Friday Night Lite Open Thread: Mr. Punch, Osama and Chen Guangcheng

Good Evening!

I had this post almost finished up, and poof, it went with the wind…well not the wind, but the damn computer crash. So the post will be thin, much thinner than I had previously written.

Well, tonight we have some lite links for you, but they are discussing some serious points. First I want to bring this article from the Guardian to your attention. It is currently the top trending emailed link on the site:

Heartland Institute compares belief in global warming to mass murder

Leo blog : The Heartland Institute conference billboard in Chicago

Billboards in Chicago paid for by The Heartland Institute along the inbound Eisenhower Expressway in Maywood, Illinois. Photograph: The Heartland Institute

It really is hard to know where to begin with this one. But let’s start with: “What on earth were they thinking?”

The Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based rightwing thinktank notorious for promoting climate scepticism, has launched quite possibly one of the most ill-judged poster campaigns in the history of ill-judged poster campaigns.

I’ll let its own press release for its upcoming conference explain, as there’s simply no need to finesse it further:

Billboards in Chicago paid for by The Heartland Institute point out that some of the world’s most notorious criminals say they “still believe in global warming” – and ask viewers if they do, too…The billboard series features Ted Kaczynski, the infamous Unabomber; Charles Manson, a mass murderer; and Fidel Castro, a tyrant. Other global warming alarmists who may appear on future billboards include Osama bin Laden and James J. Lee (who took hostages inside the headquarters of the Discovery Channel in 2010).
These rogues and villains were chosen because they made public statements about how man-made global warming is a crisis and how mankind must take immediate and drastic actions to stop it.
Why did Heartland choose to feature these people on its billboards? Because what these murderers and madmen have said differs very little from what spokespersons for the United Nations, journalists for the “mainstream” media, and liberal politicians say about global warming. The point is that believing in global warming is not “mainstream,” smart, or sophisticated. In fact, it is just the opposite of those things. Still believing in man-made global warming – after all the scientific discoveries and revelations that point against this theory – is more than a little nutty. In fact, some really crazy people use it to justify immoral and frightening behavior.

But then comes the best bit:

Of course, not all global warming alarmists are murderers or tyrants.

It tries to morally justify its posters – the first of which appeared over the Eisenhower Expressway yesterday – by saying that, due to ““Climategate” and the recent incident in which a US scientist called Peter Gleick admitted to obtaining and releasing internal documents (one of which Heartland claims was faked) detailing Heartland’s funding and policy strategies, that “the leaders of the global warming movement are willing to break the law and the rules of ethics to shut down scientific debate and implement their left-wing agendas”.

It adds:

The people who still believe in man-made global warming are mostly on the radical fringe of society. This is why the most prominent advocates of global warming aren’t scientists. They are murderers, tyrants, and madmen.

The bigger question, beyond trying to analyse the collective mentality of an organisation that would sign off a poster campaign like this, is whether it will now lead any of the speakers, attendees and sponsors to pull out of the conference and dissociate themselves from this think tank.

You know, it is right-wing ad campaigns like this that make the US look like idiots! Take a look at the rest of the article at the link, and while you are there, check out the comment section.

Earlier today, one of the right leaning pundits (cough) had this to say about Romney sticking his nose into things he shouldn’t. Kristol: Romney’s Attacks On Obama For Handling Of Chinese Dissident Are ‘Foolish’

Last night on Fox News, Bill Kristol advised Romney to stand down on the Chen case, calling his attacks on Obama “foolish”:

KRISTOL: I’m happy to be critical of the Obama administration as anyone is, but I think this is fast moving story. And if I were advising Governor Romney, I’d say you don’t need to get in the middle of this story. If this turns out badly, and it would be a terrible thing, it will turn out badly. People will know. … To inject yourself into the middle of this way with a fast moving target I think is foolish. […]

There is no need to butt into a fast moving story when the secretary of state is in Beijing with delicate negotiations and say it’s a day of shame for the Obama administration. Hillary Clinton is waking up right now. Let’s see if she can pull this off in the next 12 hours or so.

No shit, Sherlock!

With that I will move on to a few cartoons for you to ponder:

Cheng Guangcheng

Cheng Guangcheng © Bob Englehart,The Hartford Courant,china,human rights,dissident,activist

That cartoon is so understated but powerful…

This next one is about Edwards and Edvard:

 Angst and Vanity © Mark Streeter,The Savannah Morning News,john edwards,trial,mistress,artwork,millions,scream,secret

And one more, this one is from my personal favorite editorial cartoonist:

5/4 Mike Luckovich cartoon: ‘I got Osama’ | Mike Luckovich

My last link for you tonight is about the world’s most famous puppet… – Mr Punch celebrates 350 years of puppet anarchy

Mr Punch, Fred Tickner, 1975 © V&A Images Mr Punch from the Happy Birthday Mr Punch! exhibition at V&A Museum of Childhood 14 July - 9 December
Mr Punch from the Happy Birthday Mr Punch! exhibition at V&A Museum of Childhood from 14 July – 9 December

He has survived political correctness and the PlayStation generation. Now Mr Punch is about to celebrate his 350th birthday. What’s the reason for his longevity?

With his familiar cry of “That’s the way to do it!”, Mr Punch has come a long way since his first mention in the diary of Samuel Pepys.

Next week, the squawking red-nosed prince of slapstick turns 350, with a big party in London’s Covent Garden piazza.

It was here that Pepys recorded, on 9 May 1662, that he enjoyed “an Italian puppet play that is within the rayles there, which is very pretty, the best that ever I saw…”

In Pepys’ day, Mr Punch was a stringed marionette called Pulcinella, but he has evolved over the decades into the stick-wielding hand puppet now so familiar at summer fayres and seaside resorts.

The Punch and Judy shows are still popular in England, they are now called “Professor” and have more modern themes:

So how has Mr Punch managed to make it into the 21st Century?

“Mr Punch has been seen by every monarch since Charles II,” says Mr Edwards. “He’s had to keep in tune with the social climate.”

Comedy routines that would have been enjoyed by the Victorians – such as one involving a hangman getting hanged – have disappeared as public tastes have changed.

“It’s a classic piece of gallows humour,” says Mr Edwards, “but we don’t do it any more because people don’t understand it as a topical joke.”

Glyn Edwards' Punch and Judy show (Photo credit: The Fedora Group)
That’s the way to do it! Glyn Edwards in action with Mr Punch, crocodile and a string of sausages

These days Mr Punch is more likely to have youth crime and the financial crisis on his agenda.

“When Judy refers to the baby as little Asbo it gets a laugh,” says Mr Edwards, who has also introduced a new character called Mr Bonus the Banker.

He also has a health and safety officer – complete with a clipboard and hi-viz jacket – who ends up in Mr Punch’s sausage machine.

While Punch and Judy have faced criticism that they are too violent for children – in 2004 a council in Cornwall banned a show following complaints that it promoted domestic violence – Mr Punch and friends look set to thrive in the new millennium.

“He’s an English icon,” says Mr Edwards. “I know from personal experience that there isn’t a Punch and Judy act that’s not booked over the Jubilee period. At times of national holidays, Mr Punch is regarded as someone who ought to be there.”

More at the link, I had to look up the meaning to Asbo myself, yup…that is about right.

This is an open thread…

32 Comments on “Friday Night Lite Open Thread: Mr. Punch, Osama and Chen Guangcheng”

  1. Hope that these links are not repeats…but there is one link that I wanted to share with you:

    Georgia Family Happy to Be ‘The Real Life Seven Dwarfs’ – ABC News

    The Johnston family, from Barnesville, Ga., is extreme in many ways. Standing no more than four feet tall, they call themselves “the real life seven dwarfs.” They are the largest family of achondroplasia dwarfs, with a type of dwarfism that affects the extremities.

    When it comes to parenting, Amber and Trent Johnston go to extremes to keep things extremely normal. They do not modify any of their furniture to accommodate their size. Most parents try to make the world easier for their children. Not the Johnstons; as Amber Johnston told “20/20’s” Barbara Walters, “we strive to raise our children in the world that’s not built for them.”


    They adopted Ana from Siberia, Alex from South Korea, and, in 2010, Emma from China. Those who know them have joked that they are the “Brad and Angelina of little people” — not only because of their international adoptions, but also because of how much they embrace each child’s heritage.

  2. dakinikat says:

    I have had a really long week. I’m hoping I can finish some stuff up and get some peace and quiet tomorrow.

    Meanwhile, here’s a gift of music from my neck of the woods to yours!!!

  3. ANonOMouse says:

    JJ….. Thanks for the evening roundup and the great cartoons.

  4. northwestrain says:

    Imagine a man who calls women whores and sluts given air time? Anyway one brave women calls out this misogynist. I read some of the background links in the article about this on air confrontation. This creeps needs to be shunned.

    Here’s how a hero takes on the bad guy.

    • RalphB says:

      I had never heard of that freak before. What an incredible asshat. Good for Powers.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Wow!!!! I don’t watch Fox News for that very reason. You never know what sort of whack-job pretzel brain they’ll expose you to. He is a real he-man-woman-hater.

  5. Attention, anyone with dogs: Salmonella in dog food sickens 14 people in US  |

    Fourteen people in at least nine states have been sickened by salmonella after handling tainted dog food from a South Carolina plant that a few years ago produced food contaminated by toxic mold that killed dozens of dogs, federal officials said Friday.

    At least five people were hospitalized because of the dog food, which was made by Diamond Pet Foods at its plant in Gaston, S.C., the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. No pets were sickened, according to the Meta, Mo.-based company.

    “People who became ill, the thing that was common among them was that they had fed their pets Diamond Pet Foods,” said CDC spokeswoman Lola Russell.

  6. I just saw this link, I did not realize that today is the 42nd anniversary of Kent State. May 4, 1970 – Kent State. | Newstalgia

    • bostonboomer says:

      I forgot all about it too!

    • northwestrain says:

      So much hate. I remember driving to the University in San Jose — seeing the bumper stickers filled with so much hate. College students were evil. Small minded people are easy to manipulate for the political elites.

      At the same time so many Vets were going to college on the GI bill. It was these Vets who told us what was really going on in Vietnam. Another stupid political war — both parties were at fault and both were lying.

    • northwestrain says:

      Time and the militarization of police means that we could see another Kent State like event.

      The Neanderthals in uniform will run wild — and perhaps then they will be forced to answer to some sort of citizen review board. Right now the cops are getting away with murder, rape and other illegal and uncivilized behavior.

      First several Supremes need to be impeached and imprisoned.

  7. bostonboomer says:

    This is one of the funniest things Romney has ever said: Romney attacks Obama for not keeping unemployment below 4 percent

    • bostonboomer says:

      “Just this morning there was some news that came across the wire that said that the unemployment rate has dropped to 8.1 percent,” the former Massachusetts governor told a group of supporters in Pittsburgh. “And normally, that would be cause for celebration, but, in fact, anything over 8 percent, anything near 8 percent — anything over 4 percent is not a cause for celebration.”


      According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, no Republican president in the last 40 years has lowered the unemployment rate below 4 percent. Under Democratic President Bill Clinton, the rate was below 4 percent for five months in 2000.

    • RalphB says:

      His 500K jobs a month number is totally off the wall as well. Willard doesn’t really know a damn thing from what I can tell.

      • northwestrain says:

        He knows the secret hand shake to get his women into Mormon heaven — other than that I’m not sure what he really knows about anything.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Why doesn’t he explain why unemployment was so high in MA when he was governor that people were moving out the state in droves?

      • And of course, no mention…nothing about how the GOP are the ones who are making the economy grow/or move so slow?

    • Seriously says:

      And once again, he’s begging the Democrats to bring up all the people he’s personally thrown out of work and who still hate him for ruining their lives. I can’t fathom why he wants to keep bringing up unemployment when it’s so easy to paint him as an out of touch elitist who made obscene money at average people’s expense.

  8. bostonboomer says:

    Here’s one for you, JJ: David Koch donates $35 million to Smithsonian dinosaur gallery.

    Koch, a member of the museum’s advisory board for the past five years, previously gave $15 million to the museum’s David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins.

    The subject matter of both human origins and dinosaurs has always fascinated him, he said.

    “It goes way back,” Koch said in a telephone interview from New York. “I went to my first dinosaur hall with my father and twin brother. We went to the American Museum of Natural History, and I was blown away by the dinosaurs.”

    • Strange stuff. If he is “genuine” about all this, why be so right-wingnut about climate change science and creationism and all the other stuff they go nuts for? I guess the Dinosaur exhibit will have a “caveat” about who made the dinosaurs and when they were made…by the curator, just like at the human origin museum.

      One thing though, I am so looking forward to our visit at DC. We went when I was 10 and 13 years old…so it is very exciting.

  9. RalphB says:

    I don’t know how many remember this horrid crime but this story documents what can happen when great wealth and corrupt officials face an honest prosecutor and some good cops. Wealth can lose.

    The young lady seems to have come a long way toward a life for herself and it must have been hell.

    OC Weekly: Meet Jane Doe

    OC’s most famous sexual-assault victim breaks her silence on the 10th anniversary of the Haidl gang rape

    But nobody could have anticipated that a 16-year-old, carefree, party-hungry Rancho Cucamonga girl would alter the course of Orange County history. Her arrival at the high-school-aged beer-and-pot party at Haidl’s home near midnight on July 5, 2002, set in motion a series of events that would make national news, reveal wealth’s corrupting influence on justice, alter California law about defense lawyers paying jurors, prompt rebellion inside the OCSD, expose the laziness of the mainstream media that blamed Doe, launch a federal grand jury, end promising careers and put several powerful individuals once blessed by the president of the United States in prison.

    • northwestrain says:

      She is one of the bravest women — and her experience is why so many rape victims remain silent.

  10. Fannie says:

    Time to shut down heartland………………I am a liberal, and how dare they respond this way, where is the petition to tear down and stop those ads?