January 29, 2010
From just before Christmas, my techy troubles made it imposible to upload photos from my digital camera to my computer. Now I’ve got a month’s worth of photos to sort through, so it’s like Christmas all over again.
To top it off - last week - there was this incredible sunset. I threw on shoes, grabbed the camera and raced outside to capture as much as I could before the light sank below the horizon. I’ll show more later, (I’m busily learning new graphics/video programs atm) but for now I thought I’d share this piece of that amazing light show with all of you.
And who doesn’t love pressies!
[Lft-click] on the thumbnail to see it enlarged then [rt-click] on the original to bring up an options menu. Choose ‘save picture as’ to load it into a folder on your computer. Choose ‘set as background’ to put it directly onto your desktop. I didn’t try to copy-protect it by splattering my name across it in shaded lettering – this is purely a gift from nature to me to you.
A poinciana tree stands in the foreground. The city of Ipswich (Qld Australia) is in the distance. The view is the night sky as seen from my front yard.
These are the actual colours of the sky that night. There were no filters or gadgets making artistic adjustments and I have no fancy gear - just a very tired, well-loved Kodak digital camera. Nature did this all by herself. (Ok, polution probably had a hand in it too, but I just can’t look at these gorgeous colours and think – factory smoke-stack.)
Happy Belated Merry Everything!
To comment on this post please scroll up to the title Found This Treasure While Cleaning Up… and click the word comment just beneath. Thanks, OzMud
January 24, 2010
Australia is surrounded on all sides by majestic cliffs and beautiful beaches. We’re blessed with short winters and long summers. If you live on any part of the coastline, that translates into a few hundred days each year of gorgeous, predictable beach weather. Life is good downunder.
There are just a couple of minor beach-going glitches. Sharks, crocks and our end of the summer east coast special, the invasions of bluebottle jellyfish.
To protect Ozzies, and to keep from killing off all our tourists, Australia has taken great pains to section off portions of the pristine beaches with brightly-coloured *flags, often adding shark nets and all dutifully patrolled by well-trained, knowledgeable lifeguards.
And if you live in Australia, you know that every year, like clockwork, you can count on several play days being interrupted by schools of bluebottle jellyfish around February and March.
*Note: Prior to the year 2000, the Australian Tourism Board played special films on all incoming flights which showed the coloured flags and described the dangers of swimming on unmanned beaches. There was concern that tourists were killed each year from wandering away from the flagged areas and either drowning or being devoured by local denizen. An average of five+ tourist fatalities per year, actually, with more vacationers on the injured lists have been reported over the past two decades.
Just prior to the 2000 Olympics, with an estimated five million guests scheduled to arrive on our shores, the Tourist Board decided the warning film perhaps portrayed our beautiful beaches in an unnecessarily harsh light and pulled it in favour of a cutesy, family-friendly musical video showing all of Australia’s best features (including families playing happily on the beach between bright yellow and red flags) and which showcased the heart-warming song “We are one”. The informed narrative was omitted.
That year nine tourists didn’t use their return tickets.
I remember writing this to my sister a few months after the Olympics:
Dear Sis, It’s that time of year when Australia posts it’s stats on tourism and this past year we didn’t fair well in the ‘keeping them safe’ category. Nine tourists died playing in unprotected waters. But one good thing has come from it. The powers-that-be think they’ve uncovered part of the problem. See, most of our tourism business comes from Japan. In Japan, private properties which don’t allow public access are marked with brightly-coloured flags. Trespassing is a huge no-no. So when our non-English speaking Japanese friends lob onto our beaches and see the neon yellow and red flags, they are prone to turning right around to seek their own play spot, away from the forbidding flags. We’ve been, quite literally, doing them in with our handy visual aids.
Back to the jellyfish. This Portuguese man-o-war was nicknamed the bluebottle because when they wash up on the sand they look like blueglass bottles. In the water they are difficult for swimmers to see because of their transparency. One would be problematic enough, but there’s never just one. They travel in schools of thousands.
While their bodies are a mere 3-6cm (1-2 inches) across, their tentacles can grow to as much as 10 meters (32 ft) in length, and it’s these free-flowing tentacles that wrap around their prey, unleashing a stinging venom. To brush up against one bluebottle with bare skin causes instant, excruciating pain. To compound matters, it’s not uncommon for the tentacles to break off the host, their suckers attached to the prey. Trained lifeguards and medics have to pry the suckers off, while victims report being literally blinded by the pain. Pain which, by the way, persists for hours.
Today’s headlines tell of a few Gold Coast beaches where the ambos and lifeguards spent the day chasing people out of the water and taking injured swimmers to hospitals in a marathon-like relay race. Some beaches were closed for several hours each, but the east coast is experiencing a heatwave (31c or 87+ farenheit) so there are those who ignored the warnings in favour of cooling off.
One beach alone reported more than 300 injuries treated for the afternoon.
If you live in Australia you know about bluebottle jellyfish as surely as you know about crocodiles, brown snakes and red-backed spiders. Citizens don’t get to play the ‘uh, I didn’t know’ card. When you live in paradise, you know it doesn’t come without a price.
So here’s the thing that struck me today while listening to the news report on the numerous morons who ignored bluebottle warnings and dove into the sea anyway. It’s rather the same idea that strikes me whenever I hear about Ozzies surfing or swimming in dangerous waters and losing limbs to waiting sharks and crocks:
Is stupidity a part of natural selection and if it is, should we not just sit back and let those who certainly possess more than their share of the stuff remove themselves from our gene pool?
I’m just saying…
My computer rebuild a couple of months back woud have been far more effective had the motherboard not developed altzheimers or the CPU not coughed up a lung. Tomorrow my new system arrives so I’ll be uploading programs and sorting backup files for a few days.
Don’t do anything exciting until I get back!
To comment on this post, please scroll up to the title The Price of Paradise and click the word comment just beneath. Thanks, OzMud
January 23, 2010
13 January 2010
Glenn Beck asked Sarah Palin in his television interview if she was a registered Republican voter. Sarah replied “Yes.” He then asked her about the emergence of a third party (eluding to the upcoming convention of the all-new, fresh from the fields of crazyland) National Tea Party.
On camera, and without hesitation, Sarah says she sees no need for a third party.
Wait. What? She’s being paid $100k to speak at a convention she – doesn’t believe is necessary?
How does she get away with this stuff, where can I sign up AND if anyone knows which youtube clip this is in, I’d love to post it. Having given up tryng to find a written transcript, I actually attempted to scan through the epic 7-part youtube production but my ears began to bleed at the beginning of the fifth segment and I had to stop.
At least back in the 60′s when we had to put up with incredibly bad politics, we had better drugs
To comment on this post, please scroll up to the title The Tea Party’s Main Course Thinks ‘The Tea Party’ Is Unnecessary and click the word comment just beneath. Thanks, OzMud
January 22, 2010
Appledaily [Action News] attempts to unravel the late night TV dispute. Get the popcorn, snuggle in and enjoy
January 21, 2010
For the second time in as many years we’ve watched the new brand of bully politics take root in America. The first time was back in ’08 when James Dobson, founder of Focus on Family, a right-wing religious organization based in Colorado, proudly spent massive amounts of church donations to overturn gay marriage rights in California.
The overturned decision which subsequently voided existing same-sex marriages and denying any such unions in the future didn’t then and still doesn’t now actually reflect the ideals of the majority of California citizens. But the outsiders on a religious mission learned that with some money, a few doomsday placards and a lot of pushing, they could instill just enough fear among people to get their vote.
Yesterday we watched again while out-of-state right-wing zealots posing as the Republican Party swooped into Massachusetts and undermined a state election that was actually, none of their business. Would the outcome of this special election for Sen. Ted kennedy’s Senate seat of 46 years affect their party position in Washington? You bet. But it was for the people of Massachusetts to decide who best represented their majority, not the out-of-state campaigners who don’t actually live in Massachusetts.
If, in fact, the blue state of Massachusetts was ready to turn red, than fair enough. Godspeed Sen. Brown. But the state has had many opportunities to vote in Republican representation, and so far, it’s retained Democratic roots in both houses of Congress and in the hearts of the majority of it’s voters.
So why now? Why with the seat of the most beloved politician in the state, did Massachusetts decide to completely fly in the face of their beliefs and vote in the party most likely to cause the rest of their representatives in Congress, years of unnecessary struggle?
Are the citizens of Mssachusetts that afraid of healthcare reform? I don’t think so. And neither should you. Massachusetts current healthcare system most emulates the healthcare system President Obama’s Administration is trying to give the rest of the country. It is neither socialized medicine nor communism. The hysteria-propaganda spread by the far right claiming otherwise is an unconscionable attempt to manipulate election results. and apparently, it’s working.
This can only get worse. The bully tactics put forth by the Sarah Palins, Bill O’Reillys and Glenn Becks of the country are taking root. Somehow, somewhere, someone needs to start making them accountable for what comes off their presses and out of their mouths.
Someone needs to make Fox News Channel accountable for the mis-information they pass off as accurate news reports.
Someone else needs to address outside partisan influences on state elections.
Sorry Ted – I was cheering for your side :(
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January 20, 2010
Found this gem on Twitter a few weeks back and tucked it into my ‘read later’ folder. Welcome to later
At first, I just thought Whoa. Lot’a loose sandwiches out there lookin’ for a picnic.Then my face broke into a smile and a couple of chuckles made their way past my lips. By the time I got to the line Sarah Palin could also be the “voice of reason” I was laughing so hard tears were running down my cheeks and I’d peed my chair.
This is an essay from one of Sarah Palin’s adoring fans, John Friedrichsmeyer. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
November 25, 2009 at 4:42am
A blog I wrote a couple of days ago regarding where I think you will have the most influence going forward….
Title: Sarah Palin – a Catalyst for REAL change
If you recall from your high school chemistry class, the definition of a catalyst is a chemical that helps in the chemical reaction but remains unchanged in the process itself. For example, chlorophyll aids in the process of photosynthesis by which carbon-dioxide is combined with water to form sugar and oxygen and water. The chlorophyll itself does not change in the process, but the process itself would not be possible (or incredibly slow) without it….
In regards to Sarah Palin, many are wanting to know if she will run for President in 2012 or not. Those in Washington feel that the only way to elicit change is to become a player of the game and to get into the “inner-circle” of Washington. But to me, that would be a job too SMALL for Sarah. I think her role can be much, much bigger than that. Yes! You got that right, bigger than the president! Without getting to religious here, Jesus said, “Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground it remains a single kernel. But if it is buried and dies, it yields a harvest 10,50 or 100 times”
Now, how does that apply to Sarah Palin you ask? To me it’s simple. Sarah could run for office and quite conceivably become the next President of the United States. But she will still have to deal with an out of control Congress (Left and Right) that does not answer to majority of Americans (even in their own districts). Her ability to effect change would be limited and her time in office limited to 8 years but her adversaries are not limited at all and would essentially just out live her in the end. But if Sarah Palin is willing to put aside her political asperations for the betterment of the people, she could be a major catalyst for change our country has never seen. She would in fact be the GOP’s answer to Oprah and allow her star-power to give energy to newcomers to the political front that would never get past the GOP’s front-door because they don’t belong to the correct clubs or have graduated from the right schools. She would be able to open doors for people like Doug Hoffman who before would have had ZERO chance of being elected to Congress. She could effect a change in attitude that Washington has been needing for a VERY long time while herself never setting foot into the oval office.
In fact, I believe Palins “power” stems from the fact that she is NOT from Washington DC or New York City, or any other major metropolitan area. Her roots are in Wasilla, and like some plants, which flourish in some climates and die in others. She too needs to keep her roots there. Any attempt to “transform” her into a more palitable candidate would in the end make her less appealing to those in middle-american that today are shunned and scorned by the ellites on the east and west coasts. Wasilla-Palin has unlimited cultural and motivational power, whereas Washington-Pallin only has minor and limited political power.
Sarah Palin could also be the “voice of reason” that the GOP has lost since Reagan stepped off the stage. She does not have to “channel” Ronald Reagan. She merely must reintroduce us to the principles that guided him in office. She can help short-circuit the dismantling of our Constitution by the progressives that are in our own party by discussing Constitutional answers to the problems we face. She can help take back our culture and show that our families are our most precious resource we have. She can be the voice that middle American has been needing to rise up and counteract the Progressive (communist) revolution that has been slowly imposed on us over the last century.
That is where Sarah Palin will have the biggest effect to me!
To comment on this post please scroll up to the title A Fan Explains Sarah Palin (or) some people are like slinkies – not much use to anyone but they do put a smile on your face when pushed down a flight of stairs. and click the word comment just beneath. Thanks, OzMud
January 19, 2010
It’s lunchtime here in sunny Queensland. That’s the time of day when my octogenarian father-in-law tucks into a crustless sandwich and watches the news.
Most days he tunes into a local news channel. Sometimes though, the complex technology of the remote (you know, point and click?) completely eludes him and he lands on either a British station, or an Asian station speaking one of several Asian languages, none of which he speaks. Doesn’t matter, he can’t hear the TV anyway. He’s deaf and refuses to wear his hearing aids in the house. He’d rather jack up the volume to full and pretend he knows what’s going on.
Bless the old ones – we’ll be there someday too
Today however, is a different story altogether. Today he’s settled into Fox News. So as I’m walking through the room I hear Hannity whining telling Byron [somebody] and Howie Carr [talk radio host] that Brown is a shoe-in for the senate race in Massachusets. According to the three stooges on the screen, Coakley has run a horrible race and the Republicans are going to get their seat back! (It was inherently ‘theirs’ was it?) And how low a blow is it going to be to Obama (do these people EVER refer to their president as president anymore?) when ‘he’ loses Ted Kennedy’s Democratic seat to the Republican Party… blah blah blah.
I picked up the remote and carefully aimed it at Hannity’s pudgey, porcine profile (ahh if wishes were fishes or some such saying) but before my finger could fully engage the button I watched him raise both hands and wriggle his fingers like the Wicked Witch of the West wriggled hers when she thought she finally had poor Dorothy trapped by flying monkeys and he then said in all sincerity:
“But you know, even if Brown wins, the Democrats will pull… you know… shenanigans… so we shouldn’t…” and then my finger mooshed the button removing his glib portrait from my screen, replacing it with Sponge Bob Squarepants. Too fitting.
I told my father-in-law that watching Fox News, even if he couldn’t hear it, would make him senile and helped him find his favourite local news team. When I walked through the room a half-hour later, he was comfortably watching a rugby game with no sound at all. Well, that works too.
So this is how Fox is gearing up for the senatorial election in Massachusetts is it…
- First, claim your guy has already won the race
- Second, back up the unfounded claim with polling results from an unnamed source
- Third, create the illusion that the only possible way the other guy could win would be through illegal means, but give it a more palatable word. Something Palinesque and folksy like… shenanigans!
Really Mr. Hannity, would you care to define ‘shenanigans’ for us as it relates to election results? And would this definition happen to contain the words ‘Bush’ and ‘Florida’?
Oh wait! Now I remember! Shenanigans! That’s Hannity-speak for faking footage to make your sparsely-attended event appear not-sparsely-attended! Something like this Mr. Hannity?
I hope the Democrats in Massachusetts are working as hard to keep Ted Kennedy’s seat blue as the Republicans are working to make it red.
Fingers crossed here in Australia.
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January 16, 2010
The 110th United States Congress took place between 03 January 2007 and 03 January 2009, the last two years of the George W. Bush Presidency. There are some interesting and historical demographics about this particular congress. For instance, it was the first time since 1995 that the Democratic Party controlled both chambers (Senate and House of Representatives) and Nancy Pelosi was the very first female Speaker of the House. Also a first in the house were Buddhist and Muslim Representatives.
For benefit of my Australian readers, the Senate is comprised of two Senators per state, making an even 100 senators. The number of representatives in the house varies and is much larger as it is determined by the number of citizens living in each state, (where x number of citizens are represented by one delegate) and is based on percentages of the [last taken] census. Together, the two ‘houses’ comprise the legislative body for the two year period.
During their two years of legislation, this particular Senate and House passed 11,081 bills. It would be fair to assume, in light of the incredible number of discussions which must surely have taken place in order to reach agreement 11,081 times in two years, to speculate on the number of opportunites those 100 senators had to meet each other face-to-face, chat over coffee, share meals or cocktails. During those encounters, it would also be fair to speculate that those 100 senators, in small groups would feel free to tell a few jokes, swap anecdotes about their travels in and out of Washington D.C. and… talk shop.
How perfecty normal it would be for one senator to share a humourous encounter (back home) with another senator from another state. Senior Senators would be drawn to other Senior Senators and not be out of line commiserating about having to train up the newly elected, wet-behind-the-ears Junior Senators, or even the trials and tribulations of working under a newly elected, wet-behind-the-ears governor.
Now look at the Senate roll call:
- Alabama, Richard Shelby R, in office since 1987
- Alabama, Jeff Sessions R, in office since 1997
- Alaska, Ted Stevens R, in office since 1968
- Alaska, Lisa Murkowski R, in office since 2002
- Arizona, John McCain R, in office since 1987
- Arizona, John Kyl R, in office since 1995
I’m going to take a leap of faith here and just say right out loud, I believe Senators John McCain and Ted Stevens met each other sometime during their shared twenty (20) years in the Senate. Correct me if I’m wrong, but my recollection of high school civics, coupled with old black and white photos of the senate in session in semi-circular seating, with placetags on the tables lends me to believe that at some point these particular Senators might have even sat together in their alphabetically assigned seating for taking roll and voting. (I will apologize for and correct this point should I be wrong, however.)
Ted Stevens and John McCain had to have known each other. During their shared twenty years of service, and surely with all the two men had in common, they would have migrated toward each other, shared a meal, or a beer. Maybe not taken a fishing trip, but even a chance meeting in the men’s room proffers opportunity for comment among peers. And during those planned or chance meetings, they certainly didn’t rudely ignore each other.
So consider the timing. Sarah campaigned for governor in 2006. Her opponent was a good old boy doing business as usual. Her entire campaign was predicated on ridding the Alaska government of good old boys doing business as usual. Ted Stevens was a good old boy. I’m betting he did business as usual with all the other good old boys in Alaska and Washington D.C. When his senatorial duties took him back east that would have paired him with another good old boy, Senator John McCain. (I would also speculate that neither of these good old boys liked having their cushy, profitable business as usual style of politics being pulled into the spotlight by a broad small-time-town wannabe politician with whale-snot sawdust for brains.)
But fate intervened. When Sarah Palin de-throned her politically seasoned opponent, Frank Murkowski, and Ted Stevens got busy doing photo-ops with the new, wet-behind-the-ears governor, she had to have been the object of at least one conversation between the two senior senators. She was a beautiful woman. Men talk about beautiful women. She got between Stevens and his backroom deals with the boys from oil. Men talk about beautiful women especially when they get between them and their cash cows business dealings.
So why does John McCain continue to feign ignorance when asked how Sarah Palin was selected to be his running mate in 2008 and without benefit of proper vetting? Why does he claim to have never heard of her before his staff brought him her name? She was linked to his short list as early as February 2008. I don’t profess to know the facts surrounding this mystery. But I can tell you my theory.
Conspiracy Theory # 46j
When Sarah Palin was voted in as governor to Alaska back in 2006, she was probably more of an amusement than annoyance to the seasoned politicians she suddenly hovered above. But as the year progressed it became apparent to everyone, Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike that the good governor had not a clue how to do her job, nor was she the slightest bit interested in learning. Ethics violations complaints began to trickle in from concerned citizens addressing a number of issues. She was absent from legislative duties so often there were bumper stickers and buttons made decrying “Where’s Sarah?” and “Sarah, the job’s in Juneau!” She was the face of government reform, but not any part of the actual system itself. She was incredibly effective at rallying her church group. She was a groupie magnet.
But she was getting in the way. Sen. Stevens commented to Sen. McCain one day in the fall session that Sarah, though awfully easy on the eye, was becoming problematic. The other Alaska legislators were coming to him for help and he had none to give. She was their governor. That was that. Too bad there wasn’t something else she could run for, or take up. He’d hoped planting the seed of being a Washington lobbyist in her lap would have kept her busier, but she never stayed in the lower 48 long enough to suit anyone. They’d begun putting speaking opportunities in her lap but she wasn’t taking enough of them.
Sen. McCain said he sympathised and would keep an ear out for a solution.
When John McCain won the Republican Florida primary on 29 January 2008, he knew he was home free. Looking at the candidates for Democratic nomination, the only person who stood out to him was Hillary Clinton. But he’d been formulating a plan that was so guaranteed to smash Sen. Clinton in any election, he was almost hoping she would be the one he’d run against. But for now, for his plan to work, he had to remain quiet. The next time he chatted with Sen. Stevens he would drop a couple of bread crumbs for the Alaskan Senator to follow. Turned out he took directions well.
Less than ten days later it was announced (or leaked) that Sarah Palin, the hottie governor from Alaska, could possibly be named to McCain’s short list. Some pundits were saying “Sarah who?” while others just looked at her photos and drank the kool-aid. No one really paid attention because everyone knew it was just a political opportunity to slap Hillary around, to make her look older than her years.
Politicians don’t play fair.
But Hillary doesn’t win the Democratic nomination. Barack Obama does. Now it’s McCain who looks like the doddering old fool compared to young Barack who still plays basketball without sweating and dives into the Maoi surf like a bronzed God on loan from Mt. Olympus. To compound McCain’s misfortune, the cameras love the svelte Barack.
McCain has another chat with Stevens, who assures him that if he dangles the Vice Presidency under Palin’s nose, she will be the political pitbull he needs to rile up the Republican base and toss lies into the crowds with cool aplomb. The crowds will eat her up. She will put youth and energy into his campaign. She just can’t actually serve as V.P.
McCain wasn’t worried about the endgame. Sarah had enough skeletons in her closet to keep her from ever setting foot in The White House. The trick for him was in knowing when to open that closet door, and exactly how wide. Sarah would be used and used and then used up when it suited his political needs.
From January 2008, until just before he announced his VP pick the following August, McCain carefully allowed all the pundits to think he was choosing Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman as his running mate. Three things prevented him from releasing his real decision too early.
First, he needed the element of surprise to be the driving force in getting people to accept his choice without too many questions. The Christian-right that make up the Republican base would hear her talk about old-fashioned family values, see her beautiful smile on stage with her husband and children in tow, and melt in the Senator’s arms out of sheer gratitude for delivering her to them. Then, after a few carefully planned speeches, she’d begin to win over the Hillary supporters. For the rest, he’d adopt a simple soundbite reply. Something like “I’m just so proud of Sarah.”
Second, she couldn’t be vetted. What he already knew about her real life would not stand up to a vetting process, and if people knew he knew, he risked ridicule. Sarah’s history, for the next few months at least, was not to be publicized.
Three, Sarah had to be someone else’s idea. Someone else needed to bring her name and face to him, not the other way around.There would be the day when he would need to get her off his back politically, and when that day arrived, he needed to be able to distance himself from the fallout. To retain his credibility, he would need to say he’d honestly had no idea what her background held. He had to retain an aura of innocence when the Shit that is Sarah hit the proverbial fan.
Less than a week before his V.P. announcement was imminent, predictably, his choice of Sen. Lieberman made it’s public kerfuffle. Now he could gracefully renig on his offer to Joe and set the next phase of his plan into motion. He called a meeting with his senior staff and put it to them that they had three days to find a new candidate. He wanted a woman. A right-wing woman. Preferably someone young, energetic and spunky enough to upstage Hillary, and gutsy enough to debunk Sen. Obama’s clean-living image.
Enter Sarah, stage right.
Sen, John McCain didn’t tell his aides to go look at Sarah Palin. He didn’t need to. He describd her to them in detail. Just like entering search criteria in Google. i’ve not got the exact qote at my fingertips, but one of the authors of Game Change, on the 60 minutes interview said something like:
We only had 3 days. The senator told us what to look for. He wanted a woman. young though, and maybe with governor’s experience. She had to appeal to the Christian right, be family oriented…
female, governor, young, family-oriented, good-looking.
Gosh, I wonder how many hits that got back in the summer of 2008. McCain never heard of Sarah before August 2008? Bullpucky.
When Sarah’s book came out this past year and so many lies were aimed at Sen. McCain’s staff, he had to make a lot of phone calls to keep his staffers from launching a retaliatory attack. I’m guessing he told them all to be patient, that their day of vindication would be coming, but that he needs to save exposing the really big lies until 2012, to guarantee she could never be a Presidential candidate. If she’s exposed now, too many of her supporters would just rally behind her even more intensely. She’d have time to regroup.This way, she has an opportunity (with Fox) to hang herself on international television because there’s no way, given her record, and her history of histrionics, that she has a chance in Hell of comporting herself with any more dignity or honesty than she’s ever been able to in the past.
So one lone senior staffer was allowed to go on 60 Minutes and air a bit of dirty laundry to soothe the masses. Which timed in perfectly with the launch of the reporter’s joined authorship of Game Change, an account of what they knew to be true about the McCain-Palin campaign of 2008. And now, Sen. John McCain just has to hold onto his claim of ‘not knowing how she was vetted and don’t care’ long enough to get his name on the 2012 ticket. Then, when the news finally does erupt, he can appear as shocked and disappointed as the rest of the country for having been tricked into believing her lies.
Fox News hiring Sarah as their new Fox News Bunny was a smart move. If she cleans up her act, does her homework and takes the job as news pundit seriously, they get a commentator with excellent audience appeal and their ratings sky rocket. If she can’t take direction from the senior commentators and starts pitching fits anywhere in the vicinity of a camera, they play the clips and their ratings sky rocket. If her acute paranoia causes her to blather incoherently during filming, drooling and eventually having a complete meltdown, it will be caught on camera, replayed during prime time and their ratings sky rocket.
See Sarah it’s not just TV anymore. It’s sky rocket science
To comment on this post, please scroll back to the title Forget Sarah – Someone Needs To Out John McCain and click the word comment just beneath. Thanks, OzMud
January 14, 2010
Google the phrase Republicans Criticize Obama and you will get no less than 13,500,000 hits. Pretty impressive numbers considering the man’s been in office for just under a year. Really. That’s a whopping 1.25 mil criticisms per month. 36,900+ per day. 1500+ per hour. If I had to respond to 1500 complaints every hour I wouldn’t have time to get any actual work done. I’m guessing there’s a clue in there.
The top twenty Google hits featured these headlines:
- Republicans criticize Obama’s call to delay Hill inquiries on Fort Hood (shooter) Washington Post Nov 2009
- Republicans call Obama timid on Iran MSNBC June 2009
- House Republicans criticize Obama timeline (troop support)CBS News Dec 2009
- Republicans criticize ABC News for Obama healthcare infomercial Entertainment Weekly June 2009
And my Google-search favourite:
Politico – January 06, 2010
New York Rep. Peter King, a leading Republican critic of the White House on terror policy, offered a piece of advice on “Good Morning America” today: Obama should speak the word “terrorism” more.
“You are saying someone should be held accountable. Name one other specific recommendation the president could implement right now to fix this,” host George Stephanopoulos said to King.
“I think one main thing would be to — just himself to use the word terrorism more often,” said King, the ranking Republican on the Homeland Security Committee.
