on April 6, 1977, and her story are showcased in the recently launched “Born Alive Truth” website with the help of Jill Stanek

The site and the campaign are highlighting Obama’s horrid position on the Illinois Born Alive Infants Protection Act, which he did NOT support — that’s beyond pro-choice and into just plain sick. 

I heard an ad on the Sean Hannity Show  today, along with his interview with Gianna Jessen herself.  Both were very powerful and really brings this point home.  She’ll be interviewed on Hannity and Colmes tonight as well.

UPDATE:  Here’s the ad mentioned above:

Posted in Anything Else, Culture, Election 2008, Politics, Religion | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Bristol Palin’s Having a Baby

Posted by Ryan on September 1, 2008

She’s 17 and has got a lot of growing up to do! 

Bristol Palin is having a baby and will do the right thing and shortly marry the father.  Sarah and Todd have indicated that the press should respect the historical privacy of the candidate’s children and stay out of this ordeal.  The One agrees.  The Palins have a positive attitude and will be supportive of their oldest daughter and her soon-to-be-husband… given Sarah Palin’s history with guns, this gives new meaning to the term “shotgun wedding.”

Elated Libs just don’t get it.  Some of the conspiracy theories and allegations on the blogosphere are terrible and I will not post a link to them out of respect and tact. 

To be frank just because Bristol is pregnant, doesn’t mean Conservatives will abandon her mom, nor does it mean Palin’s not Conservative, nor will Conservatives lose respect for her.  That Bristol is getting married, keeping the baby, and is still embraced by her parents are all things consistent with Conservative values.  Remember, the Family Values crowd also believes that we’re all sinners and need the guidance of Jesus’ teachings to help us through life’s tribulations.  This whole issue doesn’t exemplify model behavior, but given the situation, this shows the Palins are ready to face life’s challenges, while showing themselves to be good people dealt a difficult hand.

Reuters photo.

Posted in Culture, Election 2008, Politics, Religion | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

In Love with Gustav

Posted by Ryan on August 31, 2008

Reason #314 why I will not be voting for a Democrat any time soon:  former DNC Chairman, Don Fowler was giddy with the notion that the deadly Category 4 Hurricane Gustav (as of this writing anyway– it could go up to Cat 5 by landfall) is timed so well with the Republican National Convention that it just “demonstrates that God’s on [their] side.”  Comic Book Guy himself, Michael Moore has echoed these statements too, saying that this is proof there is a God.  But we except as much from him, plus Moore’s not a political leader.

Both links have videos which made me angry given that it is a certainty that lives will be lost, people are already displaced, and suffering will ensue despite whatever political ramifications the Dems think this will all have.

If you’re going to bring up God, here’s a letter which in my opinion has its heart in the right place.  Yet, why do these Dems become so unabashed about invoking God when a deadly hurricane destined to take some lives and destroy homes coincides in what they think is great political theater?  They must have quite a warped view of God (but that’s reason #26 why I won’t be voting for a Democrat any time soon).  The balloons not dropping on cue when Kerry finished his 2004 acceptance speech was great political theater, but cheering a deadly monster storm is just sick.  I’m waiting for the McCain campaign to tactfully pounce on this one.

Map from NOAA.

Posted in Blogroll, Culture, Election 2008, Media Bias, Politics, Religion | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Obama Preaches to His Choir

Posted by Ryan on August 29, 2008

Last night, Barack Obama accepted his nomination for President and gave “The American Promise” speech.  No ceiling could tame this monster, but perhaps 85,000 mind-numbed rubes at the oddly phallic Invesco Field Obamapolis would suffice!

The speech was well delivered, but I’ve seen him better.  Its content was remarkably average for a “hope and change” candidate.  He wrecked on Ronald the Great and tried to write an epitaph for Conservatism.  He challenged McCain to a debate (though McCain challenged him to 10 in June), had the audacity to use the phrase “brother’s keeper” twice, and promised to end our pain and solve life’s problems for the masses.  By the way, it’s “never been about [Obama]….”  Right.

Typical liberal bilge and run-of-the-mill convention-style red meat, but two things really bothered me about the speech: 

Firstly, his mention of Martin Luther King Jr. and the 45th anniversary of the “I Have a Dream” speech seemed muted and down right obligatory.  Obama was in a unique situation to evoke the power of the message Dr. King gave that day, without comparing himself to King while bringing home Obama’s place in history.  Yet, he blew it.  I’m not rooting for Obama, but that’s a powerful card he should have played respectfully.  Or perhaps he just couldn’t have pulled it off.

