So the Travel Channel is background noise tonight, and there’s a rundown of great restaurants in New Orleans on at the moment. I’m hella hungry now, having watched fifteen minutes of Cajun food roll by. I love that Cajun food–all spicy and full of crayfish. Mmmm.
Also, Louisiana has some great beer. My friend Charlotte, whom I miss greatly, introduced me to TurboDog and Purple Haze. I could die happy. Some of the best beer I’ve ever had. Mmm-mmm.
So which is it? 152 or 7? And why do I get the feeling that this is just one more example of a bloodthirsty, morbid, out of control media machine?
A member of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has dismissed claims that more than 150 people have died from swine flu, saying it has officially recorded only seven deaths around the world.
Vivienne Allan, from WHO’s patient safety program, said the body had confirmed that worldwide there had been just seven deaths – all in Mexico – and 79 confirmed cases of the disease.
Swine flu isn’t even an airborne virus. This is a nasty flu season, no doubt, but tens of thousands of people die from plain ol’ vanilla influenza every year in America. There are so many variables to consider when judging the threat level from an exotic virus such as this swine/avian/human hybrid. This is hardly the time to freak out.
I heard someone on the radio today taking Obama to task for his measured response to this apparent existential threat. Obama freezes up in times of crisis, we know that. Inadvertantly, his response is one I rather approve of. There is nothing wrong with monitoring the situation before calling in FEMA for what very well may turn out to be a particularly harsh flu season.
The media are manipulating you. Don’t allow it.
With Arlen Specter’s unsurprising lurch to the Dark Side, I’m reading more of the neoRepublican, “moderate” garbage that’s been slung about since 2006. I’m wondering why it seems that so many Republican pundits seem so averse to taking principled stands. These so-called “young” voices within the party are so ready to just dump every single defining issue for perceived (and ultimately short term) gain. We’ve been ceding ground since 2000, and I’m not so sure that it’s worked out for us.
There’s nothing wrong with restructuring–it’s a necessary part of party growth–but becoming a pale shadow of the opposition party benefits no one except the party in power. People will see no difference in the parties and just vote for the guys in office at the moment, regardless of political affiliation. Am I the only one who believes that standing on principle and losing in the short term is better than winning for all the wrong reasons? I know that I’m not.
For one thing, the opposition to gay marriage is a klunker, in my opinion. Homosexuals will not further devalue marriage anymore than heteros have. Have you seen our divorce rate? Marriage does not mean what it once did, and teh gays have not had much to do with that. We’ve rogered this up all on our own, and I think we should let the voters of each state decide whether to permit same sex marriage. Courts should have nothing to do with it, and amending constitutions to define marriage as one man and one woman is a bit extreme. I believe you can support same sex marriage and “still” be a “real” conservative. Your gay marriage isn’t hurting me one bit.
Abortion, however, is not debatable. Gun rights, federalism, smaller government and fiscal responsibility are not either. A vigorous and, if need be, preemptive attitude toward national security is non-negotiable.
Perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps I am too much of an absolutist. Perhaps it is too much to ask that the party I’ve decided to be identified with be willing to stand for something. Giving ourselves over to the temptation to morph into an imitation of the opposition is suicide. Once we are completely ruled by the polls, we’re worthless. Love him or hate him, George W Bush could have cared less about the opinion polls, instead allowing his morality and intellect to guide him. He stood for something, at least.
If the GOP gives into the whining and cajoling to pull center-left-ish, we’ll lose our soul.
My four year old loves, absolutely loves, to listen to Mark Levin. She thinks his voice is hilarious. She sits in the car, giggling and repeating random words. There are worse people for her to be obsessed with. The husband says I’m indoctrinating her. To that I say, “So what?”
I love Michael Ledeen’s ouija board-assisted conversations with James Jesus Angleton. They are brilliant. A while back, I read WFB’s novelized bio of Angleton, which was fantastic, and I’ve been a little obsessed with him since. Ledeen’s discussions with the late great counterintelligence master usually give a unique perspective on the intel issue du jour.
This particular column is on the recently released interrogation technique memos.
“. . . Obama’s total lack of comprehension of the existential dilemmas faced by the intel people is very discouraging. He was right when he said that all these things were behind us, and we should concentrate on the future. But he didn’t do that. He humiliated the people who were, after all, assured that waterboarding and so forth were perfectly legal, and then he even hinted that those people might be prosecuted. There’s really no excuse for that. It shows you don’t value your intelligence agency.”
ML: “I think it’s worse than that. Obama wanted to portray his predecessors as totally evil, and so he edited a memo on the subject from Admiral Blair. The memo noted that the harsh methods had ‘worked,’ and had probably saved American lives. But those words were censored. So there was a deliberate attempt to deceive the public, by portraying the Agency’s behavior as unadulterated evil.”
JJA: “Quite. It’s Carter all over again. I wonder if Obama’s going to have Panetta do the same thing Carter had Stansfield Turner do: purge the most experienced people from CIA, and promote the newbies, who don’t know enough to protect us effectively.”
