October 27, 2011 - October 20, 2011
Thursday, October 28, 2010
John Titor. Time-traveling soldier from a post-apocalyptic future with a functioning internet. He was wrong about civil war breaking out in 2005, sure, but that computer thing he "guessed" right was pretty dope.
TO YESTERDAY! Observations and questions about the time-travel video from someone who doesn't need it to be true or false.
1. Where's the phone? I see the hand held up to the head, I see the "woman" (totally does look like a man) clearly talking, but I'm not seeing any supposed "thin black device." What I do see is a shadow exactly where a shadow ought to be given the sunlight. Now, it's possible that the phone is totally subsumed by his hand, but, as I'll elaborate in 2 and 3, that's not exactly a compelling argument.
2. Billy O is right: No cell towers in 1928. It could be that the man is using some kind of more advanced cell phone that doesn't need massive networks of towers like ours do. But then it seems counterintuitive (but it isn't necessarily impossible) that a phone so advanced would be something you'd have to hold up to your ear-- at a certain point in that technology's progressive miniaturization, it makes more sense to simply have it attach to the ear, rather than having to unfold it with your fingertips like that gag in "Zoolander."
That's all speculation on my part, granted. BUT, conceivably, practically (if common sense can be made to apply to a question like time-travel), what kind of cell phone could work in 1928 that you'd have to hold?
3 (2a). To me, it looks like his fingers flutter. So he's not using his fingers to hold this phone. So it does seem like he'd have to be palming a super tiny Zoolander phone.
There's other questions, and the footage doesn't give us enough grist for the answer mill. Who's doing the time-traveling? The military? You'd think a time-traveling soldier would be trained to avoid a giant 1928 camera set up in broad daylight across the street. So if not the military, who? A private citizen who wanted to see an obscure Chaplin flick on opening day? Not... as inconceivable, come to think of it.
But again, no visible phone. For my money, this is the convincing time-traveler caught on film:
Scruffy hipster, sixty years early. As the article explains, everything the guy's wearing is period appropriate... except they're wrong about the "embroidered sweater." That shirt underneath does not look embroidered, nor does it look sweateresque. It looks like screen-printed T-shirt replete with modern faux distress. And does the camera he's holding look anything like that "turn of the century Kodak Folding Camera"? I can't see it in detail (although, unlike Chuck Chaplin's Droid, I can see it), but it looks a lot like an higher-end Canon or Nykon to these eyes.
And who would choose to dress like this in 1940? In public? Here's what this is. This dude is what he looks like: a time-traveling hipster, who brought his hipster fashion sense into a 1940 Woolworths and got off, in his smug, ironic hipster way, on putting together an outfit that was technically period correct but still reflected his "individuality."
And he's in Canada. Which makes him, because why would anyone else travel to Canada's past, a Canadian. Which is, like, triple hipster. This is not the ambassador I want representing my era-- though he's probably the ambassador my era deserves.
One more thing. I appreciate DJMoore's clarification that he doesn't surrender his judgment part and parcel to scientific orthodoxy. But his definition of mainstream physics as "stuff that's passed repeated experimental verification" is suspiciously reductive. There is such a thing as theoretical physics, and it too has a mainstream. And his anecdotal evidence for the prudence of skeptical restraint-- face on Mars, Iapetus' dark side-- suggest his knoweldge of real scientific mysteries is limited. In honor of the great Zecharia Sitchin's recent passing, here's a quick anecdote of a time prudent skepticism came up snake eyes.
The Sumerians also counted planets from the perspective of the space-faring gods on Nibiru, from the outside in, calling earth the seventh, rather than the third rock from the sun. And, with a stunning flash of insight, they wrote that when viewed from “on high” in the heavens, Uranus and Neptune looked like “blue-green watery twins.” Most astronomers assumed anything past Saturn was likely to be a cold dead rock, so it came as quite a surprise to see photographs from Voyager 2 in 1986, and again in 1989, proving the Sumerians were right. Uranus and Neptune were made of blue-green slush.
How could the Sumerians know such things? How could they know Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto were even there, much less how they looked if viewed up close in space? We didn’t learn about the existence of those three planets until 1781, 1846, and 1930, respectively. How could the Sumerians know about any of it, much less all of it?
it enough?" More than enough, Mr. President.