Secondly, the Obama Nation and the Obamapolis.  The tears were obnoxious.  In contrast, back in 2004 Bush evoked his conversation with a mother of a fallen soldier, tears welled up and should have — powerful mental images, powerful example in consequential times.  The Obama Nation are simply swept up in the power of the European-style personality cult which surrounds The One.  Nothing in the substance of the speech last night, under normal circumstances, should have created a deluge of tears like what we saw.  Plus, when the speech ended, the fireworks display, the intense music coupled with the cult-worship of the Empty Suit seriously reminded me of something out of Nuremberg in the 1930s. 

AP photo.

Posted in Culture, Election 2008, Media Bias, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Day 3–The Truly Historic Moment in Denver

Posted by Ryan on August 27, 2008

There was a major historical moment tonight at the Democrat National Convention…

You guessed it!  At 6:49pm EDT the Democrat Party nominated a Presidential candidate with less experience than anyone in living memory! (see below)  He’s never really done anything of note, had to make a serious executive decision with true consequences, has no major legislation with his name on it, and apparently only “has a speech he gave in 2002.”

What’s worse is that he has to forever share this moment in history with the person who finally put him over the edge to secure the nomination: She Who Must Not be Named, herself!  This is shaping up to be the biggest Clintonian convention since 1996, beating out 2000 when Algore was consciously trying to avoid BJ’s political stench. 

Of course it’s historic that he’s the first half-African American to get the nomination of a major political party.  As a nation, we really should be proud of this moment.  However, after that quiet moment of reflection, we should move on and make sure he never reaches his goal — not because he’s half-black, but because he’s a dangerously inexperienced empty suit.

AP photo.

Some examples on the issue of experience:

JFK served in the House for three terms (1947-1953), the Senate for one full term and was reelected before beating Nixon for the White House in 1960.  JFK was 43 years old and already had 11 years as an elected national political figure over Barack Obama.

Bill Clinton was elected to non-consecutive terms as Governor of Arkansas, serving twelve of the fourteen years from 1979-1993 before defeating Bush 41 to be elected President in 1992.  BJ was 46 years old and already had 9 years as an elected administrator of a state over the experience of Barack Obama as a significant public figure who’s had to make consequential decisions.

The Dems made a real poor choice with Obama, given their track record of nominating young, experienced people.

Posted in Culture, Election 2008, International Relations, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The DNC — Day One

Posted by Ryan on August 26, 2008

So it begins!

Michelle Obama gave last evening’s major speech where she tried to rehabilitate her image amongst the folks.  Some think she did OK.  Though obviously managed and edited by fierce poll-reading sycophants it didn’t really hurt in my opinion — kids, shoutouts, kinder/gentler, blah blah.  I saw a re-airing of the speech and while I watched I couldn’t get past those “down-right mean” unscripted remarks she made earlier this year where she dissed an America without her husband on the verge of leading it.  That’s the real unscripted M’Obama, not what we saw last night. 

Ted “Fins” Kennedy gave the more notable speech of the evening, borrowing heavily from the memories of his more apt brothers and continuing the long tradition of populist welfare-state dribble from the top tier Democrat hierarchy.  It was the address he should have given to that audience and his mere presence was a powerful image to hardcore Dems.  If the torch is indeed being “passed again to a new generation,” then thank God it’s leaving his.

Funny thing:  after the weekend where Obama picked Joe Biden as his Veep and after one full day of the Democrat National Convention, John McCain jumped ahead of Obama (46-44%) in the latest Gallup Daily tracking poll.  Obviously The One will get some kind of bounce after his big speech Thursday, but for now I like the trend — the more people know about him, the lower his national numbers go!

Preview: Tonight’s the real popcorn moment

AP photo.

Posted in Culture, Election 2008, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Isaac Hayes Dies at 65

Posted by Ryan on August 10, 2008

Isaac Hayes is the second significant entertainer to die in the last three days!  Well-known for his work on the Shaft soundtrack and as the voice of “Chef” on South Park, Hayes was found dead near his treadmill at about 1pm today in Memphis, Tennessee.  He was 65.

Hayes was a highly influential, Grammy-winning musician whose impact stretched across the decades and music genres.  He was inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2002 and won an Oscar for the Shaft Soundtrack in 1971.  He eventually quit South Park because SP railed on Christians a bit too much for Hayes, (it’s true, SP farcically loves hitting Christians, especially Mormons and often Catholics too) who was a Scientologist. 

Entertainer, songwriter, and civil rights activist Isaac Hayes will be sorely missed.