ML: “Well, time will tell.”
JJA: “That’s just what worries me.”
Good stuff, folks.
I don’t know about you, but I am sick with worrying about all of the things I need to worry about. I’ve actually had to start entering all of the pandemics and coming catastrophes into my Blackberry to keep track of them all. Monday is the day to worry about swine flu, Tuesday is global warming, Wednesday is comets and asteroids, &etc. It’s all very exhausting. SARS had to be bumped, unfortunately. It’s quite passé to fret about SAR anyhow, although “frankenfood” is still going strong.
Wesley Pruden’s column asking “Are we dead yet?” is quite good. It used to be that one had to stay up late and search the AM stations for Art Bell to get one’s paranoid on, but the freak show has truly gone mainstream. If we aren’t bombarded with images of parents who have killed their entire families or lone gunmen who have slaughtered innocent strangers, we’re being told that the CDC “fully expects” hundreds of Americans to die from whatever exotic disease is currently killing off the indigenous people of wherever–regardless of the actual threat the malaise poses to Americans. It’s gotten to the point where I hardly watch the news anymore. The horror stories of murderous parents literally nauseate me, and I cannot find a good reason to flip out about influenza. As much as the media would love to see a repeat of the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, I’m not holding my breath that they will have their bloodbath.
If the good Lord wants to take me home, all of the antibacterial gel in the world ain’t gonna keep me here. The only thing that worries me is my daughter falling ill and having to be hospitalized. The thought of haunting the waiting room of another pediatric ICU makes my blood run cold. But that’s where trust comes in. Doesn’t mean I’m going to let my kid take chances that might endanger her health, it just means that I am going to wait awhile before I put our lives on hold and break out the Michael Jackson masks.
The medical researchers say it might mutate. Or it might not. If it does, it might, possibly, maybe, potentially be the worst killer since the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918. Or it might not. Researchers are working on the vaccine, and the media is working on the panic. We may not get a vaccine, but soon there won’t be a dry pair of pants on six continents.
The stupidity of the folks running the show in DC consistently astounds me. Knowing that a surprise flyover of the city most traumatized by the bloody events of 9/11 would more than likely re-traumatize New Yorkers, the White House Office of Military Affairs went ahead and ordered it done. It’s a decision so stupid, so brainless, that it’s breathtaking. And for a photo op! How insipid a reason to frighten the inhabitants of NYC.
Upstaged? I don’t know about that. Carla is heavenly. I can’t imagine anyone upstaging her. The Spanish princess is lovely, but Carla is divine. If I have to choose sides, I’m on Team Carla.
Do you know what I love about the Daily Mail? All of the obscure British reality tv celebs. I don’t know who any of these people are, just that Kerry Katona apparently has a drug/drinking/spending problem and that Jordan/Katie Price hurt herself in a marathon. The initial report is that her knee buckled under the weight of her ridiculously huge breasts.
In case you haven’t been paying attention, now is the time to start worrying about Pakistan. The Taliban is turning the country into another Islamist human rights hellhole–and it wasn’t such a great place to live to begin with. The best part of all of this is that Pakistan is nuclear. Yay! It’s not a party without fireworks.
This poor couple are but the latest victims in a long string of fundamenatlist executions carried out by the Taliban. Pakistan is on the edge, and when it goes over, we won’t have to wait for Iran to get its nukes. We’ll see how well those sanctions and disapproving letters the UN is so enamoured of work with a nuclear Taliban.
There is something terribly wrong with the gay rights movement when it produces this sort of reaction. It seems like gay politicians on both sides of the pond can’t resist the urge to make outrageous statements about “homophobes.” Homophobes, fatties and smokers–the true Axis of Evil.
Slightly off-topic, I’ve noticed that all these male conservative pundits just can’t get enough of Traditional Marriage Barbie’s brilliance. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the bikini contest photos and bleached blond hair, not to mention the makeup applied with a trowel. I don’t want to sound catty, but if I were to make such a profound statement on traditional marriage, I doubt I’d get the fawning adoration from the punditry crowd.
Ah well, such is life. Everyone appreciates intelligence until the blond in the bikini comes along.
I am trying out a new Blackberry browser for to blog. That’s right, I used terrible grammar and I loved every minute of it. I don’t know how writing works for everyone, but I “hear” what I’m writing. Not in the crazy way, but I’m not quite sure how to explain it. For example, the above hillbilly word combination was written in a hillbilly accent. Or something to that effect. Whatever. I love writing.
I couldn’t be prouder to be an Arizonan at this point.
D’oh. I am guilty of rushing my post and skimming–not reading–the article. I thought that I had read somewhere that Baby had said this, then I skimmed through the article with this particular preconception. Perhaps intellectual laziness IS an Arizonan thing.
To paraphrase Jerry Seinfeld, that’s a big matzo ball I left hanging out there.
OMG, is Obama not the most superawesome president ever? And he’s so hot! These have been the best first 100 days EVER!
I’m just getting ahead of the curve and submitting my assessment of Obama’s first 100 days early. This is going to be such a super presidential term!