Wednesday Reads: Just Don’t Get It

Good Morning

Maybe I am just a bit tired, maybe I am just suffering from PAD, but there are a lot of links picked up by Memeorandum lately, which I have no clue what is going on.

Aaron Walker and Brett Kimberlin…what a bunch of noise. So today’s links are not coming from Memeorandum.

As you may have already heard, Romney “clinched” the GOP nomination last night…

Updated: 11:45 p.m. ET

(CBS News) Nearly a year after announcing his presidential bid, CBS News estimates that Mitt Romney has earned the necessary delegates to clinch the Republican presidential nomination.

With 85 percent of the votes counted, CBS News projects that the former Massachusetts governor will win Tuesday’s Texas’ GOP primary, earning 70 percent of the vote and surpassing the 1,144 delegates needed to secure the nomination. Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who announced earlier this month that he would no longer be actively campaigning in the race, earned 11 percent.

CBS News has been tracking delegates throughout the primaries and caucuses, including interviews with Republican delegates across the country. The former Massachusetts governor has amassed more than a thousand delegates from these contests and CBS News has also confirmed that he has the support of 83 of the 123 delegates who are Republican National Committee members and are free to support who they choose.

According to CBS News estimates, Romney will have 1,198 delegates following his victory in Texas.

In Texas there is a heated Runoff Set in G.O.P. Race for Senate

Texas, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst failed to win enough votes in the Republican primary on Tuesday to avert a runoff with Ted Cruz, a Houston lawyer who cast the election as a battle between the moderate Republican establishment and Tea Party conservatives.

Cruz is seen as a darling for the Tea Party, and you know he got the grizzly bear endorsement…

As Texas solicitor general, Mr. Cruz won cases before the United States Supreme Court that, among other things, defended the right to have a monument to the Ten Commandments at the state Capitol. He received support from Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska, and the former presidential candidate Rick Santorum, endorsements that Mr. Dewhurst cast as outside meddling in state politics.

I know that there has been talk that the tea party is fading, I don’t think so.

Speaking of right-wing conservatives, I was wondering how long it would take for the PLUBs to latch on to Chen Guangchen. Abortion foes see ally in Chinese activist

Conservatives are seizing on the high-profile story of Chen Guangcheng, the blind Chinese activist who recently arrived in the United States, hoping that the spotlight on his human-rights work will bolster their efforts to curb abortions domestically and in China.

Anti-abortion groups, including National Right to Life and the Susan B. Anthony List, are highlighting Chen’s work exposing forced abortions and sterilizations in China in hopes it will help them in passing U.S. legislation banning abortions performed because of a child’s gender. Chen’s plight also has led congressional Republicans to plan hearings this summer on the one-child policy.

Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign is citing Chen’s work in its critique of President Obama’s record on human rights. Particularly, Romney’s campaign officials argue Obama has been weak on the one-child rule, China’s much-publicized population-control measure, which has been criticized as an under-recognized human-rights abuse.

Romney was also critical about Obama’s policy with Syria, in light of the latest massacre. Here is the latest on the U.S., allies expel Syrian diplomats over massacre

The United States and 10 other countries expelled Syrian diplomats Tuesday after blaming government forces for last week’s massacre of more than 100 villagers in central Syria, but they again stopped short of calling for more aggressive action to end the violence.

Despite expressions of outrage and agreement that the situation in Syria has reached what U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan called a “tipping point,” the Obama administration and its major allies said they would continue to rely on diplomatic, political and economic pressure against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Seeing all those little bodies wrapped in sheeting laid out on the floor was so disturbing and upsetting.

Others used sharper language to assign blame for one of the worst atrocities since the anti-
Assad Syrian uprising began 14 months ago.

“These were regime-sponsored thugs who went into villages, went into homes and killed children at point-blank range and their parents,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said. She said the Syrian “thug force mirrors the same force that the Iranians used” to put down a nascent political uprising in 2009 and suggested that Assad was acting on Iran’s advice and assistance.