AS HELL. Election season is the best of times and the worst of
times. You get oceans of the hackneyed
stuff that seems like it could have been written months ago, but
you also get some of the best thinking by some of the smartest people,
as well as the occasional bit of behind the scenes news.
So I'm going kind of InstaPundit today, only without the smarmy
bottom-lining. You can do that for yourself. Read this stuff. Seems
like a short list but it encompasses the current subversions of
free speech, the constitution, the judiciary, and the American way of
Victor Davis Hanson.
Celebrate the coming victory, but not too much. Every one of us has to
vote. And none of us can forget for even a moment how hard the job of
rescuing our country is going to be. The liberal disease is deep and
deadly. November 2 will be only the beginning of the necessary
counter-offensive against our nation's enemies.
Report back with your own thoughts as you see fit.
from the governor you want but can't have as president...
I like the thought. BE impatient.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
1 Solved(?), 1 Solvable, and 1
MAD, BUT.... The news today is completely nuts. Time to take a
break and remember that life is inherently mysterious. You can go here,
to see big-time mysteries, which are fun even though some of them --
e.g., Dahlia, Zodiac -- may actually have been solved (which is good
news). Like this one:
of the Sphinx
The iconic symbol of the Pharaohs might actually out date them by a
good few thousand years. What? How is this possible you say? Evidence
related to the positioning of the Sphinx and the type of erosion on the
tail versus the head (water erosion from rain versus wind erosion from
a dessert climate) are strong
This one's gotten a lot of attention in recent years. The Egyptologists
are really upset about the fact that anyone would question their dating
based on something as dumb as geology. Because they know better than
geology. The good news? The mystery may be solved. Not by Egyptologists
or geologists. But by common
sense that makes Egyptologists and geologists both look dumb. Kewl.
Funny thing about experts. They're always so damn sure they miss the
obvious things all the time.
Robert Temple reveals that the Sphinx
was originally a monumental Anubis, the Egyptian jackal god, and that
its face is that of a Middle Kingdom Pharaoh, Amenemhet II, which was a
later re-carving. In addition, he provides photographic evidence of
ancient sluice gate traces to demonstrate that, during the Old Kingdom,
the Sphinx as Anubis sat surrounded by a moat filled with water--called
Jackal Lake in the ancient Pyramid Texts--where religious ceremonies
were held. He also provides evidence that the exact size and position
of the Sphinx were geometrically determined in relation to the pyramids
of Cheops and Chephren and that it was part of a pharaonic resurrection
The Sphinx isn't a lion. It's a dog. (The pharaoh head was always too
small. Obviously.) Why the Egyptologists can find no historical mention
of it in hieroglyphics. The monument of the canine god of death Anubis,
however, is mentioned repeatedly. Duh.
Next up is something that's apparently only a mystery to me, but it's a
galling one. I thought I knew something about cursing. Here's a post by
Lowry today at the National Review Corner blog:
It Must Be Election Season!
October 27, 2010 11:59 A.M. By Rich
From my fan mail this morning (no, it’s not from Al Franken’s e-mail
account, in case you were wondering):
**** *** and your kind you misinforming, obfuscating, partisan,
loudmouth *** ****** *******. I just saw you on Faux Noise
spreading your baseless, Obama-hating opinions across America like
butter on toast. This is nothing short of treasonous you
************* ********. Talk straight or **** *** **** ** -
otherwise, **** *** and die you confused *** ** ****.
And there's this from the comments section:
It's what comes after "loudmouth" and
"treasonous you" that intrigues me. The rest of them (****) are kind of
obvious after a simple count.
uh, not to me. I'm getting maybe half of the asterisk text. Help me
out, kids. It's embarrassing but my curiosity is stronger than my
Our final mystery is the one represented by the YouTube video up top.
Here's the story:
'Time Traveler' Spied in 1928 Chaplin Film
Has someone already gone back from the
This week, the makers of Back To The Future kicked off celebrations
marking the 25th anniversary of the release of the original movie
starring Michael J. Fox. In the same week, an Irish independent
filmmaker has gone public with what he says is footage of a time
traveller caught walking through a scene on a recent DVD release of
Charlie Chaplin's 1928 film, The Circus.
"I believe I'm the first person to find something quite unusual from a
bit of film footage from 1928," Clarke said. The scene can be found in
the extras menu in Documents, under The Hollywood Premiere.
It's not in the movie -- it's real footage and it features real members
of the public in 1928. Or does it, asked Clarke, who spotted a
mysteriously dressed stranger walking past the camera talking into what
he says can only be a mobile phone.
