MADD’s Jihad Against All Drinking Continues; CBS 11 Contributes

And CBS 11′s Jay Gormley is right there with them.

Gormley should know better. He should be ashamed of the schmaltzy, one-sided reporting.

MADD has always banked on using emotion and tragedy to trump reason and freedom, and Gormley follows their playbook spending a third of his story on milking grief from the friend of a drunk driving victim. This sets the reader up for a bypass of reason, making the idea of a mandate for all cars to have alcohol sensors seem reasonable.

Look, MADD is not about drunk driving — they’re prohibitionists. They don’t want people drinking at all. They don’t like people knowing that it’s perfectly legal and safe for a full size adult male to have a couple of beers and drive.

And when you use their sob story tactics in your story, you’re being a lazy, sloppy reporter.

Local TV news reporters, by and large, have little imagination and even less education. There’s nary a problem they see that doesn’t demand government intervention, because by reporting problems as such they can pretend to be watchdogs and “on your side.”

This isn’t the worst example; it’s just sadly typical.

This is a Candidate I Can Get Behind

KristinDavis3A sexed up modern version of Ayn Rand

Libertarian and Personal Freedom Party candidate for New York Governor Kristin Davis spoke to a gathering of 25 generally libertarian supporters at a breakfast on March 1, and made the following comment:

“I advocate returning to limited government, accompanied by a minimal amount of confiscatory taxation to support only essential services along with Pay as Go budgeting; means testing for all government assistance programs; abolition of all member item pork barrel spending, balanced budgets; actual surpluses and payments to reduce long term state debt”Davis is regarded as merely a “celebrity candidate,” however, she takes economic issues and budgetary matters quite seriously.

The former Manhattan Madame spent 4 months in an upstate prison in 2008, convicted of running an illegal escort service. Her clients included former NY Gov. Eliot Spitzer. But she used that time productively. On her reading list during her stay, included economic texts by free market illuminaries Frederich Hayek, Milton Friedman, and Ludvig von Mises. She’s also reportedly a big fan of the writings of capitalist philosopher and one-time New Yorker Ayn Rand.

It’s a given that politicians are going to screw us, so…

Dallas Tea Party Takes on Whites-Only MSNBC


Dallas-Area Hooters Manager Busted by Hooters CEO

I never liked Hooters — bad wings, and if I want to see T&A I’ll go to The Lodge.

Now I have another reason not to go for lousy food and orange spandex — the fact the CEO didn’t fire this fat, clueless misogynist on the spot.

Medina Repudiates Truthers

Was it a rookie mistake in a big interview, or something worse?

Is her immediate post-interview clarification enough?

I listened to the interview with Debra Medina this morning. When Glenn Beck asked her about the 9/11 truthers, she said some good questions have been asked, but she’s focused on Texas issues, and that she doesn’t have time to give psychological tests to every volunteer and campaign worker.

I didn’t hear it as her endorsing the 9/11 truthers, but it wasn’t a solid condemnation.

Notably, as Bud Kennedy points out — “Remember that Beck’s radio pals include Pat Gray and Rick Perry backer Sen. Dan Patrick”

Listen: You decide

Immediately after the show, Medina’s spokesperson issued a statement — “Debra Medina is not a 9/11 truther.”

Is this sufficient?

UPDATE: Full Medina Statement (h/t JJM)

I was asked a question on the Glenn Beck show today regarding my thoughts on the so-called 9/11 truth movement. I have never been involved with the 9/11 truth movement, and there is no doubt in my mind that Muslim terrorists flew planes into those buildings on 9/11. I have not seen any evidence nor have I ever believed that our government was involved or directed those individuals in any way. No one can deny that the events on 9/11 were a tragedy for all Americans and especially those families who lost loved ones.

The question surprised me because it’s not relevant to this race or the issues facing Texans. This campaign has always been about private property rights and state sovereignty. It is focused on the issues facing Texans. It is not a vehicle for the 9-11 truth movement or any other group.