AP photo

Posted in Anything Else, Culture, Pop Culture, Religion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The 2008 Beijing Olympics

Posted by Ryan on August 8, 2008

Berlin 1936:  Hitler’s Nazi Germany hosts the Olympics not only to showcase the prosperity which National Socialism had brought the Reich in the middle of the Great Depression, but also to bask in the attention given to such clean streets and orderly very white people.

Beijing 2008 will not sell such a facade.  We all know the deal with China and have not been living through a period like the 1930s.  China offends than it impresses people.  The changes China has made which it would like to showcase are those that make China look more Western, more like the rest of the world.  Yet, the smog cannot be whisked away at whim, which serves as an appropriate pall over the games — as if even the air in China is somehow sending a message that not all is right in the Middle Kingdom.  I applaud President Bush for making human rights statements while IN China, like he did today at our new embassy.

I’m going to watch some of the games, rooting for America to win some gold.  I appreciate the notion that being more engaged with China will put the appropriate pressures on them with the appropriate forces so that our ideals may be achieved with a maximum amount of political stability for China, but I can’t help but root against them and their form of totalitarianism. 

So: Free Tibet, Falun Gong, and everyone else in those Chinese jails there for simply expressing their human dignity in the face of a pseudo-fascist commie state!

Photo snuck out of China in a toy panda bear placed at the bottom of a rusty transport ship on a non-descript dock in Shanghai… not really, it’s AFP

Posted in Culture, economy, International Relations, Politics, tyranny | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Brett Favre and the New York Jets

Posted by Ryan on August 7, 2008

Trading in the green-and-gold for a certainly less shiny green-and-white, the Green Bay Packers have ended all this pre-season Favre silliness by finally trading the future Hall-of-Famer to the New York Jets for a “conditional” fourth-round draft pick

But, here are some other conditions from NFL.com:

“The pick turns into a third-round selection if Favre plays in 50 percent of the plays this season, a second-rounder if he plays in 70 percent of the plays and the Jets qualify for the playoffs, and a first-round pick if he plays in 80 percent of the plays and Jets make it to the Super Bowl.”

Now here’s the real gold-mine for the Packers:

“Not only did the Packers block the Vikings from trading for Favre, but they also have done the same to every team in the NFC North…. If the Jets were to trade Favre to any NFC North team, they would have to give Green Bay three No. 1 picks. And Green Bay didn’t even stop there. The trade also includes provisions preventing a trade to another team if they were to trade him to the NFC North.”

My head is spinning a little bit on all the details, but one thing is clear from this Patriot’s fan point of view:  playing the Jets won’t be two automatic W’s this season. This also means that two controversies are being quelled for the price of one as Pennington gets officially released at 4pm today.  I give Favre a few months to learn the system, making the Jets potential trouble down the stretch.  They’ll definitely improve on their 4-12 record last season.

Posted in Culture, Sports | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

20 Years of Rush Limbaugh

Posted by Sal on August 1, 2008

Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh

 

Today is the 20th anniversary of the nationally-syndicated Rush Limbaugh Program.  In the history of the Conservative movement, there are only a handful of people who can be truly described as having the scope and influence to shape and define conservatism.  Rush Limbaugh is one of those people.  Along with William F. Buckley, Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh has influenced the direction of politics in this country in ways that few others can lay claim to.  Rush helped to bring the conservatism defined in the pages of National Review and the leadership of Ronald Reagan to the masses through his daily, 3 hour Radio show.  His good-natured humor, satire, ability to make fun of liberals by using their own words against them, along with his crystal-clear logic and ability to synthesize core conservative principles and apply them to the news and issues of the day, while at the same time entertaining the 20-million+ listeners who tune into his show in any given week.

 

Rush also revolutionized the radio industry.  Before him, political talk did not have much of a place, AM radio was on its way out, and nationally-syndicated shows were used as fillers.  Rush is credited with  saving talk radio, and defining the “Issues Talk” radio format.  He also became the first break from the main-stream liberal media’s monopoly, paving the way for Drudge, Fox News, and a whole generation of conservative commentators such as Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, and others. 

I remember my first time listening to Rush. 

I was in middle school, probably around 1991, and had some teacher spewing nonsense about how we were going to destroy the planet by the ever-growing hole in the ozone layer (funny how you really don’t hear much about the ozone layer anymore.)  I repeated the nonsense to my parents, who proceeded to laugh at me.  Flustered, I kept insisting that we were going to destroy the planet.  The next day, when my father picked me up from school, he put on Rush’s show for me to listen to.  Since then, I have learned a lot from Rush about conservative principles, but his show helped me to think and develop many of my own beliefs and principles on my own.  His show opened my eyes to the biases that existed in the world, and to the foolishness and utter intellectual bankruptcy of liberalism.  I can honestly say that his show gave me an education that helped to form my own grasp of Conservatism. 