"The only conclusion I can come to -- which sounds absolutely
ridiculous I'm sure, to some people -- is it's a time traveller," he
said. "When you're looking at a bit of 1928 footage with an old woman
... on a mobile phone, it's kind of strange. You can't explain it."
I have to admit it gives me pause. What do you think?
We, the Unwashed
THE SCARF OFF YOUR
CLOTHESLINE. We're going to take back the House of Representatives.
is certain. Nothing else is. It will be a holding action for two years.
Obama will be able to veto what offends him, and he will. He's no
Clinton. He's a true believer, one who hates America and more
importantly Americans. The media will remain on his side, because they
also hate Americans.
So I'm thinking of this song. I know Tom Waits is probably another
lefty wingnut, but it doesn't matter. He's a poet. Ordinary rules don't
apply to poets. I'm thinking of this song for half a dozen reasons,
only a few which I'll share with you.
First, my wife is a Jersey girl. She's not buying all the Obama crap.
Sha la la la la la la la.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is the first man to stand up against
the corrupt, overweening ambitions of big government at the state
level. He's married to his own Jersey girl. Sha la la la la la la la.
And Tom Waits has always loved the people Katie
Couric and Barack Obama
deride as dirty clingers to such small things as religion and personal
We once recommended
that Obama take the time to learn something about
his country, our great country. He didn't bother. Life and love aren't
things they teach you at the Harvard Law School. Sadly, the President
of the United States is a dry stick convinced of his own superiority to
all of us.
His last chance is coming up after next Tuesday. He can choose to learn
about the people who have midnight breakfasts at diners and go back to
work on the graveyard shift, or he can join Jimmy Carter in the ashbin
of American presidential history. All it requires is seeing human
beauty where all you saw before was units in a social engineering
project. Sha la la la la la la la.
Sometimes you have to lose before you can win. Another lesson from Tom
If I have to explain, you'll never understand.
afterthought. Why would anyone ever try to cover Tom Waits? It just
exposes them as slick, glossy fakers.
Springsteen is a mega-millionaire mogul. Why he shills for the John
Kerrys of the world. He has lost any right he ever had to sing this song. And
his version sucks.
And whatever convinced Rod Stewart that it was a good idea to cover
this darkly lovely ballad?
Yeah. I bear a grudge. I saw Waits at the Philadelphia Academy of
Music. Maybe the best concert I ever
saw. He plays the piano like a slumming Chopin. He sings like he'll be
dead by midnight.
Rick Kaplan, her executive producer,
says that “when she’s on the road—in Iraq with David Petraeus—she has a
great way with people. People like her and she likes them. There are
anchors who consider being on the road a pain in the butt. She really
looks for opportunities to feel the earth and touch people.”
That’s why Couric has spent recent weeks in Chicago, Philadelphia,
Boston and New Brunswick, New Jersey. She is touring what she calls
“this great unwashed middle of the country” in an effort to divine the
mood of the midterms.
Well, we'll try to wash up before she backs into our neighborhood...
Maybe, uh, no, well, forget it.
Sorry. Have to say it. Maybe a panty flash or two is superior to
mooning the entire country. Just saying.
. Now comes the onslaught of final week political ads. Here in
the Delaware Valley we're getting Joe Sestak trashing Pat Toomey
between plays of every sporting event. Sestak is the one who cares
about all us below-average Americans. Like all them admirals do. As the
title proclaims, it's Hell Week.
I'm giving you two antidotes, both designed to keep you from tuning out
entirely. We can't tune out.
We have to remain focused and be sure to vote, no matter how nauseated
we feel a week from today. Got it? So here's the deal. Read the op-eds
listed below for your own edification and motivation. The bonus is,
identify the link between the pic up top and one of the pieces below
and why we should all care, and I'll honor you by name here, plus
forward your name to Doc Zero, who's about to (trust me) get more
important than he already is.
Yeah, it's a slim incentive. But you shouldn't need any more incentive,
now should you?
Most of this stuff is red meat. While you're running away from the
political ads, keep your anger white hot. Collectively, these pieces
should do it. I should add I'll also be favorably disposed to posting smart comments about the op-eds above. Go for it. I have faith in your acumen. Maye we can talk, debate, and argue our way through Hell Week.
