Stop Hillary: Part 2…

Posted in Misplaced Patriotism, Rhetoric with tags , , , , on June 6, 2008 by moonlightgraham

As if the untouchable subjects of slavery and the Holocaust weren’t enough, Clinton had to go on to bring up Robert Kennedy, not to nod towards an admired man near the anniversary of his death, but instead to us it, as an example, for why “it’s not over ’til it’s over.”

Though her comments could be twisted (as if they aren’t already) to say that she somehow implied that something could happen to Obama, which many thought at first, the mere fact of using someone’s death as an example to say something unrelated is my real issue here. What does an assassination have to do with Hillary’s campaign? Some suggestions as to why she made this comment:

1. Like on Holocaust Remembrance day, she was merely recalling historical events.
2. She wanted to shine light onto the forgotten historical detail that Robert Kennedy was actually losing to Hubert Humphrey in June, afraid that it was overlooked.
3. She needed to explain her Sirhan Sirhan joke.
4. She wanted to remind voters of the admiration they should have for somebody young, eloquent, and supported by the Kennedys.

And yet… more comparisons to follow. Before she even uttered Robert Kennedy’s name, Clinton had this to say:

“We’re seeing that right now in Zimbabwe,” Clinton explained. “Tragically, an election was held, the president lost, they refused to abide by the will of the people,” Clinton told the crowd of senior citizens at a retirement community in south Florida.

Clinton’s words soon incited massive riots in which Clinton’s tribe, the middle aged white working class women, took to the streets with machetes.

Stop Hillary Clinton…

Posted in Rhetoric with tags , , , on May 22, 2008 by moonlightgraham

There are only two crimes I support the death penalty for:

1. White collar crimes involving millions of dollars in investor fraud that results in the guilty member pleading for lenience after an apology that is blamed on some personal problem, such as alcoholism. If I was a judge and you defrauded millions of people and didn’t blame it on personal problems, I’d probably let you off lightly. However, blaming it on alcoholism, gets you life imprisonment or death. Also if you give ignorance filled apologies talking about how sorry you are. Just say something like, “Totally would have gotten away with it, if it wasn’t for you kids!”

2. People co-opting history for their own selfish political gains. This one is definitely vague, and perhaps I could be guilty of it too, who knows. But if anything Clinton is the recent king of twisting history to her own selfish needs.

Subjects? Well, none other than The Holocaust and freedom from slavery and woman’s suffrage!

The most recent infraction:

Mrs. Clinton stumped across South Florida, scene of the 2000 election debacle, pressing her case for including delegates from Florida and Michigan in the final delegate tally. On the trail and in interviews, she raised a new battle cry of determination, likening her struggle for these delegates to the nation’s historic struggles to free the slaves and grant women the right to vote.

The New York Times, May 22nd

The skinny: Hillary Clinton is a freedom fighter, comparable to the suffragettes in the 1910s and to everyone who had a hand in freeing slaves in the Civil War-torn country. Nice. People from Michigan and Florida are female slaves unable to vote.

The other infraction:

“At the union hall in Gary, she grew so animated in describing the plight of old-line industrial workers that she described them in language from the oft-repeated poem, attributed to the German pastor Martin Niemöller, about the victims of Nazism. “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Socialist,” goes the version inscribed on a wall at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. After coming for the trade unionists, it continues, “they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew.”

In Mrs. Clinton’s version, she intoned: “They came for the steel companies and nobody said anything. They came for the auto companies and nobody said anything. They came for the office companies, people who did white-collar service jobs, and no one said anything. And they came for the professional jobs that could be outsourced, and nobody said anything.”

“So this is not just about steel,” she finished.”

JTA Election Central, May 2nd, 2008

The skinny: Holocaust Remembrance day is the perfect time to tell voters that they are comparable to Jews, gypsies, dissidents and other undesirables, who had to hide from death in the Third Reich. Voters in Indiana share many qualities with the murdered 11 million. “They” are the US government, insidiously following through with the globalization trends, not only of 2000 on, but also during Bill Clinton’s 90s. It’s totally not just about steel.

This is terribly unethical for someone who is running for president. Terribly unethical for anyone. Stop the Shoah-business.


Posted in Open Market on April 7, 2008 by moonlightgraham

As a resident of Philadelphia, I have become used to Comcast and SEPTA. When I say “used to” either, I am actually saying that I am resigned to how much both have a stranglehold on how this city operates and do everything in their reach to keep it this way. SEPTA now has had 3 subway attacks in 10 days at the same 13th and Market station. SEPTA is synonymous with how Philadelphia has been run as a city: bordering on corrupt, unfair to most of its poorer residents, managed terribly, dirty, dangerous, and inept. I traveled in Germany recently and on the Berlin subway you can plan a trip at a subway kiosk because there is actually a schedule. My German friend complained when a certain train was 1 minute late. What crossed my mind was a midnight spent wondering if a trolley was going to come to bring me home from Philly’s City Hall; people stood waiting even though the schedule said no more were running. The malaise is apparent all over Philly; “SEPTA” is a legitimate excuse for everything.