Happy 20 years Rush.  Here’s hoping for many, many more years of Excellence in Broadcasting, until everyone agrees with you! 
 

Posted in Culture, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Trailer Released

Posted by Ryan on July 31, 2008

Released yesterday, it’s only the teaser trailer, but it looks really good.  I like the darkening tone and somber mood, plus the actor playing the young Tom Riddle seems like a really good fit (I believe it is actually Ralph Fiennes’ nephew).

The HBP is one of my favorite books in the series (I like Four and Seven as well, though all seven play a necessary part of the story and are all entertaining).  I’m hoping this film will be better than the last one.  I wasn’t too much of a fan of the OOTP movie because they edited so much that as one who’s read the book, I had trouble seeing things connect properly — it was very disjointed and missed some important points they’ll have to explain later.  Hopefully they’ll make this one better, more focused.

Posted in Anything Else, Culture, Pop Culture | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

State-Run Health Care in Oregon Can Kill

Posted by Ryan on July 28, 2008

…if you want it to! 

A major problem with having state-controlled health care as a “right” is that they can deny you access or care if your situation is not in the state’s economic best-interest.  We’ll see loving ol’ grandmas and thirty something drunks fighting over access to livers — maybe grandma or the lush will die waiting for the operation, possibly making the government’s decision easier.  We’ll see people being denied care for choices they made in life, like smoking, drugs or trans-fat laden fast-food (it’s already “banned” in California).  And don’t forget those pesky staph infections!  

Crazy? 

Well, recently the State of Oregon offered 53-year-old Randy Stroup a simple solution to his prostate cancer:  since Randy didn’t have health insurance and his prostate cancer treatment is very costly for state-run health care, he can opt into their unique assisted-suicide plan!  The slippery slope of our culture’s devaluation of life continues.

Posted in Anything Else, Culture, economy | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Is Bush Batman?

Posted by Ryan on July 28, 2008

Apparently, a number of op-ed articles have hit the Internet regarding Christopher Nolan’s new film, the box-office shattering The Dark Knight, and how Batman allegorically plays the role of George W. Bush (some say Batman is Dick Cheney or a generic conservative hero)! 

A friend tipped me off to this concept last night and I looked around the Internet finding that this notion has been proliferating, even to the WSJ Online!  It makes a lot of sense to see The Dark Knight as an allegory of the War on Terror and about Batman as the man who few people like as the one who has to make the hard choice to blur the lines in order to achieve victory — aka GWB to some. 

Leftist blogs are wicked upset that a movie with such a black-and-white treatment of morality like this one can make $300 million in just ten days while their beloved anti-war flicks quickly sputter and die quick deaths!  In The Dark Knight, terrorists (The Joker’s crew) are the remorseless fiends who fight for no discernible reason beyond the joy of it, and the good people have very tough choice to make on how to defeat them.  It mirrors reality.

Given the box office success of this film, perhaps the American people still yearn for a no nonsense ass-kicker rather than an international ass-kisser in their leaders.  This bodes well for McCain down the stretch, with less than 100 left until my birthday, which happens to be Election Day this year.  But will people make this connection and understand its implications?  Will the baggage of the last eight years show up on Election Day and turn American into an Obama Nation?  Who knows?   If the allegory holds however, then it’s the Republicans and Bush who must take the hit for having made hard, sometimes unpopular, choices which have nonetheless made all of us safer.

Pic from Rick Rockwell.

Posted in Anything Else, Culture, Election 2008, Politics, Pop Culture, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Heil Obama!

Posted by Ryan on July 24, 2008

As we know, Our Savior Barack Obama will be giving a much anticipated campaign speech today at 7pm local time in Berlin, Germany.  Not only will the locals be flipping a $786,000 tab for the non-President’s visit (how nice of him to let the Germans pay for his campaign bills), Hot Air picked up that the campaign’s chosen site has a bit of a Nazi past

This, the same day that he visited the Wailing Wall!  The nerve of this guy never ceases to amaze me. 

The “Victory Column” (Siegessäule) was initially built to commemorate Prussia’s waylaying of Denmark, Austria and France back in the Otto Von Bismarck days whose expansionism united modern Germany and formed the Second Reich.  Where the Nazi Third Reich fits in is the fact that Hitler moved the “Victory Column” to its current location, built a taller column, and celebrated German expansionist polices eventually led directly to World War II. 

Obama’s not a Nazi (he’s much closer to a communist anyway), but a little sensitivity would be appreciated!