Almost immediately a winner:
Aw man, you gave it away in the post! It's the Beran one with all the
stuff about mandarins.
1. (Historical Terms) (Government,
Politics & Diplomacy) (in the Chinese Empire) a member of any of
the nine senior grades of the bureaucracy, entered by examinations. 2. (Government, Politics &
Diplomacy) a high-ranking official whose powers are extensive and
thought to be outside political control.
As for why we should care, first a quote from the article:
<<The sourness of the elites sheds light on their dark romance
with an Old World mandarinism in which the citizen (in Tocqueville’s
words) is “accustomed to find a functionary always at hand to interfere
with all he undertakes,” and a central authority that “says to him:
‘You shall act just as I please, as much as I please, and in the
direction which I please.’” Mandarinism assorts [sic] well with the
elitist’s low opinion of others’ potential and his conviction that he
himself is always the smartest one in the room. At the same time, the
power the mandarin derives from his policies does something to make up
for the burden of dissembling he bears in selling his program to people
who are not intelligent enough to appreciate the virtues of a directing
We should care because an American's proper response to a mandarin is
not to kowtow to him, but to slap that smug little smirk off his face.
And another good comment:
Only piece I've had time to read was the
one about the Comedy Central
rally (the links at the bottom don't work, btw; had to go search for it
at Hot Air). [Why I put in the macro
link...] I've got two predictions about it:
First of all, I think there will be a
Secondly, the turnout won't matter b/c
the rally will end up as a net PR loss for the left right before the
rally was successful because of who attended. There were a whole lot of
nice, respectful people that turned out and nobody got into trouble.
Also, the media attack on it backfired big time because a lot of people
had friends or family members that went (like my dad). It was not a
gathering of whack jobs.
The Stewart/Colbert rally could
end up being disastrous for the same reason: who attends. This is not
going to be a family-friendly event (not that it matters since most
attendees will not have children, anyway). You're going to have college
kids show up expecting a sort of live Daily Show-palooza. They will be
there to get shitfaced drunk & party. Then you'll have all the
moonbat groups like the Halley Mars Lieber-Groupon-Smith or whatever
her name was that was mentioned in the Green Room post. She's the one
from the Democrat Students of a PA University exchanging bus rides for
community service hours or whatever. Yeah, wow, I'm sure she's the life
of the party.
So you'll have drunk college fratboy
kids pissing & puking themselves while the Marxist, vegan, bulldyke
ideologues are trying to organize them with bullhorns to get them to
tote around some pre-printed "Sarah Palin is a Cunt" signs. That will
be the backdrop to a slew of liberal celebs who will be cursing and
mocking the Tea Party nonstop for an entire day. In other words, it
will be like some sort of mini-France protest of spoiled children on
display. That's going to inspire people to vote Democrat? Oh yeah, and
most of the people attending the rally have absolutely no intention of
bothering to vote next week, anyway.
I can't imagine how trashed the Mall is
going to be in the aftermath, especially if that porta potty shortage
Keep'em coming. I'll notify the Doc after
he springs his surprise.
Can't decide what order to do this in: the Setup
or the Punchline. Because in this case, they're actually kind of
interchangeable. In some sense, the Setup is the Punchline, and vice versa.
Oh well. I've always been a contrarian. Thus we begin with...
This weekend at Fox News has really been "All
Juan, All the Time," and it was a four-day weekend at that. Since his
Wednesday firing, Juan has been a guest on the O'Reilly Factor and Fox & Friends, a guest host on
Friday's O'Reilly Factor, a
guest on Sunday' night's Huckabee,
a panelist and topic on Fox News
Sunday, and a subject of discussion on Hannity, Megyn Kelly, the WSJ Report, Media Watch, and, well, every other
show on Fox News. Along the way, not even a casual watcher could have
missed footage of NPR's Nina Totenberg wishing that Jesse Helms's
grandchildren would contract AIDS, NPR talk host Terry Gross denouncing
all Republican candidates in the mid-terms as "extremists," and NPR
correspondent Cokie Roberts jumping ugly on sundry Republicans
about various other aspects of their evil natures.
It was all very funny, but it's hard to categorize what it was exactly
in its essence. A victory lap? A show of brute force? Or, perhaps more
cynically and accurately, a welcome mat for all the suddenly irate NPR
listeners who had never watched Fox News before but only heard about it
from NPR and the other liberal sources who have also told them how
awful Rush Limbaugh is. (Whom they also know only from other
non-listeners' descriptions of him.) I'm inclined to think it was all
three. All payoffs of the same joke.