So if we judge a city on its public services, Comcast must be equally guilty of dragging this city further into disarray. At the moment there are 3 internet providers in Philadelphia; Comcast, a Philadelphia Cable Provider, and the new Wireless Philadelphia which has all but tanked. The debate now is whether Internet is a utility or a luxury, that is, akin to HBO or water. Of course, the cable providers swear that it is a luxury and thus they raise their prices and provide shoddy unregulated service. But let me tell you, it sure felt like a utility when I needed to apply for a job online Saturday (they don’t except paper applications) and Comcast’s internet service was down for a 7 hour gap of time. Comcast officials apologized and then bawked at how many of the 2.5 million users were affected.

In 1.5 years at my apartment, we have lost our internet for a total of 6 times due to the modem breaking. At one point we didn’t have service for 15 days because Comcast said they were being “audited.” We were charged falsely for a month of HBO because they said that while we did cancel it, someone called back to reinstate it. Comcast advertises $100 for phone, internet and cable, but they do not offer this to people who already have Comcast, instead they just jack up the price for us by almost 30%. Meanwhile, the Comcast Tower slowly creeps into the Philly skyline.

The new Comcast Tower is the tallest building in Philadelphia. It has a box-like roof with no apparent aesthetic value. It is made of glass windows that are known to blow out and fall to the street at random. Inside its lobby, mannequins walk across beams above your head. It is a fitting metaphor for the Comcast customer; walking a thin line in the midst of corporate wealth, and one slip and you fall… and in the Comcast Tower, you’d tumble right into SEPTA’s suburban station.

What a team.

Stop Using Lou Dobbs for Political Gain!…

Posted in Media Games with tags , , on March 28, 2008 by moonlightgraham

So minutes ago, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Lou Dobbs what he thought of Condoleeza Rice’s “race remarks.” The heading quoted Rice as saying that “America has a “birth defect”” when it comes to talking about race. Dobbs quoted Rice and then proceeded to lambast her in the only way a senile white male can.

The problem with America and race, he said, is not that there is a birth defect in our way of talking about it, but that people are so afraid to start that conversation because it will be used against them for someone’s own selfish needs. Boy, Lou Dobbs, you’re so correct. That’s why no one ever wants to tlak about race; because people take things they say out of context and use them for their own celebrity.

Take it from the master.

Dying is a Sin…

Posted in Religious X-tremism, Rhetoric with tags , , , on March 17, 2008 by moonlightgraham

I don’t think most people have heard of, the “Trustworthy Encyclopedia.” Whether or not you agree with their point of view, I find myself particularly attracted to the rhetoric presented in one entry: Homicide Bombers.

A Homicide Bomber is a person who straps explosives to his body and detonates them in a crowded place, combining the heinous sins of suicide and mass murder. Homicide bombers are terrorists who kill innocent people by means of explosives secretly carried on their persons, knowing that they will be killed in the attack. The liberal media improperly refers to these people as “suicide bombers” although their intent is to murder others, not to commit suicide.

says the entry. This is actually an interesting turn of phrase. Why do we call suicide bombers, “suicide bombers”? Understandably it is a good way to differentiate between someone who sets off a bomb from afar and the one who is wearing his. If we look at the words, “homicide,” “suicide,” “patricide,” “genocide,” the latinate beginnings indicate the primary sin. Therefore, a “homicide” bomber’s primary sin is killing others and honestly, I think most people who do use the term “suicide bomber,” would agree.

So why do we use “suicide bomber?” “Suicide bomber” implies the extra element that “homicide bomber,” doesn’t, that oomph that portrays the sinister (or dedicated) edge. I read a very interesting book on suicide bombers two summers ago called, “Dying to Win,” by Robert A. Pape. Pape succeeds in completely breaking down the stereotypes of suicide bombers, arguing that they are first, nationalistic, and second, religiously fueled. While we in the West see a fundamentalist “brain-washed” into blowing himself up because he has no where else to go, Pape succeeds in showing that bombers are instead fueled by the community at large and see themselves as committing an “altruistic” act, one that will benefit their friends, family, and nation. Changing the way we think about “suicide bombers” may give us clues to avoid ‘producing’ the necessary environment in which they thrive…

The Conservapedia entry does lose me near the end:

The action of homicide bombers was best summed up by John Ashcroft in a 2002 interview with the LA Times: “Islam is a religion in which God requires you to send your son to die for Him. Christianity is a faith in which God sends His son to die for you.”

Another entry for the “Invoking God Inappropriately Tracker.”


Posted in For Pun Enthusiasts, Open Market with tags on March 9, 2008 by moonlightgraham

Piece Cleaners
I enjoyed this pun a lot. Taken in New York City near the UN in December. This sighting was preceeded by a tour of the UN in which we were overcharged for a stale muffin and we could only tour the gift shop without paying. My favorite thing about the giftshop was that each country had its own shelf so they could market themselves. See an American shelf below: Shop Native American

Apparently, Native Americans are easily marketable to the international community.