Nonetheless, let me get this straight:  Obama went to the Wailing Wall on the same day he’s speaking to Germans at a site chosen by Hitler to represent the power of the Third Reich, while having the locals pay for his campaign speech which is designed not for them, but for an American audience: now that’s audacity!!!

Hat tip: Malkin.

UPDATE:  Obama’s given the speech and it was pretty obnoxious: he pretended not be a candidate, but a “citizen of the world” (laugh — is that his version of an “international test”?); teaching the Germans his view of history without any real context; knocking America on race and torture (obligatory for Libs, of course); he all but admitted that he was the Chosen One to get the world together save us from misery; etc.

Posted in Blogroll, Culture, Election 2008, Europe, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Movie Review: The Dark Knight

Posted by Ryan on July 20, 2008

WARNING: No true spoilers, just a lot of “insider baseball” in regards to the fantasy genre. 

Thus far, Christopher Nolan’s take on Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One series is leaps and bounds better than any of those goofy Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney movies, which all seemed too comic-like to be taken seriously.  I never liked any of them because (this may sound strange) they seemed too much like I was watching a comic book movie. 

But Batman Begins was entirely different from my point of view — it had heart, an interesting and deliberately developing storyline, characters you care about, and great action which didn’t strain the “plausible impossible” too too much, as some of the earlier versions of Batman could (think of Batman jumping out of a missile with Robin after ducking Mr. Freeze’s trap before reengaging the chase after dropping six miles on sky-surfing blades without a scratch in Batman and Robin:  a little ridiculous even for fantasy!).

Nolan continues the series about a year after Batman Begins. The Dark Knight lives up to and surpasses its predecessor in terms of action and an intricately weaved storyline that leaves you with a sense of real danger for our heroes.  I’m not ready to say that this movie was the best thing ever, as some have said, but it’s the best movie I’ve seen this year by far.  Heath Ledger’s Joker is worth the price of admission; he’s both more creepy and lucid than Jack Nicholson’s rendition back in 1989 — they aren’t even on the same planet.  Oscar-worthy?  They’d give one of those things to anybody these days, so the late Heath Ledger will probably get one just for having died (that’s not to say his performance wasn’t worth an award, he was great, but the Academy is mostly out of touch with their audience and the insiders will demand the award be given to him nonetheless… plus think of the viewership at next year’s Oscars).

Comic books are really just morality tales, including “graphic novels” (the 21st Century way of describing a “comic book”).  So, in Batman Begins we are treated to a tale about how to conquer our fears and using our strengths to do and be better than what we think we’re capable of.  My take is that The Dark Knight simply continues that theme with an extended lesson.  The enemies in Batman Begins were sinister but had rules: Ra’s Al Ghul and his minions had a shrewd but ancient warrior code, the Mobsters had one’s basic code about not messing with the Big-Guy, and the Scarecrow functioned in the real world as a psychiatrist and crony and let go of those rules only when with the psychotic inmates or his victims.  Ledger’s Joker has no rules.  Give such recklessness, the question is: how far will the good people go to defeat such evil?  The Dark Knight explores this concept from everyone’s point of view.  We’re beyond fear in this movie — it’s what to do now that good people are afraid: ally with the evil for a temporary benefit, bend the rules to slow the evil down, or become like the evil thing itself.  No one in Gotham City can come to grips with the Joker:  even the Mob looks weak and impotent next to the Joker’s recklessness.  Our heroes need to look inside to defeat this menace, and not everything there is peachy or easy.  That’s what makes this movie stay true to the magic of the original — it’s not about the car crash, it’s about handling the ride.

I also love sagas when they introduce the insidious third party.  Like The Matrix series had the Merovingian and his crew of tertiary programs floating between the world of men and the machines, The Dark Knight’s Joker is a tertiary interest between the Cops and the typical Bad Guys who, unlike the Merovingian, is not just floating — he’s destroying everything on both sides (like the viral Agent Smith in this The Matrix analogy)!  He’s destroying it for its own sake, not for any common reason like power or favor which normal people could understand.  Sometimes that’s the problem with evil — there isn’t any understanding it, no matter how hard we may try.

I give this movie a solid A+/A (like a 96%) for entertainment value, storyline, and morality.  You should see it, especially if you liked the first one or want to forget about those ridiculous ones from the 1980s and 1990s.

Pic from Movie Web.

Posted in Anything Else, Culture, Media Bias, Pop Culture | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Elisabeth and Whoopi Discuss the “N-word”

Posted by Ryan on July 19, 2008

On an episode of this week’s “The View” the ladies were discussing Jesse Jackson’s hypocritical use of the “n-word” in the same interview where Jackson voiced his desire to castrate Barack Obama.  For some reason Fox News didn’t release the part of the film in question to the public, but it leaked anyway. 