Because the real punchline is this: What NPR did to Juan Williams
guaranteed that people who had never watched Fox News before did so
this weekend, if only to see for themselves, finally, what this Great
Satan of the news biz was really all about. While shooting itself in
the head over its paranoia about Fox, NPR boosted the ratings of -- TA
DA -- Fox News. HA HA HA.
A subtler part of the same punchline may have been that while CNN
failed to cover its own controversial firing of anchor Rick Sanchez,
Fox News was unafraid to recognize that its own approach to news
coverage and commentary could also be a legitimate news story. For
example, they booked Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell, who was willing
to argue that NPR's blatant lefty bias was no reason for the federal
goverment to defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Which raises the question, What did NPR think it was doing when it
fired Juan Williams? How could CEO Vivian Schiller not have foreseen
the obvious but unintended consequences of her hasty action and her
arrogant characterization of that action? Which leads us back to...
It's called the Kael Effect. Here's how Wiki describes the analogous
event, which involved New Yorker
movie reviewer Pauline Kael:
Kael is frequently quoted as having
said, in the wake of Richard
Nixon's landslide victory in the 1972
that she "couldn't believe Nixon had won", since no one she knew had
voted for him. The quote is sometimes cited by conservatives (such as Bernard Goldberg, in his book Bias), as an example of the alleged
cluelessness and insularity of the liberal
Nobody at NPR watches the Fox News Channel. Nobody they know watches
the Fox News Channel. Therefore, the Fox News Channel does not actually
exist as a potent media force, whatever the ratings might indicate. Somehow the reality of their dudgeon was more real than Fox News itself.
ALSO therefore, a show of dominance by NPR would serve to put the
hapless propagandists in their place. With one bold stroke, NPR figured
it could get rid of a liberal Quisling and embarrass the sinister cabal
from which he collected his 30 pieces of silver. Win-Win.
Uh, Lose-Lose. As it turns out, more people know Juan Williams from the
Fox News Channel than know him from NPR. Including liberals. In fact,
Fox News has as many liberal viewers as conservative viewers. Those
liberal viewers no doubt regard Juan Williams as a hero who speaks truth to
conservative powers like Brit Hume, Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly. So
what kind of lefty would you have to be to (try to) lop his head off
conservatives in the only forum where conservatives and liberals
actually do debate? Are they too ignorant to have heard of the Kael
Effect? No. They're just too smart to take the lesson it offers.
Here's the kind of lefty you'd
have to be to make Juan Williams the most famous black intellectual
liberal in the country by attempting to humiliate and ostracize him
(from the same Wiki entry that describes the Kael Effect and in the next breath tries to explain it away):
There are variations as to the exact
wording, the speaker (it has
variously been attributed to other liberal female writers, including Katharine Graham, Susan
Sontag, and Joan Didion),
and the timing (in addition to Nixon's victory, it has been claimed to
have been uttered after Ronald
Reagan's re-election in 1984.)
There is, in fact, no record of Kael
stating or writing this exact
sentiment. The story most likely originated in a December 28,
1972 New York Times
article on a lecture Kael gave at the Modern Language Association,
in which the newspaper quoted her as saying, "I live in a rather
special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they
are I don't know. They're outside my ken. But sometimes when I'm in a
theater I can feel them." [boldface
The way they think. There's some difference between what Kael may have
said and what conservatives like to remember. Therefore, the Kael
Effect is simply an urban legend. Liberals are too smart to be taken in
by urban legends. Which means they can be safely disregarded.
How it shakes out. Conservatives opine to NPR, "Your view of Fox News
is like Pauline Kael's view of Richard Nixon. Just because no one you
know pays any mind doesn't mean that that's the smart thing to do." To which
the logical secularist replies, "That's not what Pauline Kael actually
said. You're an idiot."
Well, sometimes the facts aren't exactly the facts. Sometimes there's
truth in legends that aren't, strictly speaking, true. And sometimes
truth speaks more eloquently from the facts that are true: "I live in a
special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they
are I don't know. They're outside my ken. But sometimes when I'm in a
theater I can feel them."
I can feel them. A more
damaging statement than anything in the urban legend. What was Juan
fired for? A feeling he has
on planes. Why is NPR the newest laughingstock of the nation? A feeling they have about anyone who
would dare to consort with conservatives. Sometimes being too smart is
just plain damn dumb.
My guess is, they have "more than a feeling" right now about who
are and how much power they possess.
Ignoring Nixon didn't actually help Pauline Kael. And ignoring Fox News
hasn't helped NPR, either.
Further perils await. Perhaps they should get in touch with their psychiatrist. And they definitely need to fire their publicist.
. I imagine this video won't be available for
long. It has to do
with abortion. If you feel you can watch (and don't assume...), watch
quick. Here's the story:
ABC News’ Devin Dwyer
reports: An anti-abortion candidate running for D.C.
delegate to the U.S. House is airing what is arguably one of this
election cycle’s most provocative TV campaign ads, featuring extremely
graphic images of aborted fetuses.
The 30-second ad for Missy Smith will air 24 times on local broadcast
network affiliates across the greater Washington, D.C., metropolitan
area. It is so explicit that it's preceded by a 15-second warning that
was added by the stations’ administrators.
Over gruesome images of bloody and lifeless premature bodies, Smith
says she had two abortions but has turned against the practice.
“I was told it’s not a baby. They lied to me. They exploited me. Then I
learned the truth and I’ve suffered for years,” she says. “And believe
me I am angry. My heart has been ripped out. Obama, Pelosi, Reid,
Norton – they all support the murder of babies and the abuse of women
by abortion. It’s time to make child killing illegal again.”
YouTube has pulled the video from its site, posting a notice that it
amounted to “a violation of YouTube's policy on shocking and disgusting
Shocking and disgusting? Yes. And we're all much better able to decide
this issue without ever seeing what the reality looks like? No. I
concede it's easier to spout platitudes if you don't ever confront the
reality. But I don't concede that an abstract, hypothetical question
is more surely answered than a specific, fully documented question.
Should cheating boyfriends be killed? Maybe. How about this cheating boyfriend?
I'll get in trouble for this, I know, but since we're being open and
aboveboard about troubling images for once, I feel I have to put some
real stakes on the table. Mrs. IP is opposed to the death penalty. I'm
not. We've seen more than a few of the documentaries about real murders
and murder trials. But I've noticed they never show the real crime
scene photos. What people really do to each other. No gore makes it
easier to be opposed to the death penalty. Mrs. IP can't even watch the
autopsies on the CSIs.
I'm not saying gore would change her mind. She knows what she thinks
believes and why. But it would change my
mind. I believe there are
things people can do that
deserve the death penalty. And in my simple Scottish mind, those things
are not about closure, Old Testament "eye for an eye" cant, Christian
compassion, or revenge. They're about justice. Kill willfully in some
cause other than self defense and what? You've forfeited your own right
to live. You're a failed soul the rest of us shouldn't have to fret
about. You just need to be put down like a rabid dog.
I feel the same way about abortion. Sorry. That doctors could do
Or hadn't you thought about the morality question with vivid pictures
in front of you? They're crime scene photos. Nothing else.
It's not about choice. It's about murder. (As is 9/11, Which the MSM also doesn't want us to see
anymore. Because it would upset us or distort our judgment or make us
suspicious of muslims or something. Something they know better about. Like
I know "no one cares about the social issues this time." Except that a
lot of us still do. At least 30 million babies have died this way since
Roe v. Wade.
I'm for the death penalty. For murderers. And, no, in my heart of
hearts. I see no contradiction in terms.
Chalk another astute question up to
Mrs. IP. She was curious about who the two NPR execs most involved in
the Juan Williams firing are. The information is readily available, but
where in all the columns about that affair have you been informed of
these bald facts?
Vivian Schiller is the daughter of
Ronald Schiller, a former editor at
Reader's Digest, and Lillian Schiller of Larchmont, New York. She
graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor's degree in Russian
studies and Soviet studies, and a Master's degree in Russian from
Prior to leading NPR, Schiller was a senior vice president of
NYTimes.com. She was the first general manager of Discovery Times
Channel (now Investigation Discovery), from 2002 - 2006.
