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Archive for January, 2009

What. The. ****

Posted by Lissa on January 30, 2009

I have no words to express how absolutely disgusting, humiliating, shameful, reprehensible, worrying and abhorrent this is.  (Safe link; it includes a great photoshop for the idiots who find this crap appealing.)

cute-hitler

my-little-nazi-pony-by-zeveraar

mini-hitler-by-fyuvix

Someone, please, tell me this is a hoax.  Would you chalk this up to A) bad taste, B) historical idiocy, C) just plain idiocy, D) all of the above?

Holocaust denial is bad enough, though I won’t support censorship of such views due to First Amendment rights.  But to CUTESIFY IT?

Please excuse me while I go heave up my lunch.

(h/t Seraphic Secret)

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Good words from Krauthammer

Posted by Lissa on January 30, 2009

In these most recent 20 years — the alleged winter of our disrespect of the Islamic world — America did not just respect Muslims, it bled for them. It engaged in five military campaigns, every one of which involved — and resulted in — the liberation of a Muslim people: Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq.

The two Balkan interventions — as well as the failed 1992-93 Somalia intervention to feed starving African Muslims (43 Americans were killed) — were humanitarian exercises of the highest order, there being no significant U.S. strategic interest at stake. In these 20 years, this nation has done more for suffering and oppressed Muslims than any nation, Muslim or non-Muslim, anywhere on Earth. Why are we apologizing?

And what of that happy U.S.-Muslim relationship that Obama imagines existed “as recently as 20 or 30 years ago” that he has now come to restore? Thirty years ago, 1979, saw the greatest U.S.-Muslim rupture in our 233-year history: Iran’s radical Islamic revolution, the seizure of the U.S. Embassy, the 14 months of America held hostage.

Which came just a few years after the Arab oil embargo that sent the United States into a long and punishing recession. Which, in turn, was preceded by the kidnapping and cold-blooded execution by Arab terrorists of the U.S. ambassador in Sudan and his chargé d’affaires.

This is to say nothing of the Marine barracks massacre of 1983, and the innumerable attacks on U.S. embassies and installations around the world during what Obama now characterizes as the halcyon days of U.S.-Islamic relations.

RTWT.  Apparently “the good ol’ days” means “the days in which America bled for those that attacked her and assumed the blame to boot.”

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Looking Glass News 1-29-09

Posted by Lissa on January 29, 2009

For millions of Americans, the famous gaffes and idiocies from Former President Bush were a humiliating and constant torture during the last year.  It was fervently hoped that a new administration would bring a merciful end to this embarrassing chapter of presidential gaucherie.

Sadly, that proved not to be the case.  It appears that President McCain is every bit as inept as his predecessor:

On the way back to the Oval Office Tuesday, the President approached a paned window, instead of the actual door — located a few feet to his right.

Doors didn’t open automatically for McCain’s predecessor either. While making a hasty exit from a 2005 press conference in Beijing, former President George W. Bush tugged on the handles of a door, only to find it locked.

Bush laughed off the blunder, but the pictures still live on as part of Bush’s lame duck legacy.

Naturally, photos of this unbelievably stupid gaffe were immediately circulated world-wide.  Comedians Jon Stewart and Bill Maher hotly debated the meaning of the mistake: Stewart insisted it was because McCain was “too old and blind to realize that it made a better window than a door,” while Maher simply chalked it up to stupidity.  Understandably, such a dramatic and picture-worthy mistake by President McCain earned top billing on all major news networks for the next seven days; Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews, along with many others, offered to send the president a new pair of spectacles.

We here at Looking Glass News have no doubt that this blunder will live on as part of McCain’s wasted-presidency legacy.

(h/t Bruce, directing me to the ‘Busters)

*No, I do not think it was an egregious nor stupid mistake by Obama, just a simple error.  I merely point out that if McCain had committed such a blunder we’d hear about it constantly for a week.  At least.

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Today’s Must-Read

Posted by Lissa on January 29, 2009

By way of Trying to Grok, I stumbled upon this very simple, lucid, SENSIBLE explanation of why the New Deal was not a successful program.

Let me modify it, and present it to you this way. Let’s say that we have a nice suburban area sort of like we have here in Washington, DC, out in Chevy Chase. And we have some guy there who has a nice picture window, and some kid goes by, a hoodlum, and throws a rock through that window, breaks it. And let’s say that it costs $500 to replace that window. Well, our first reaction might be: What a horrible thing. Let’s catch the perpetrator.” But what if somebody else came up and said, “Wait a minute. The window’s been broken, some time has elapsed, we haven’t caught the guy, but maybe we shouldn’t catch him to throw him in jail. Maybe we should catch him to pat him on the back. Because I’ve observed what’s happened in that house and what’s happened is this: He broke the window, but the guy who had the window broken called up the glassmaker and the glassmaker put the window in and installed it for $500. Then the glassmaker took that $500 and bought a DVD player. He also bought a couple DVDs. And then he bought a reclining chair to sit back and watch the movies, all with that $500. So that broken window has generated business and now we have more DVD sales, more reclining chair sales, and it’s generated business all around town. So isn’t this a good thing?”