Either way, this exchange broke out between the ladies, mostly Whoopi and Sherri versus Elisabeth, about the use of the “n-word.”  As usual, they seemed to gang up on Elisabeth, although I believe she has the moral high-ground in this argument: 

In my opinion, either it’s a good word or a bad word, but playing the “it’s our word” game is not only a complete violation of the First Amendment if use of the word leads to legal repercussions (which it does in certain circumstances, sometimes even when the word itself is not even used!), but it’s simply not playing fair.  Also, adding an “a” or an “er” to the end of the word should make no difference if in principle it’s a bad word either. 

Yet, it does make a difference, at least to my students, their music, and some in the media.  Should it, though?  Elisabeth says no, and based on principle I’m in solidarity with her on this one.  I wonder what Jesse Jackson would have to say about all this?

Posted in Anything Else, Blogroll, Culture, Election 2008, Politics, Pop Culture | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Finishing the “Real War” in Iraq

Posted by Ryan on July 17, 2008

There’s this story going around the AP this morning which indicates that some soldiers are longing to go to the “real war” in Afghanistan, as Iraq is becoming the more quiet of the two battlefields lately.  With violence against Coalition troops in Iraq on pace to be the lowest in years and the Dems even having to accept the Surge’s success, this story reveals two major points in my opinion: 

1.  Our soldiers are awesome, ready for a fight wherever they happen to be sent, even longing for a chance to kill the bad guys.  As professional soldiers, soldiering is their job, so I’m very glad they take pride and have enthusiasm for their work. 

2.  The AP and the MSM are essentially embracing the Democrat’s position on Iraq, that the “real” bad guys are in Afghanistan and that the fight there should be escalated quickly.  This has been their narrative for five years, stating that Iraq was a distraction from the real War on Terror, even though Bin Laden himself believes that Iraq was the central front in the War on Terror.  What does he know, right?  Nonetheless, it’s a position designed to attack Bush and the Republicans on their strongest electoral issue historically, dealing with terrorism, and it’s obviously transparent and won’t work with flip-flop Obama as their spokesman.

Posted in Culture, Election 2008, International Relations, Media Bias, Politics, The Iraq Front, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

InBev to Buy Anheuser-Busch

Posted by Ryan on July 14, 2008

The Belgian brewing company InBev is going to buy Anheuser-Busch for $52 million.  While many details are still being negotiated, the deal will probably become reality.  If that is the case then, in my opinion there are two different ways of looking at this:

1.  This is a dark day for America.  As the Belgians buy-out the largest beer producer in America, America is a weaker, sadder place… we can’t even brew and market our own storied/historic beer without help from those pesky Europeans!  Selling our souls for $52 billion?  Anheuser-Busch is a company which even survived Prohibition the honest way!  I guess there is a price one could set for selling out to the Man — a Belgian man in this case. 

2.  Woo hoo!  To this beer snob, Bud sucks (always has) and Belgian beers are world-renowned for their flavor and potency.  So, even though under the new management Bud will still suck, in the eyes of the world we’ll get a little more international “street cred” when soliciting our crappy beer to others.  InBev brews Stella Artois and Becks (meh) and Anheuser-Busch owns 50% of Corona.  Ultimately, this could signal a marked improvement to the average beer Joe Sixpack consumes.  Though this in no way will affect my own drinking habits, I believe this “sell-out” is an upgrade!

Reuters photo.

Posted in Anything Else, Culture, economy, Europe, Pop Culture | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Tony Snow Dies at 53

Posted by Ryan on July 12, 2008

Former White House Press Secretary, radio talk-show host, moderator of “Fox News Sunday,” and former speechwriter for Bush 41, Tony Snow finally succumbed to the colon cancer he had been battling for a few years now when he died at about 2am Saturday morning at Georgetown University Hospital.  Although they had removed his colon a few years ago, the cancer nonetheless spread to his liver last year.  He leaves behind a wife, three children and many friends and admirers.

I’d been watching Tony Snow ever since my local cable finally carried Fox News back in 2000.  It was kind of awkward watching Chris Wallace take over for him as the moderator of “Fox News Sunday” a few years later.  Also, I remember Tony Snow filling for Rush once in a while when I was in college (Sean Hannity would also fill in from time to time, which happened to be my first exposure to both Hannity and Snow — thanks Rush for recognizing talent!).  As Press Secretary, it was so refreshing to see Snow strike back at the MSM who was unsuccessfully trying desperately to embarrass him and the White House like they did so effectively to Scott McClellan.