I know today’s links are few, but I’ve got a sick kid on my hands…and he’s got a fever. So please help me out, and post links to things you are reading and blogging about today.


Friday Reads: NOLA Daily No More and Elusive Escaped Penguin is Caught

Good Morning!

JJ here, while Dakinikat is off seeing her oldest daughter get married, I’ve got the honor of taking her place on this morning’s reads!

Over the past few weeks you have seen that I have a fondness for cartoons. Not just the political/editorial ones, but all cartoons. I have hundreds of yellowed and crinkled newsprint cartoons stashed away in drawers, boxes, plastic bags and the few that are very special, I still have taped to my fridge. Some have little messages scribbled on them, maybe an extra doodle drawn to represent something specifically funny, like an inside joke within the family.

I did not limit it to cartoons, there were many times an article would pop out at me, begging for it to be clipped. Of course, I would make my little editorial comments in the borders…And it wasn’t just me who would do this, my mom would do it too. Sometimes I would get a surprise letter in the mail, and in it would be a newspaper clipping of a cartoon or an article that she thought I would laugh like hell at, for example say….about some group of midgets in drag, robbing a Burger King….I am not kidding on that one!

And lets not forget clipping obituaries or recipes…or historic moments. (The attic of our hundred year old house in Newtown, Connecticut had a newspaper from when the Titanic sunk, when FDR was elected for his first term, and when FDR died.)

So when I moved nine years ago from the big city to Banjoville, I expected to have our newspaper, the “legal organ” of Union County published once a week, on Tuesdays. Except for Election Day…that always means a Wednesday delivery.

Since then I have been able to print out a cartoon here or there, but is isn’t the same thing. There is something magical in the feel and look of newsprint, am I right? If you are “lucky” it will smudge your fingers a bit, and as the time goes by, the edges start to curl up…and the dirt and grease marks get darker and darker…the paper gets yellower and yellower. It is a way to mark the passage of time.

The reason I am waxing romantic about newspapers is they are becoming a thing of the past. Like the big dinosaurs, one day they will all become extinct. Yes, in small towns, the weekly is the main form of local news, but in huge cities, residents are finding that they will no longer receive that daily pile of newsprint.

New Orleans is now possibly the only major city in the US without a daily newspaper. The Times/Picayune has stopped its daily print news…opting for the “digital” version. (You can still get a print paper a few days a week, but there is no guarantee it won’t disappear all together.)

Late Night: The Latest Casualty

Another newspaper died today.  Not just any paper; the New Orleans Times-Picayune, which has been publishing since 1837.  Officially, it is merely cutting daily print editions to Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, but what with letting over a third of the staff go,  NOLA.com will be something, but it won’t be a newspaper, despite the absurd claims from its publisher that this was some sort of “adaption to the digital era.”  Really?  In the digital era I know, the only thing lame about papers is that they only come out once a day; will letting them sit in the box for three days make them somehow more appealing, as keepsakes, perhaps?

If the newspaper industry were serious about going digital, rather than just reaping larger profits and putting yet another squeeze on its long-suffering employees, it would not be leaving in place any of the absurdly costly and wasteful process of printing and delivery, which will continue to be massive and now underutilized investments.  No, what the bloated and mismanaged conglomerates that now own our newspapers want is slow death and golden parachutes for all concerned, and the less any actual journalism gets involved, the better.

The parent company of the Times-Picayune is Newhouse, and they have decided to forgo the paper’s paper, and of course, a number of their employees…

As revenue began to dry up from all three of these previously reliable sources, the corporate leadership of virtually every major daily decided to tackle the problem the same, self-defeating way: cutting staff, eliminating departments, and turning once-useful functions over to the sales side; most notably car reviews.  Each false economy eroded the only intrinsic value of the legacy newspaper: its credibility, stability, and connection to the community.  To maximize “shareholder value” in the short term, newspapers casually threw away the very things that readers actually valued.  To no one’s surprise, a decade or two of essentially selling pink slime and calling it hamburger did end up causing plummeting circulation, which is now used to justify yet further cuts in the product quality.  What, pray tell, is worse than pink slime?

Sadly, a lot.  Fox News viewers have once again been found to be less informed than the comatose, and back in the days after Hurricane Katrina, the Times-Picayune heroically countered their malevolent misinformation even when its presses were literally underwater.  When I was in New Orleans a year later,  the local reverence for the paper was still apparent; until dark, papers littered the tables of every corner pub and coffeehouse.  But all the Newhouse executives could see in this improbable renaissance was declining margins, grabby unions, and a daily torrent of comment abuse from the (white) readers outside the city.   So they canned it, but just partly, for show.

Yeah…what about that. I know lots of people who do not have internet, or iPads or SmartPhones…or e-readers. WTF (where the fuck) will they get their news?

I will quote the last paragraph of this excellent post on FDL:

The death of the Times-Picayune is unremarkable, I suppose, given the recent deaths of papers from Seattle, Denver, and elsewhere.  But those papers left at least one daily community voice in their wake.  New Orleans is now the only major American city that I can think of that’s lost its only daily paper.  Journalism is dying in America, by a thousand cuts of Bain-style “creative destruction,” and it’s no great leap to think that on some level it’s being done deliberately.  I think it was Jefferson who said he’d rather have newspapers without a government than a government without newspapers, but it seems our corporate overlords have decided they’d like to try it the other way around.

And sadly, NOLA is not the only city losing a print paper. Alabama Media Group, a new digitally focused company, will launch this fall with expanded online coverage and enhanced three-day-a-week newspapers

Wow, it’s an epidemic!

A new digitally focused media company — the Alabama Media Group, which will include The Birmingham News, the Press-Register of Mobile, The Huntsville Times and al.com — will launch this fall to serve readers and advertisers across the state, according to Cindy Martin, who will become president of the new organization.

The change is designed to reshape how Alabama’s leading media companies deliver award-winning local news, sports and entertainment coverage in an increasingly digital age. The Alabama Media Group will dramatically expand its news-gathering efforts around the clock, seven days a week, while offering enhanced printed newspapers on a schedule of three days a week. The newspapers will be home-delivered and sold in stores on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays only.

(You see what is happening, no more newspapers, post office or social security, don’t laugh, it is coming!)

A second company, Advance Central Services Alabama, will handle production, distribution, technology, finance and human resources, and will be led by current Birmingham News President and Publisher Pam Siddall. Both companies are owned by Advance Publications, Inc.

Driving these changes are rapid advances in how readers engage with news content across all platforms, print and digital, said Martin, who is currently the President and CEO of al.com.

Eventually the only form of “news” will be the kind of crap we see on the “cable networks” or online, which will be bought and paid for by corporations…aka people…who will put their own spin on things. No…wait a moment, that is the way it is now!

(emphasis mine BTW)

The change in organizational structures across all departments will lead to a reduction in the overall size of the workforce. Details are still being worked out, Martin said.

There are always painful choices when you begin a process that will lead to people losing their jobs,” Martin said. “But at the same time, we must position ourselves to be sustainable businesses going forward. The new companies we launch in the fall, we believe, not only achieve that, but will serve our growing audiences and advertisers better than ever before.”

Yup, you bet your ass it will…serve up the latest news, in style! (Or cloaked in whatever shade your advertisers prefer.)

Tailor your news to fit your audience, right: Daily Caller Doling Out Guns To Its Readers Now Through Election Day

The Daily Caller, the proudly racist and rabidly right-wing website of adult Pee-Wee Herman doll and epic media failure Tucker Carlson, is no longer going to pretend that it cares about decency and decorum. The website that set of many alarms following the Trayvon Martin murder and the racist responses that its users plastered all over the place, is now offering one handgun per week from now until election day.