The real underlying question here, though, is whether or not people have the right to question our government. I think the fact that people are even asking questions on this level gets to the incredible distrust career politicians have fostered by so clearly taking their direction from special interests instead of the people, whether it’s Rick Perry and his HPV mandate or Kay Hutchison and voting for the bank bailout. It is absolutely the right and duty of a free people to question their government. Texas does not need another politician who tells you what you want to hear, then violates your liberties and steals your property anyway. I fully expect to be questioned and to be held accountable as Governor, and that’s the underlying issue here: should people be questioning their government. And the answer is yes, they should be.

Intel: Chips in brains will control computers by 2020

Uh oh.

Computerworld – By the year 2020, you won’t need a keyboard and mouse to control your computer, say Intel Corp. researchers. Instead, users will open documents and surf the Web using nothing more than their brain waves.

Scientists at Intel’s research lab in Pittsburgh are working to find ways to read and harness human brain waves so they can be used to operate computers, television sets and cell phones. The brain waves would be harnessed with Intel-developed sensors implanted in people’s brains.

What could possibly go wrong?

Get a Life, Jonah

getalifeI’m not a real big fan of Jonah Goldberg. Oh, he’s undeniably talented as a writer. So was Upton Sinclair, but that didn’t make Sinclair any less a know-nothing, overhyped prick.

My problem with Goldberg is that he’s like the writers and producers on Star Trek: The Next Generation, compared to the original, one and only Star Trek. The writers on the original Star Trek — they were war veterans, former cops, former business owners, pilots, and engineers. They’d lived life and their scripts had a depth to them.

Meanwhile, writers for the step-child of Trek with the bald guy as captain, those writers had spent their whole lives writing for television. Thus the show was flat, predictable, entirely conventional, and — more than anything — soulless.

Which brings me full circle to Goldberg. He’s a paper-hanger parroting the neo-conservative line to the point of parody. Something really rubs me wrong about guys who spend their 20s advocating for interventionist, non-defensive wars, but they can’t be bothered to enlist.

And today he suggests that torture isn’t immoral because the good guys do it in the movies.

Really? Yes, really.

Look, I’ll skip the “it’s just a movie/TV show” response because he is right — that’s not his point.

Now, I know I will get a lot of “it’s just a movie” or “TV shows aren’t real” email from people. At least I have every other time I’ve made this point. So let me concede a point I’ve never disputed while making one these folks don’t seem to grasp. If such practices, in the contexts depicted, were as obviously and clearly evil as many on the left claim, Hollywood could never get away with having the good guys employ them. Harrison Ford in the Tom Clancy movies would never torture wholly innocent and underserving victims for the same reasons he wouldn’t beat his kids or hurl racial epithets at black people. But given sufficient time to lay out the context and inform the viewers of the stakes, as well as Ford’s motives, the audience not only understands but applauds his actions. Of course it’s just a movie. But the movie is tapping into and reflecting the popular moral sentiments. Think of these scenes as elaborate hypothetical situations in the debate about torture and interrogation that are acted out and played before focus groups of normal Americans.

No, Jonah, the problem is in real life, the certainty that Jack Bauer, Jack Ryan and Jonas Blaine operate under almost never exists. The heroes can be sure they have the right guy and that he knows where the bomb is or will answer “WHO DO YOU WORK FOR??!!!” because their world is a pocket universe with a limited cast and omniscient writers.

I’m not saying that kind of certainty never exists in the real world. I’m saying it’s as rare as neo-con who is an actual military veteran.

We all know the hypothetical. If a nuc-u-lar bomb was about to go off in a day care, and Abdul knew where it was, would we support cutting off his fingers? Sure — almost all of us would grab the snippers and do it ourselves. If that didn’t work I can promise you there are even more interesting and grisly tricks we could play with his internal organs. And few of us would shy away from doing it.


But would you do the wetwork on Abdul if you were told, “Well, we’re pretty sure he knows. We’re almost certain he’s involved. Of course, he could be just a guy off the street. Hell, we do work for the government, you know. Have you seen our previous work samples? The mortgage crisis, dollar collapse, the imprisonment of dozens of innocents for rape, and yeah — that whole tax code? That and the post office and those levees in New Orleans? Yeah, that’s us. Congress pays our salary. We’re running GM. Go on, now — start cutting on the guy.”

That’s the problem Jonah. Scenes where the good guys break the rules are cathartic because we know they have the right guy and the stakes are that high and yeah, Jack just kneecapped the dude but we saw the dude blow up a bus of nuns, so — okay. We want that in movies because reality isn’t so certain and it’s fun to watch bad guys blow up real good.

Look, even in real life I’m not against a little roughing up of the worst of the worst. Bread and water, limited sleep, a little slapping around, hot and cold running dysentery. And when we have a real asshole we know without a doubt is guilty, I’m not going to lose sleep if we go full Jack Bauer on him. But those cases are so rare that no, it doesn’t justify systematic, sanctioned torture.

(Side note: If they want to shake up Season 8 of 24, have Jack torture someone who is categorically innocent and have to deal with the consequences beyond a whispered, “Dammit.”)

See, I can enjoy the fantasy of fiction or even approve of the very rare use of extreme methods in the very rare instances of absolute certainty. But that doesn’t make it right. Hell, I watch Doctor Who despite its regular neo-Marxist and anti-gun message. I watch porn with a whole bunch of bells and whistles — and let’s be honest, humiliating stuff — and I don’t want any of that in my bedroom for real. (Mostly.)

So no, Jonah, there’s no connection. It is just entertainment.

Oh, and by the way, your own war porn fantasies didn’t get your flabby ass to the recruiting station, Jonah, so you’re the best counter to your own argument.

A Monkey with a Scalpel

Messing around with the dashboard update while on the phone, and now the last three posts are gone. Will see if I can recover them from the nethersphere.

Friday Roundup: Lived Fast, Died Young, Left DVDs

We have much to be thankful to the Japanese for. Robots. Anime more twisted than whiskey-valium weekend in Juarez. “Special purpose” vending machines.

But the greatest invention of the Japanese people has got to be the DVD. I assume they invented the DVD, because — who are we kidding?

Thanks to the miracle of DVD collections, I’m able to watch the entire short runs of those rare moments of television genius that are struck down, almost invariably in their first season, by the walking lobotomy cases that run Fox Network.

On tap now: “Action

This is probably the best and filthiest comedy ever to grace the airwaves. Naturally, it didn’t make it past 13 episodes. Peter Dragon is the man I want to model my life after.

On tap pretty much any weekend I haven’t loaned them out — I’m looking at you, Tina — “Firefly

On deck: “American Gothic” and “Profit.”

Ironically, much as I lament the short, brilliant runs and wish for an alternative universe where they would have had long runs and the execs who canceled them to get ebola of the anus, it also makes me realize that maybe it’s better they went out James Dean style. I mean, “Heroes” would have been considered brilliant if it had died after the first season, and “24” sadly should have have ended on the third day instead of both becoming the Fat Elvis’s of the small screen.

About the only consistently brilliant shows cut short but that made it to three seasons or more that are also in the DVD pile — “Arrested Development” “Larry Sanders” “Justice League” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm

(Honorable mention to current shows “Fringe” “Family Guy” and “Dexter.”)

Any I’m missing?

And if anyone names any medical drama, self-serious lawyer show, or any show with a laugh track, I will ban you from the Internet.

PS — Thank you, Mrs. Trey, for finding “Action.”


Roundup Part Two

It’s all Rawlins, all the time here: see the print version of the Dallas Morning News Monday. Local legend Rawlins Gilliland has an June 8 op-ed coving 60 years in Dallas on how 20 percent of the city became called by the wrong name and in the process countless crimes, etc. became credited to the wrong place.

Also, later this afternoon on KERA 90.1 Rawlins will have a replay on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED between 4 and 6:30 p.m. of his morning commentary on how we are all judged by our faces — a largely lamentable dynamic of which I’m really grateful since aside from my Adonis-like physique my countenance is my best feature.