I won't make the obvious joke about National Pravda Radio, because
dozens of people should already have explored all the possible
David Saperstein is a rabbi, lawyer,
and Jewish community leader. He has served as the director and chief
legal counsel at the Union for Reform Judaism's Religious Action Center
for more than 30 years. Saperstein succeeded Rabbi Richard G. Hirsch as
leader of the Washington D.C.-based political lobbying arm of the North
American Reform movement. There, he
advocates on a broad range of social justice issues. He directs
a staff who provide extensive legislative and programmatic materials to
synagogues, federations and Jewish Community Relations Councils
nationwide, coordinating social
action education programs that train nearly 3,000 Jewish adults,
youth, rabbinic and lay leaders each year.
He currently co-chairs the Coalition to Preserve Religious Liberty, and
serves on the boards of the NAACP and People For the American Way. In
1999, Saperstein was elected as the first Chair of the U.S. Commission on
International Religious Freedom.
On August 28, 2008, Saperstein
delivered the invocation at the Democratic National Convention's final
session, before Senator Barack Obama accepted the party's nomination
Saperstein lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife, National Public
Radio vice president for news Ellen Weiss. They have two sons. [boldface mine].
You know, you really couldn't make this stuff up. Hidden agendas?
Conflicts of interest? Radical leftism parading as objective
journalism? Don't be ridiculous. (Speaking of ridiculous, love the
eyeglasses perched on big brainy forehead look btw.) So why are you
hearing it here first? Who are we all afraid of offending this time? CAIR? Or those who have a vested interest in whoring for CAIR? You tell me.
And I really really hope you can wake up and smell the coffee, Juan.
This seems genuinely concerning. Because the decision is up to Italians:
Unlike the relatively modest eruption
of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland in the spring of 2010, an eruption
of Campi Flegrei [Mount Vesuvius] would be beyond human imagination. It
last erupted in 1538, killing dozens of people and creating the
1,500-foot-high Monte Nuovo. An eruption in this area more than 39,000
years ago had the same effect as a giant meteorite landing; it created
the eight-mile wide depression that now forms the caldera.
"[An eruption of] Campi Flegrei could generate global, worldwide
catastrophes," De Natale tells NEWSWEEK. "If it erupted, it would be
really a complete catastrophe at a global scale, with millions of
casualties, strong climate changes, perhaps causing a small ice age,
and sterilization [contamination] of several hundred thousand square
kilometers of European land for centuries."
The project has set off a passionate scientific and philosophical
debate in a country where the idea of a volcano that could bury a city
is more than just myth. Should they heed the rumblings under the earth
and use science to evaluate the danger, possibly helping Naples avoid
the tragedy that befell Pompeii? Or is it better not to tempt fate by
drilling into the massive volcanic cauldron for fear that the work will
disturb whatever combination of luck and geology has been keeping the
city safe for thousands of years? The conflict has finallly bubbled
over, prompting the mayor of Naples, Rosa Russo Iervolino, to delay the
start of the project and call a meeting this week in Rome to determine
whether it's safe to move forward.
The Italians are thinking about drilling into Vesuvius to lance the
boil. And you're still fretting about mid-terms?
I'm not surprised Juan Williams got fired by NPR. I've been
expecting it. I know Mara Liasson was threatened
some months ago
because of her Fox connection. And Juan has been courting a smackdown
for months now with his frequent appearances on Hannity and the O'Reilly Factor, where he seems
less doctrinaire than he is on Special
Report. I imagine Fox will take care of him, perhaps with a show
of his own. I'd have let it go at that except for an emerging meme best
exemplified by Bernie Goldberg's column on the matter, "Juan
NPR and the Death of Liberalism."
Here's a bulletin, NPR: Lots and lots
and lots of Americans feel the same way as Juan Williams. And that
includes lots and lots of liberals. And probably a lot of liberals who
work at NPR. Juan's "crime" wasn't that he said something bigoted. His
crime is that he said something that liberals find politically
incorrect. And that he said it out loud. And worst of all, that he said
it on the Fox News Channel.
In liberal circles this is nothing less than a crime against humanity!
What makes this so crazy -- and so sad -- is that liberals are the
open-minded ones, the ones who cherish the free exchange of ideas, the
smart ones. And if you don't believe me, just ask any liberal, who will
be glad to tell you how smart and open-minded he or she is. But these
are the kind of people who believe in "free speech" only as long as
they agree with you.