Where’s the problem with this argument? The valid point here is that the guy whose window was broken also might have wanted to buy a DVD player and a reclining chair. Or he might have wanted to buy a suit of clothes and some insurance. So that guy, and the tailor, is out $500 because instead of buying a suit and a shirt, he now had to pay for the window. You never generated real business because the guy who had the window broken is out $500 and the guy who had replaced the window is up $500, but the guy who had the window broken would have also been spending $500. So there’s really no net gain. Hazlitt called this the broken window fallacy.

Do you see the linking of the Fox News poll and the broken window fallacy? If you have a government program, the taxpayers pay for it. You never actually generated a job with that program; you merely transferred dollars from the taxpayers to the government. The taxpayer would have bought radios, or TVs, or DVD players with that money. Or he could have put it in the bank and it would have gone out for a loan to someone. See, the point is it would have been put to use, but instead it was taken from him, given to someone else who now has a job. But the only thing that you see is the job that was created. If you understand those principles, you can understand why the New Deal failed.

The New Deal consisted of a set of programs initiated by Franklin Roosevelt and the Democrats in Congress. Those programs transferred assets from taxpayers, centralized them in the federal government, and dispersed them supposedly to create new jobs. However, every time you see a New Deal program, you need to see that money leaving a taxpayer’s hand. Once you mentally see that shift taking place, you’re alert that a job was never actually created.

Go.  Read.  Or do you need more to whet your appetite?

Now, with Roosevelt you say, “My gosh! How could he win elections?” Roosevelt went on the campaign trail in 1936 and said, “You poor people are doing your share, but the rich are avoiding the taxes. We should make them pay.” And he recommended a tax to congress, on all income over one hundred thousand dollars. His recommendation in 1941 was for a 99.5 percent tax on all income over one hundred thousand dollars. And when the budget director said, “What!” Roosevelt’s comment was, “Why not?”

When congress refused to pass that bill, Roosevelt was furious. Therefore he instituted a 100 percent income tax, by executive order, on all income $25,000 or more. I repeat, Roosevelt instituted an executive order on April 27, 1942 for a 100 percent income tax on all income over $25,000. How many of you knew about that? Oh good, somebody did. Actually, the Republicans won the next election and voted it out, and Roosevelt had to settle for 90 percent. He had to settle for a 90 percent marginal tax. Here’s a quotation from Roosevelt, it was during World War II, “Discrepancies between low personal incomes and very high personal incomes should be lessened.” Oh, and he used the war as a crisis, you see. “And I therefore believe that in this time of grave national danger, when all excess income should go to win the war, no American citizen ought to have a net income after he’s paid his taxes of more than twenty-five thousand dollars.”

I have made this offer to teachers and students around the country. You show me an American history textbook that tells that Roosevelt had a 100 percent tax. I would think that if you’re going to rank him the number one president in American history, and he did that, that ought to be mentioned somewhere. You show me where it’s mentioned in any U.S. history textbook, and I will eat the textbook. I only ask that they bring me mustard and salt. I must say that I’ve had a textbook free diet for every year since I’ve been making that offer. I have never seen a textbook bring up that fact.

Certainly news to me (though it may not be to the rest of you).  I’m not 100% sure that date is correct — looks like it was October, not April —  but yes, it does appear to have happened:

7. In order to correct gross inequities and to provide for greater equality in contributing to the war effort, the Director is authorized to take the necessary action, and to issue the appropriate regulations, so that, insofar as practicable no salary shall be authorized under Title III, Section 4, to the extent that it exceeds $25,000 after the payment of taxes allocable to the sum in excess of $25,000. Provided, however, that such regulations shall make due allowance for the payment of life insurance premiums on policies heretofore issued, and required payments

I repeat:  Go.  Read.

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In support of Shame

Posted by Lissa on January 28, 2009

Via Rachel Lucas, we find this gem of slobbering greed and classlessness:

Many US Airways (LCC) passengers who endured a crash landing in the Hudson River 12 days ago say they appreciate the $5,000 that the airline has offered — but some say it’s not enough.

Joe Hart, a salesman from Charlotte who suffered a bloody nose and bruises, says he “would like to be made whole for the incident.”

It’s too soon after the accident to determine what emotional distress he has suffered, he says.

…Hart says he has talked to a lawyer in North Carolina but hasn’t decided whether to take any legal action.

“I want to see how things play out with US Airways,” he says. “I’m hopeful US Airways understands the significance of the incident.”

Now, it goes without saying that many lawyers are scum-sucking devil-spawn.  (It’s like saying that most politicians are icky; it’s a no-brainer generalization.)  It likewise goes without saying that Mr. Joe Hart would be far better served by a kick in the crotch and papercuts doused with lemon juice than his current course of action.

But really, what it makes me think about is the lack of SHAME in the man. 

Could any of you picture yourselves doing this?  By a miracle of luck and skill and coolheadedness, your plane fails, but you land in the Hudson and not one person loses his/her life.  Yet instead of being grateful that 1) you survived, 2) you survived unscathed (no, bruises and a bloody nose DO NOT COUNT, YOU FREAKING WUSS), 3) you have a great story to tell, 4) your breakfast the next day tasted better “than any meal you and I have ever tasted” * . . . you want to sue.

Would I like some extra cash?  Absolutely!  (Wedding receptions aren’t what I would call cheap, you know.)  Do I occasionally fantasize about winning the lottery?  You betcha!  (I’ve already got plans on how much to dish to each family member before socking the rest away.  Oh, and bribing the Mass government for a gun permit.)  Would I entertain the thought of scoring a couple hundred grand without years of hard work?  Most definitely! . . . for a moment.

And then I would push that course of action away, disgusted.  BECAUSE IT WOULD BE A SHAMEFUL COURSE OF ACTION.

And because I would know that every single member of my family and every single one of my friends would find it a shameful and disgusting course of action.  Even if I were weak enough to bend to the monetary temptation on my own grounds — and I hope I would never do so — the knowledge that my family and friends would SHAME me would prevent that course of action.

I’ve wondered, back before I got settled with Mike, what it would be like to live in Arizona.  Or Montana.  Or Tennessee.  Somewhere that I had no family within easy driving reach.  Some place where, if I chose to live a shadier life — be someone’s mistress, or moonlight as an exotic dancer — my family wouldn’t know.  It’s an interesting daydream to entertain when family seems particularly overwhelming.

But, overwhelming or not, I can always trust my family’s sense of honor.  I’m not sure the power of my own conscience would always be enough to keep me safe from greed and other nasties, so it’s really nice to have a backup conscience built in. 

I am fairly sure I would never stoop to what Joe Hart is doing from my own sense of justice.  I know damn well that I would not go that low because my family would be ashamed of me. 

In summary, I guess what I’m trying to say is . . . where is Joe Hart’s family to save him from himself?  Trust me, there’s nothing like an older sibling or a horrified parent to turn on that good old-fashioned shame.**  And thank goodness for that.  It makes us all more decent.

*Fight Club reference
** I don’t have kids yet.  I imagine that adds a whole new level of conscience.

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Quote of the Day

Posted by Lissa on January 28, 2009

I haven’t watched the PETA veggie-fetish video yet, but I couldn’t stop laughing at this paragraph by Ed Morrissey:

As for their assertion that vegetarians have better sex, it appears that may be true — for those having sex with vegetables.  Perhaps that’s the only way PETA members can get some.  And what about this is supposed to convince me to stop eating meat?  I’m not sure I can eat vegetables any more without wondering where they’ve been.

I LOL’d, I surely did.

If you watch the video, drop your thoughts in the comments!

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Money ain’t everything

Posted by Lissa on January 28, 2009

UPDATE: Apparently the group was somewhat satire/parody, though the Times didn’t realize it.  Whew!

*language warning on this post, because there’s just no other way to say it*

On one hand, I’m glad that these women are telling their stories and finding support networks.  I once dated an investment-banker type myself; I know and agree that that type of alpha-male super-achiever (achievement measured by his trophy wife and his bank account, naturally) is a particular relationship challenge. 

However, you get what you sign up for.  And I find it hard to whip up a great deal of empathy for the “poor women” in a story like this:

Step 1: Slip into a dress and heels. Step 2: Sip a cocktail and wait your turn to talk. Step 3: Pour your heart out. Repeat as needed.

About 30 women, generally in their mid- to late-20s, regularly post to the Web site or attend meetings.

“We do make light of everything on the blog and it’s very tongue in cheek,” said Laney Crowell, 27, who parted ways with a corporate real estate investor last month after a tumultuous relationship. “But it all stems out of really serious and heartfelt situations.” [snip]

Raoul Felder, the Manhattan divorce lawyer, said that cases involving financiers always stack up as the economy starts to slip, because layoffs and shrinking bonuses place stress on relationships — and, he said, because “there aren’t funds or time for mistresses any more.”

(One such mistress wrote on the blog that when she pouted about not having been taken on a trip lately, her married man explained that with money so tight, his wife had taken to checking up on his accounts.)

Mmm, yeah, sorry lady, you don’t get any sympathy from me.

I truly believe that money problems are a primary marriage-killer.  (I’d guess it’s a dead heat between that and infidelity.)  A polite word of advice to these wives:  Don’t assume the money will last, any more than your husband should assume your beauty will remain the same.  Love the person, not the credit card, and you’ll be much better off.  (This is not exactly rocket science.)

For Christine Cameron, the recession became real when the financial analyst she had been dating for about a year would get drunk and disappear while they were out together, then accuse her the next day of being the one who had absconded.

Ummmm, no, the recession is not the problem.  The problem is that your boyfriend doesn’t have sufficient coping mechanisms and is using alcohol instead.  Send him to therapy/AA and stop blaming the economy for bringing the problem to light.

Because I believe that some of these women are genuinely nice people caught in a stressful situation, I will offer the following blunt, Rachel Lucas-inspired advice:

Don’t date assholes.

Women, don’t date men who are far more concerned with their job and status symbols than they are with your life and feelings.  Don’t ever date ANYONE who assumes he has the right to “get a little on the side.”  Don’t date someone who blames you when things go wrong.

Men, don’t date women who love you not for your mind and soul but for your cash.  Don’t date women whose first concern is how much money you make.  Don’t date ANYONE whose primary concern with a failing economy and how it might affect your job/life is that “your monthly Bergdorf’s allowance has been halved and bottle service has all but disappeared from your life.”  (What *is* bottle service, anyway?)

Wasn’t that easy?  Don’t date assholes, and you’ll have a far smaller chance of marrying an asshole, and having that asshole live up to his/her asshole-ish reputation when an economic crisis hits.

You’re welcome.

(h/t The Corner)

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Happy Birthday Daddy!

Posted by Lissa on January 27, 2009

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(If you’re looking for someone to blame for The LookingForLissa Snark — that guy up thar’ is a good bet.  SRSLY.)

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The Yoplait campaign – am I missing something?

Posted by Lissa on January 27, 2009

I’m happily noshing my humble breakfast of a hard-boiled egg and a Yoplait Light when I notice the print on the yogurt’s foil lid:

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In case the print is too small, it reads: 

HELP US RAISE UP TO $275,000 TO FIGHT HUNGER IN AMERICA

General Mills will donate 10¢ per Seal (Lid) up to $275,000 to Feeding America(TM) for each Pound for Pound Seal (Lid) received by 12/31/09.

Mail clean Seals (Lids) to:
Pound for Pound Challenge
P.O. Box 400013
El Paso, TX 88540-0013

Hmmm. 

So you want me to spend 42¢ on a stamp to mail you a used yogurt lid, after which you will donate 10¢ to a morass of bureaucracy and PR crap such that maybe 5¢ actually goes toward feeding hungry folks and their kids.  Maybe.

And this is preferable to spending fifty cents on a can of peas and donating it to the local food shelter . . . how??

P.S.  Seals = Lids.  Thanks.  I got it the first time, dude.

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Hoping I still have the intestinal fortitude of a college student

Posted by Lissa on January 26, 2009

Jenny and I went up to visit Dad last night, as a belated-Christmas early-birthday joint celebration.  There was much laughter, snarkiness, verbal flaying of thine enemies and tormenting playing with the completely stoned  catnip-mellowed tabby. 

Dinner was both easy and fun, in that we brought up Boboli mini-shells and made our own pizzas.  Jenny’s a sucker for Hawaiian pizza; she covered hers with chunk pineapple and diced ham.  I stuck with relatively simple bell peppers and pepperoni.  Dad’s pizza closely resembled mine, except his was also decorated with fiery green bits of hell jalapenos.  (Parents — this is a great way to do a casual Friday night dinner, have fun with the kids, and avoid the “But I want mushrooms on the pizza!”  “Well, I hate mushrooms!” argument.)

By the time we’d baked and eaten our pizzas, opened all the presents, eaten fruit-topped cheesecake, packed up everything and driven home, I was pretty sleepy and contented.  Which is why I forgot to put my leftover pizza in the fridge last night.

And if you think I intend to throw out pizza that I personally designed and produced myself, you are severely mistaken.

So WHAT if it sat out without refrigeration for, oh, twelve hours or so?  Once pizza is cooked, it’s good for that long, right?  Back in the college days I distinctly remember eating leftover pizza for breakfast; not only had it sat out all night but it was probably topped with stale beer, to boot.

In other words — here’s to hoping I still have the gastrointestinal fortitude of a college student.  If I’m wrong . . . well, that’s why they invented this lovely thing called Pepto Bismo.

UPDATE: Fixed the typo in the title — thanks Brad!

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