Like Tim Russert, this death is a huge loss to the media and culture as both were taken from us with so much potential left to be realized.

AP photo.

Posted in Anything Else, Blogroll, Culture, Media Bias, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Phil Gramm’s Nation of Whiners

Posted by Ryan on July 11, 2008

Wednesday, Phil Gramm, former Senator from Texas and Presidential candidate back in 1996, said the following in an interview with the Washington Times:

“You’ve heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession,” he said, noting that growth has held up at about 1 percent despite all the publicity over losing jobs to India, China, illegal immigration, housing and credit problems and record oil prices. “We may have a recession; we haven’t had one yet.”

“We have sort of become a nation of whiners,” he said. “You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline” despite a major export boom that is the primary reason that growth continues in the economy, he said.

Gramm also happens to be John McCain’s top economic adviser.  Calling the electorate “whiners” is not a good formula for victory, so McCain threw Gramm under the bus yesterday for the comments, which the MSM was gleeful in saturation reporting of this — plus, it got Jesse Jackson’s castration threat of Obama off the front page real fast!

On the merits, Gramm or anyone in politics needs to know that it’s much easier to understand how $4.50 at the pump hurts the average commuter rather than the technical definition of recession as two consecutive quarters of negative growth or economic contraction.  Technically, we’re not in recession — so Gramm is right. 

But, the electorate has the right to complain, don’t they?  Right.  So, Gramm clarified his statements later saying that he meant it is the MSM and our leaders who are being doom-and-gloomy, which is giving the public a false economic picture when looking at the facts.  Again, Gramm is right about the fundamentals of his argument, but the MSM is not any Republican’s friend, and statements like this are giving the Dems another reason to use the age-old argument that Republicans are just a bunch of country-club blue-bloods out of touch with the average American.

Posted in Blogroll, Culture, economy, Election 2008, Media Bias, Politics | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Jesse Jackson’s Very Loud Whisper

Posted by Ryan on July 10, 2008

Here’s a clip of an off-the-air comment uttered by Jesse Jackson the other day about Barack Obama’s faith-based initiative:

Jackson, of course, apologized for the remarks, but nonetheless he still said it in an unscripted moment when he thought the cameras were no longer recording.  Obama’s done the same thing when he talked about bitter small town America!  In the YouTube era, the cameras are always on and will be seen everywhere fast!  Obama quickly accepted the apology ostensibly so that the story would die as quickly as possible.

On the larger point though, Obama’s faith-based initiative would not let faith-based organizations screen clients or workers based on religious or ethical standards, which essentially makes the faith-based organization simply another arm of the government, without any regard for the faith itself.  I’d be upset too if I were Jackson, since the black community has been served very well through Bush’s faith-based programs as they are.  I don’t think I’d say I want to “cut his nuts off,” but I would be upset about Obama’s incessant condescension to blacks and his planned reversal of Bush’s successful policy.

Posted in Blogroll, Culture, Election 2008, Politics, Religion | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Nadal Defeats Federer: A Wimbledon Classic

Posted by Ryan on July 7, 2008

Roger Federer is the best male tennis player in the world in my opinion.  Watching him play is like watching an artist paint a great work.  He has recently won five consecutive Wimbledon Championships before being defeated in a dramatic fashion by the young clay wizard, Rafael Nadal yesterday [6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-7 (8-10), 9-7]. 

Some believe the match was the best they’ve seen in a generation, or ever!  The defending champ was down 2-0 (one set from a sweep) and tied it 2-2 before finally losing to Nadal (in tennis’ version of overtime) 9-7 in the fifth and final set.  Purely great, exciting tennis.  Here are some clips:

Some think that Federer is past his prime since he’s been losing more matches than usual lately.  He has been so dominant lately on every surface except clay, that it would be difficult for him to maintain this level of excellence!  I still think he’s the best out there, but Nadal has been his nemesis lately, and finally beat him at Wimbledon.  Good for Nadal, great for the game of tennis!

Posted in Culture, Europe, Sports | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Jesse Helms Remembered

Posted by Ryan on July 7, 2008

It was very difficult writing any post that would push down Catherine Bell from front-and-center, but Marc Thiessen writes an informative piece today putting the late Conservative icon, North Carolinian Senator Jesse Helms (1921-2008), into a meaningful and positive historical context.  He was a Conservative before it was popular even amongst Republicans, and was sometimes the only vote for or against certain issues. 