My problem? Goldberg acts as if this is some startling new milestone in the long
decline of American liberalism. It isn't. I understand that he wants to
perpetuate the myth that there was some kind of Golden Age of news
reporting in which liberal journalists were objective and fair-minded
despite their political views. But he's wrong about that. What's
new is the Internet and the bright glare of attention liberal
corruption now attracts. The biases, hidden agendas, and distorting
reportage have always been there. Liberals have never been tolerant, open-minded,
or fair. To this day, the New York
Times has never returned or repudiated the Pulitzer Prize
awarded to William
Duranty for covering up the worst
of Stalin's crimes in a deliberate attempt to promote Soviet communism
in his homeland.
NPR's hands aren't clean either. Confounding many of my friends, I
listened to NPR at intervals for years, just to remain aware of what
story the liberals were telling themselves and their constituencies.
The absolute hardest thing to stomach was the daily monologue of Daniel
Schorr, introduced reverentially by NPR hosts. He was from the era
Goldberg would like us to believe was professional, principled, and
competent. He died this summer, and here's one of the final paragraphs
of his official bio:
In 1996, Schorr received the
Columbia University Golden Baton for "Exceptional Contributions to
Radio and Television Reporting and Commentary." An award that is
considered the equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize. Schorr has also been
inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Society of Professional
Journalists and in 2002, Schorr was elected to the American Academy of
Arts and Sciences.
The Golden Baton! Wow. If I'd known that, maybe I wouldn't have had to
grit my teeth whenever I heard that old-time CBS voice -- that smug,
condescending, know-it-all world weariness of the lone intelligent man
in the room, now that Eric Severaid was pushing up daisies. Or maybe
not. Here's an item
from his resume NPR's 'editorial standards' might have taken more note
of than they did. It dates to 1964, when the liberal media and
intelligentisia did everything they could think of to destroy Barry
In response to a questionnaire from a
magazine, 1,189 psychiatrists, none of whom had ever met Goldwater,
declared him unfit for office — “emotionally unstable,” “immature,”
“cowardly,” “grossly psychotic,” “paranoid,” “chronic schizophrenic”
and “dangerous lunatic” were some judgments from the psychiatrists who
believed that extremism in pursuit of Goldwater was no vice. Shortly
before the election, Columbia University historian Richard Hofstadter
published in Harper's an essay (later expanded into a book with the
same title), “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” that encouraged
the idea that Goldwater's kind of conservatism was a mental disorder.
On the eve of the convention that nominated Goldwater, Daniel Schorr of
CBS, “reporting” from Germany, said: “It looks as though Senator
Goldwater, if nominated, will be starting his campaign here in Bavaria,
center of Germany's right wing” and “Hitler's one-time stomping
ground.” Goldwater, said Schorr, would be vacationing near Hitler's
villa at Berchtesgaden. Schorr further noted that Goldwater had given
an interview to Der Spiegel “appealing to right-wing elements in
Germany” and had agreed to speak to a gathering of “right-wing
Germans.” So, “there are signs that the American and German right wings
are joining up.”
But as Andrew Ferguson of the Weekly Standard has reported, although
Goldwater had spoken vaguely about a European vacation (he did not take
one), he had not mentioned Germany, and there were no plans to address
any German group.
Goldberg's Tiffany news network would never have put up with that, would
they? From the same bio that lists all of Schorr's awards:
In 1964 Schorr was nearly sacked after
reporting that Barry Goldwater was linked with a group of German
right-wing military men.
sacked. Awww. But it
didn't stop him from receiving the Golden Baton. Or a sinecure as
resident god of journalism on NPR for years and years and years.
This is an old old game that has just selected Juan Williams as victim.
It looks like African-American contributors at NPR have just been cut
in half. Liberals are what they've always been. Totalitarians who
continue to envy the Soviet model of press freedom: Infinite freedom to
spout the party line, and no freedom to disagree with what is clearly
I wish Juan Williams well. I hope this is a learning experience for
him. His most upstanding defenders at this moment are conservatives who
disagree with almost everything he says and believes about politics.
What does that tell you? Or him?
stuff that's not about the election:
REVIEWS. Forget the Big Hollywood paranoia about anti-Bush themes.
true. I like this show. This president is also a fighter, like (gasp)
GWB. Yeah, it's going to be cancelled (and probably very soon), but until it is, it's a great
thrill ride. Catch it on-demand, from episode onetwo.
Yes, it's flawed,
but it's more 24 than not.
This time, Jack Bauer is strictly an amateur, but he will not stop. And Blair
Underwood as president is no Obama. A few episodes in, you'll begin to
like him. Promise.