Posted in Media Games with tags , , , , , on March 5, 2008 by moonlightgraham

I found myself quite upset as Clinton and Obama squared off in the final Democratic debate of this very long primary season. Yes, Hillary correctly alluded to SNL to tell us about the unfair questioning system that the mediators had been leveling at her as she said that Barack should get a pillow. And I agree with her to some extent. However, a little more sinister than the media’s favoritism of Obama in this debate was how Tim Russert and Brian Williams inserted themselves into the fray. Williams struck me as pretty much out of line. Here are two blocks from the beginning of the debate. The full transcript can be found at the NY Times:

SEN. CLINTON: And Senator Obama’s plan does not cover everyone. It would leave, give or take, 15 million people out. So we should have a good debate that uses accurate information, not false, misleading, and discredited information, especially on something as important as whether or not we will achieve quality, affordable health care for everyone. That’s my goal. That’s what I’m fighting for, and I’m going to stand up for that.

MR. WILLIAMS: On the topic of accurate information, and to that end, one of the things that has happened over the past 36 hours — a photo went out the website The Drudge Report, showing Senator Obama in the native garb of a nation he was visiting, as you have done in a host country on a trip overseas.

Williams goes on to accuse Clinton of smearing Obama. Now, it seemed to me that Hillary leveled a challenge at Barack, but before he had a chance to say anything, Brian Williams chimed in to cut her down. And then he did it again:

MR. OBAMA: But I think it’s very important to understand the context of this, and that is that Senator Clinton has — her campaign, at least — has constantly sent out negative attacks on us, e-mail, robocalls, flyers, television ads, radio calls.

And, you know, we haven’t whined about it because I understand that’s the nature of these campaigns, but to suggest somehow that our mailing is somehow different from the kinds of approaches that Senator Clinton has taken throughout this campaign I think is simply not accurate.

MR. WILLIAMS: And Senator Clinton, on this subject —

SEN. CLINTON: But I have to — I have to respond to that because this is not just any issue, and certainly we’ve had a vigorous back and forth on both sides of our campaign.

This time, Clinton cut off Williams but he was about to chime in, backing up Obama’s rebuttal. I beleive that The Daily Show implied as much in an interview with Williams following the debate that week.

Mike Gravel, John Edwards, and others have called this a “Celebrity Campaign.” But this instance of manipulation seemed to be even more inapproapriate, that the mediators would actually join the fray, so to speak, and not let the candidates directly debate. The fact that Williams responded twice (and to begin the debate) is, to say the least, douchbaggery.

We’re not trying to decide if we should vote for Brian Williams or Tim Russert. But they already know that… (?)

Obscuring “Freedom”…

Posted in Misplaced Patriotism, Rhetoric with tags , , on March 3, 2008 by moonlightgraham

I saw this article in today’s New York Times: Farewell to Freedom for a While. Let’s focus on this excerpt:

“It is a little troubling to me that again there is a 1 World Trade Center, because a lot of great people and a lot of true heroes died in 1 World Trade Center,” Mr. Pataki said. “I think that name should be reserved, for those who did die on that horrible day.”

How do we approach the taboo? Interesting that Pataki insists on the label “Freedom Tower” while New Yorkers are calling it “1 World Trade Center.” A divide between the polity and the populous it seems… Government insisting on certain rhetoric…

Andy Pettite’s Judgement Day…

Posted in Religious X-tremism with tags , , , on March 3, 2008 by moonlightgraham

While Roger Clemens surged into Congress to defend himself against the allegations leveled at him concerning steroidal abuse, Pettite took a different route. Initially coming off as humble and sheepishly guilty, comparable to a kid who finally comes forward to tell Mom and Dad that he broke the cookie jar, Pettite will escape any stigmas that Clemens will now have to absorb. However, Pettite’s words during his apology, kind of threw me a curve ball.

“I know in my heart why I did things. I know that God knows that. I know that I’m going to have to stand before him one day. The truth hurts sometimes and you don’t want to share it. The truth will set you free. I’m going to be able to sleep a lot better.”

Can we pause for one second? Since when was God pissed at Andy? “And Thou shalt not use HGH, quoth the Lord” (Leviticus 14:2). Pettite is referring more than anything to his cheating, and I am glad he came forward. However, I am always made uncomfortable when people invoke God for forgiveness, as if God was at the moment was sitting in His easy chair (divine throne), a heartbroken Yankees fan. Like “alcoholism”, “God” is a good word to utter if you want forgiveness. So while Clemens chugs through the US government’s resources (hoping that “shock and awe” will force people to forgive him), Andy Pettite is the opposite: so humble that people will forgive him of his primary sin: making us question the game we love.

From Tower to Warship…

Posted in Misplaced Patriotism with tags , , on March 2, 2008 by moonlightgraham

Cycling through BBC today, I found this article: “US christens ‘9/11 steel’ warship“. The article covers the final destination of the salvaged steel from the World Trade Center:

The bow contains 7.5 tonnes of steel taken from Ground Zero.

It also bore a shield with two bars to symbolise the towers and a banner with the slogan Never Forget.

At first I thought, “Well, glad they re-used it positively,” but then the idea of turning the remains of such a symbolic American tragedy into a WARship, kind of hit me as strange. Is this something to be proud of? That “Never Forget” will grace the fronts of American battleships? Maybe the steel should have been salvaged for use in a school, or a hospital, or…