I remember back in the 1990s, how Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond were incessantly used by the Left as examples about how racist and intolerant Republicans are (no mention from the Left about their hero, Robert Byrd, the current Senate Pro-temp and only member of Congress who used to actively recruit for the Ku Klux Klan!).  

I miss those days when the Republicans were in charge of Congress and the old guys like Jesse Helms were keeping it real, getting bipartisan support on many conservative issues, allowing wiggle room for the Republican leadership back then.  In the 1980s, he even criticized Reagan about adjusting taxes upward on occasion.  That’s hard-core… and poetic that he died on the Fourth of July!  Jesse Helm’s unabashed conservatism will be missed, as it is being less and less observed in DC these days. 

UNC pic.

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Happy 232nd Birthday America!!!

Posted by Ryan on July 4, 2008

Today is the Fourth of July, America’s official birthday since 1776 (actually, the Founding Generation initially celebrated our birthday on June 14th, “Flag Day,” until the war effort improved.  I like the change)! 

So from all of us here at AOR, have an All-American great day of BBQ, good beer, fun with family and friends, and of course the fireworks!  Even if you’re not an American, getting full and blurry on good food and booze is worthy of celebration anywhere… it’s got to be five o’clock somewhere!

Pic from T-Shirt Watch.

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Christian Conservatives Mull McCain

Posted by Ryan on July 3, 2008

Finally some good news for McCain on the conservative front.  Seeing as the choice in this year’s election is one between “meh” and “Oh God, NO!” a group of about 100 Christian Conservative leaders will support “meh”. 

Eventually, some Christian conservatives will come out to vote for McCain, but I still feel that voting for a candidate draws more enthusiasm and turnout than voting against becoming an Obama Nation.  For McCain’s part, his campaign didn’t bother sending anyone to this potentially important meeting.  Even though the recent string of Obama speeches, gaffes by surrogates like Clark, and the recent slate of Supreme Court decisions have made me a bit more jazzed about defeating Obama, I can’t get truly excited about this McCain.  I think the message out of the Christian conservative meeting was pretty much the same.

Posted in Culture, Election 2008, Politics, Religion | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Wasting Money Telling People About Cleaning up After the Wasted

Posted by Mike on July 1, 2008

One thing that bothers me even more than wasteful government programs is the way government often wastes money advertising wasteful government programs. Actually, what really bothers me is being caught off guard by a photo of an oversized vomiting sea cow. Thankfully this masterpiece advertising the fact that government will clean up your puddle of yack was funded by our British friends’ hard earned tax funds and not ours. Small comfort to those of us who, um, enjoyed that photo for free.

On a lighter note, if there is any truth to what was implied by today’s rumor, then this hag would be one heck of a step up for Alex Rodriguez.

Posted in Anything Else, Culture, Europe, Politics, Pop Culture, Sports, UK Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Where Does Obama Stand on Gun Rights?

Posted by Ryan on June 29, 2008

We’ve all seen the video from February where Obama agreed wholeheartedly with the 32-year-old DC gun ban, then when the Supreme Court interpreted the 2nd Amendment to mean what it says last week, he was for that too even though it overturned the 32-year-old DC gun ban.

This incident recently reminded me of something my father once said about why on God’s Green Earth the American people voted for Jimmy Carter in 1976:  aside for the Ford/Nixon pardon-thing, the American people found Carter affable because he was for everything they we for!  Whenever he spoke to a new crowd, he told them what they wanted to hear, blurring the lines between what he really wanted to do.  The result was a candidate, then President, who many people thought they agreed with, but in fact did not. 

A recent Rasmussen poll indicates that 43% of the people think Obama disagreed with the Supreme Court’s ruling, while a full 41% think he did agree with the ruling!  It seems like the Obama campaign is being effective at telling people what they want to hear when they want to hear it.  It doesn’t really concerns me where Obama stands on this issue (we all know he won’t appoint anyone to the courts who would have voted to uphold the Constitution) but this is a potential problem for the Fall — saying whatever to whoever and getting away with it.  Add that to the poor state of the McCain camp and we don’t have a prayer.

Posted in Culture, Election 2008, Judicial Watch, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

I’d Go Where Matt Went

Posted by Mike on June 28, 2008

These videos are just cool. The story of how they came about isn’t bad either.


Posted in Anything Else, Culture | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Top Colleges For Conservatives

Posted by Mike on June 27, 2008

While perusing the Corner earlier today, I was pleased to see that All American Colleges has published a guide for the top 50 schools for conservatives, old-fashioned liberals, and people of faith. I was even more pleased with the cover. I know many of you will agree. 🙂

Posted in Anything Else, Culture, Religion, Rhode Island | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »