Category Archives: Media

Arctic Sea Ice Challenge

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UK Mail Online published satellite photos that show this summer’s arctic sea ice increased from 2012’s all-time low. Slate was quick to point out, with its usual annoying habit of answering a question you didn’t ask, that “No You Can’t Claim Arctic Sea Ice is Recovering”.

Sea Ice Challenge

The increase represents a change in weather not climate. Like the Lake Superior ice that wouldn’t leave until June. Or the drought in California. Oh wait, that’s climate not weather.

Anyway, maybe you can’t claim arctic sea ice is recovering, but you might say polar bears are. 091030boklores

Johnny Football Hand Signals

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Johnny Football hype met reality when the NFL fined Manziel $12,000 for flipping the bird to the Washington Redskins bench. Washington players were amused by the gesture. The commissioner, not so much.

 

National Guard in Ferguson

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Governor Nixon called in the National Guard to quell the violence in Ferguson, Missouri. The local police aren’t trusted by looters in Ferguson. It turns out the looters aren’t local either. Most of those arrested were not from Ferguson.

Why Ferguson?

Victor Davis Hanson wonders why some shootings spark violence and others don’t.

On average, more than 6,000 African Americans are killed by gun violence each year. That startling figure is nearly equal to all of the U.S. combat fatalities incurred in both Afghanistan and Iraq over some 13 years.

The violence usually begins with a white man killing an unarmed black man. In Trayvon Martin’s case the NYT described his killer as a “white hispanic”.

The media almost invariably distort the facts, sometimes deliberately seeking to incite tensions. In the Trayvon Martin case, journalists published photos of Martin as a diminutive adolescent, not more recent pictures of Martin as a 17-year-old who was much taller than (George) Zimmerman (Martin’s killer)… In the Brown case, the media has rushed to portray the victim as a “gentle giant” who was almost certainly gunned down by a racist, trigger-happy cop… NBC edited a recording of Zimmerman’s 911 call to police in a way that suggested Zimmerman was a racist.

Next up for blame are Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the New Black Panther party.

Almost immediately, they incite tensions by issuing wild, unfounded charges. Jackson said of the Martin shooting that “targeting, arresting, convicting blacks and ultimately killing us is big business.” Jackson just called the Brown shooting a “state execution.”

Then come the politicians cashing in for advantage.

…usually in ways that only make things worse. Libertarian senator Rand Paul, who is eyeing a 2016 presidential run, blamed the police for their overt military appearance and their crowd-control tactics. Yet street violence still persisted days after police in military-style riot gear were pulled from the scene — until finally there were requests for National Guard intervention.

Finally we get racial finger pointing.

Liberals acknowledge high black violent-crime rates but cite poverty, racism, and unfair police enforcement as the catalysts. Conservatives counter that high rates of single-parent families, dependence on government entitlements, and glorification of misogyny and violence in popular culture account for inordinate black violent-crime rates.

And the country becomes more divided.

Meanwhile, we might remember that the American experiment to unite various racial and ethnic groups into one culture is as noble as it is rare in history. When it has previously been tried in the modern world — Yugoslavia, Cyprus, Iraq, Rwanda, Syria, Congo — it usually has failed spectacularly.

 

Mad Mad World of Comic Genius

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Jonathan Winters was a mentor to Robin Williams. Both were tormented comic geniuses. Russell Brand calls it a “divine madness” in this essay in The Guardian.

I was surprised to learn Jonathan Winters spent 8 months in a psychiatric hospital just before his brilliant performance in It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World. He wasn’t doing research. He managed to outlast his demons and died of natural causes at age 87.

Update: Here are some thoughts from Ben Stein on comics, depression, and suicide.

 

Stupid Shit Obama Doctrine

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When President Obama is not saying “the Bear is loose”, as he pretends to break the bonds of his keepers, he likes to say he “doesn’t do stupid shit”. Not doing stupid shit seems to be the Obama Doctrine. (I changed “shit” to “stuff” in the cartoon to get it in the newspaper. Harry Truman wouldn’t have given a shit:

Reportedly, at a speech to a Washington garden club, he kept referring to the fact that flowers need manure. Now, in those days, even the word “manure” was a little extreme for such ladies, and afterwards one complained to Mrs. Truman. “Can’t you get the President to say ‘fertilizer?’” “Heavens, no,” Mrs. Truman replied “It took me twenty-five years to get him to say ‘manure’.”)

Anyway, with 2016 approaching, Hillary decided to put some daylight between herself and Barack I. In an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg in Atlantic, the former secretary of state said, “Great nations need organizing principles. “Don’t do stupid shit” isn’t an organizing principle.”

Obama’s response? “That’s horse shit!”

Dana Milbank accuses our fecund fecal minded ruler of going on vacation “while the world burns”. “If  not in the category of “stupid “stuff” it could fall under the heading of tone deafness.”

Even Obama agrees.