Here’s the actual announcement:
The Daily Caller will be giving away one gun per week until Election Day – November 6, 2012. The FMK9C1 is an American-made high capacity 9mm designed by Jim Pontillo and manufactured in California. Each gun is engraved with the Bill of Rights and comes in one of three colors.

To enter this week’s contest, simply sign up below to receive updates from The Daily Caller. Our DC
Morning emails are an informative and amusing way to keep up with the latest news. To enter the giveaway you must complete the form below agreeing to all terms and conditions associated with the contest.

I swear, the country is going to hell in a big ass hand-basket. Actually, that is not true anymore, who the hell carries a hand-basket now a days? The country is going to hell in a touch screen…made in China…and brought to you by the Koch Brothers.

Now, since I wrote so much about the end of an era…let us have the rest of today’s links in a news dump…

Chen Guangchen is talking about his horrific ordeal: Chen Guangcheng Sits Down With Anderson Cooper: ‘My Suffering Was Beyond Imagination’

And, another former house arrest activist is finally giving her acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize she won, over two decades ago: Suu Kyi to give Nobel speech, 21 years late

On the war on women front: Senate Armed Services Committee Votes to End Military Ban on Insurance Coverage of Abortion Care for Rape and Incest

The amendment was introduced by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). In November 2011, anti-choice senators refused to allow the Shaheen amendment to come to the floor, so the 2012 NDAA was signed into law with the ban in place. Today’s vote affects the FY 2013 NDAA.

There are some 400,000 women in the United States Armed Forces; they and their families receive health care and insurance through the Department of Defense’s Military Health System. The department currently denies coverage for abortion care except when a pregnant woman’s life is endangered. Unlike other federal bans on abortion coverage, the military ban provides no exception for cases of rape and incest.

Grrrrrgh…

As a result, those seeking safe abortion care after rape or incest must pay out-of-pocket for such care at a military facility. But because physicians on military bases are prohibited from providing abortion care, it is not actually available to military women in need even under the narrow conditions technically allowed. As a result, servicewomen are often forced to choose between taking leave and traveling far distances to an American provider, seeking services from a local, unfamiliar health care facility (if abortion is legal and they are not in a combat zone), having an unsafe procedure, or attempting to self-induce an abortion.

The Shaheen Amendment, if passed by Congress and signed by the President, would address one of these issues by bringing the military’s health insurance policy in line with the policy that governs other federal programs, such as Medicaid and the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program and as a result enable  servicewomen to receive insurance coverage for abortion care.

The amendment is strongly supported by military leaders, physicians, and servicewomen themselves.

“Women who put their lives on the line fighting for our freedom shouldn’t be denied reproductive health care services,” said Gale Pollock, Major General, US Army (Ret.).

Well, lets see what those Conservative Women do to support their fellow women…place your bets!

(And I said the rest of this post was going to be a link dump.)

Waterboarding got another pass this week, state secrets must be protected: A Court Covers Up – NYTimes.com

Secretary of State had some words about Iran: Clinton: Significant Differences Remain Over Iran’s Nuclear Program–  VOA

Some guy is taking the flea circus to another dimension, well it is actually not fleas, but ants. BBC News – Artist Ollie Palmer on staging an ‘ant ballet’

Some other guy in South Dakota is running for office, and his credentials are quite extensive: ‘I’ve Ridden An Ostrich. I’ve Done Lots Of Stuff.’: SD Congressional Candidate’s Amazingly Bizarre Campaign Ad | Mediaite

Jeff Barth’s ad:

…features Barth talking to the camera as he walks down a long path. The first thing you’ll notice is that the way the camera backs away from him makes the whole thing seem like the viewer is desperately trying to get out of a conversation with a crazy person. The second thing you’ll notice is that Barth has done a lot of weird stuff in his life. As he walks, he lists such accomplishments as having “learned chess in Iceland,” being in Germany to watch the Berlin Wall get built, and having daughters with “straight teeth and husbands.”

And lastly, remember that penguin that escaped from its cell? (No this is not a nun story.) BBC News – Tokyo keepers catch fugitive Penguin 337

Still from footage reportedly showing the one-year-old Humboldt penguin in Tokyo Bay. Photo: 7 May 2012
Penguin 337 spent several weeks swimming in rivers in the Tokyo Bay area

A young penguin which escaped from a Tokyo aquarium has been caught after more than two months on the loose in the Japanese capital.

The Humboldt penguin scaled a wall and slipped though a fence at the Tokyo Sea Life Park in March.

It has since been spotted several times swimming in a rivers running into Tokyo Bay, but had eluded keepers.

The one-year-old fugitive was finally recaptured on Thursday evening.

Two keepers went to a river after a sighting of the penguin was reported in the morning. They managed to catch it later that day on the river bank, a spokesman for Tokyo Sea Life Park told the BBC.

At least the little bugger is back safe. I don’t know about you, but I am curious…how the hell does a penguin scale a wall?

Please…can somebody explain that to me?


Dead Silence from Mitt Romney on Chen Guangcheng’s Arrival in U.S.

It’s been a couple of days now since blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng arrived at Newark on a flight from Beijing. Mitt Romney must have heard about it, but he’s said nary a word about it. I wonder why?

He had plenty to say back on May 3, in the midst of the crisis that took place during Secretary Clinton’s trip to China. Chen had managed to escape from house arrest and make it to the U.S. Embassy to ask for assistance. As State Department and U.S. Embassy staff struggled to negotiate an exit strategy for Chen, Romney, the all-but-official Republican nominee:

condemned the Obama administration’s handling of blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, calling the episode “a dark day for freedom” and “a day of shame” for President Obama if, he couched, reports are true that American officials communicated threats to Chen’s family….

Several times on Thursday, Romney couched his comments with disclaimers like “if the reports are true,” but the takeaway was clearly intended that the incident is a black eye for President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

Despite Romney’s impulsive catastrophizing, Secretary of State Clinton calmly continued her efforts to help Chen and his family get to the U.S. in a way that would also save face for Chinese officials. Chen was offered a law fellowship at New York University and a deal was struck: Chen could leave China on a student visa, and his departure wouldn’t be characterized as seeking asylum.

On May 9 in New Delhi, Clinton told an interviewer:

that the work she and others have done to establish multiple channels for dialogue over the last 3 1/2 years “created a level of personal relationships and understandings between individuals and our government institutions that is absolutely critical.”

Clinton suggested that China’s willingness to agree to a U.S. proposal to assist a prominent critic of the government’s one-child policy is an indication that taking a broader view of the relationship pays dividends in a moment of crisis.

“I’ve invested a lot and argued strongly” for keeping regular channels of communication open so that no one issue “predominates or undermines the potential for reaching agreement on other equally important issues,” the top U.S. diplomat told Bloomberg Radio.

This was a triumph for negotiation as opposed to the kinds of macho chest-pounding that Romney has been preaching so far.

Declining to comment on how the U.S. managed to craft a deal this time in a sensitive case involving a Chinese activist, Clinton said that “every high-level Chinese official that I met” last week “repeated back to me” words from a speech she delivered in Washington reflecting on Sino-U.S. relations in the 40 years since President Richard Nixon’s historic outreach to communist China.

Chinese officials, she said, echoed her view that “what we are trying to do — the U.S. and China — is unprecedented in world history. We’re trying to find a way for an established power and a rising power to coexist.”

Last night, Cheryl Isaac wrote at Forbes:

Chen posed a great challenge for Hillary Clinton because of two competing issues: the economic dialogue in Beijing had been her priority for a couple of years, her pledge to protect human rights—women’s rights nonetheless—another priority.

The confusion of the negotiation process did not help either. After escaping house arrest and seeking refuge at the American Embassy, Chen first decided to stay in China. Then later, he pleaded to be taken to America—putting Clinton in the difficult place of having to renegotiate an agreement that had been reached 24 hours prior; reports the Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz.

People around the world stated their displeasure. In the U.S., she had Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) stating that Clinton did not keep Chen safe within the U.S. Embassy. In this video interview, Smith even admits to telling Chen—in a phone conversation—that the fact that officials were working day and night on his paperwork, was not a good sign…”

But Hillary pushed onward, made the right decisions, and was successful in her goal of helping Chen and his family.

Bravo, Madam Secretary! Where are macho Mitt’s congratulations? Has he apologized yet? I’ve googled, but can’t find any evidence that he has owned up to his bungling or even acknowledged this diplomatic achievement. Why am I not surprised?


Sunday Reads: Status Married, Earthquake in Italy and Chen is Happy

Vintage Travel Poster

Wow…Good Morning!

Last night at around 9:30, I sat down and started to watch some of the old Dark Shadows episodes on Netflix, next thing I know it is 2:00 in the morning…and I realize that I have not even written the post for this morning. Ugh!

So…this morning’s post will be an abbreviated one, and I will be sure to post another one shortly.

Well, after becoming a very wealthy man…check out what Zuckerberg did: Status: married. Surprise update as Mark Zuckerberg weds Priscilla Chan

The newly enriched Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has updated his status to “married”. Zuckerberg and 27-year-old Priscilla Chan wed at a small ceremony at his home in Palo Alto, California, on Saturday, capping a week during which the social network he founded listed on the share market for more than $100bn.

Zuckerberg took his company public in one of the most anticipated moves in Wall Street history on Friday. Chan graduated from medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, on Monday, the same day Zuckerberg turned 28.Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg in their wedding photo posted on Facebook

Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg in their wedding photo posted on Facebook after a surprise ceremony. Photograph: Reuters

The couple met at Harvard and have been together for more than nine years.

At least he did not wear a hoodie to his wedding, funny how the same item of clothing can mean two completely different things. Geraldo To O’Reilly: Trayvon 7-Eleven Tape Shows ‘He’s Dressed In Thug Wear’

There was an earthquake in Northern Italy last night. I hope our reader Laurel is okay…Reports: Earthquake strikes in Italy near Bologna; 3 dead

Italian news reports say three people have been killed in a 5.9-magnitude earthquake that struck northern Italy near Bologna.

The quake that struck at just after 4 a.m. Sunday was centered 35 kilometers (21.75 miles) north-northwest of Bologna at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles), the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Italian news agency ANSA, citing emergency services, said two people were killed in Sant’Agostino di Ferrara when a ceramics factory collapsed. Another person was killed in Ponte Rodoni do Bondeno.

In late January, A 5.4-magnitude quake shook northern Italy. Some office buildings in Milan were evacuated as a precaution and there were scattered reports of falling masonry and cracks in buildings.

I will post updates on this earthquake in the comment section below.

At least Chen is now on US soil: Blind Chinese dissident grateful to be safe in U.S.

Chinese dissident arrives in U.S.

Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, center, arrives in the United States with his wife, Yuan Weijing, right, after years of confinement by Chinese authorities. (Carolyn Cole, Los Angeles Times / April 18, 2012)

He certainly looks happy.

The human rights leader and his family were suddenly whisked out of Beijing, as Chen expressed gratitude but also concerns about the safety of the relatives he was leaving behind.

He arrived Saturday night in Newark, N.J., and was ferried to an apartment at New York University, where he will be a fellow at the School of Law.

“I am very gratified to see that the Chinese government has been dealing with the situation with restraint and calm, and I hope to see that they continue to open discourse and earn the respect and trust of the people,” Chen said through an interpreter.

In Manhattan, his arrival was greeted by a crush of onlookers and cheering supporters, some bearing flowers. Chen, beaming, was walking on crutches as he limped from an injury he suffered during his escape.

“We should link our arms to continue in the fight for the goodness in the world and to fight against injustice,” he said.

More links to come in my next post. Until then, please share your thoughts below…


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…