So… let me get this straight. First you pour millions of dollars into an unsuccessful search for the guy behind the 9-11 attack on America. When you fail, you declare war on a different country, claiming this country surely was in cahoots with the first guy, pouring millions more into a war whose sole definition is ‘if it moves shoot it down – we’re bound to catch something that will justify the bullets’ - then when the American people have had enough of your no-plan-plan and vote your party out of office, your new political strategy is to complain so much and so loud that nobody can focus on the actual problems? Sort of a ‘Hey if it wasn’t our idea shoot it down and make a lot of whooping sounds so they’ll get confused and forget who started this!’And when kicking and screaming doesn’t work you blame the Obama Administralion for all the problems the Bush Administration actually created? And then you tell the person with the biggest chance to broker peace in the Middle East to call more people terrorists because the American people aren’t afraid enough?
Interesting game plan. Shoot. Holler. Blame. [Repeat]
The Republican Party reminds me more and more of my ex-husband. (And I’m really sorry about the harshness of this comparison but you guys have just been asking for it.) Obviously very few of you know what I mean by this, so here, let me introduce you to him:
It was early 1970′s. I was a stay-at-home mom, pregnant with my second bub. My firstborn was every mother’s dream come true, especially when it came to eating. She ate everything you put in front of her. Everything. If she didn’t eat, it meant she was sick. But on a normal day, she ate all of her vegetables, no matter what kind they were, meat, potatos – and she loved milk. Most nights she had 2-3 glasses of milk with dinner. (This was back in the day when Golden Guernsey, an enriched milk was not only available, it was actually considered good for you.) While other parents were busily concocting ways to bribe their children to eat properly, I had not one complaint about my daughter’s eating habits.
But something snapped in her father’s head when she was four. Not content with enjoying how well-behaved his daughter was at the dinner table, or pleased that she ate everything we gave her sans fuss or complaint, he decided one night (as she asked for a second glass of milk) to change the rules. He announced to us both that she could not have a second glass of milk until she’d finished all her vegetables. We both looked at him and then at each other and I nodded. She quickly polished off her vegetables, handed me her empty glass and I filled it.
The next night as she reached for her first glass of milk, her father snatched it up and told her she couldn’t have any milk at all until she’d eaten every bite of meat. She did. He gave her the glass back.
The next night she ate her meat first and reached for the milk. Again the Sicilian hand of fate got to the glass first and she was told “didn’t I say to eat your vegetables first?”
This went on for a week. Then one night she sat at the table, not eating at all, one hand holding up her chin while the other pushed a few peas around the plate with a fork. After several minutes her father asked her why she wasn’t eating. I wanted to scream “Because she has no friggin’ clue what you want her to eat first, moron!” but her young, little voice intervened. She replied, simply “Papa, you give me a headache.”
This is just my opinion, but I really believe the Republicans would be more effective with their criticisms of the current White House Administration if they first took responsibility for their role in having created these messes, if the criticisms were fewer, prioritized and not bouncing around like a parent who can’t make up his mind what he wants his kid to do next.
The Republicans’ erratic style of continuous whinging in this first year of President Obama holding office has only given me and others a giant headache. (And now I’m suddenly, irrationally concerned about the President’s eating habits. Someone’s keeping an eye on his diet, right? Right? Oh great, now I won’t be able to sleep tonight… stoobud Republicans…)
Criticism for the sake of hearing the sound of one’s own voice is neither constructive nor contributive and all one gets from the experience is facial wrinkles.
To comment on this post, please scroll to the title “Shoot. Holler. Blame. [Repeat]” and click the word comment just beneath. Thanks, OzMud
January 13, 2010
NewLeftMedia did a better job of capturing how Sarah Palin followers think, what they believe, and how overwhelmingly afraid they are of President Obama and the Democratic Party than all the major news outlets put together.
These people believe with all their hearts:
- President Obama is not a US citizen
- President Obama and his administration are naturalizing all illegal aliens so he will have uber voting power in 2012
- President Obama and his administration are responsible for the economical problems in America, and the war in iraq
- President Obama supports and allows partial birth abortions
- Sarah Palin is the only politician who speaks for America
- Sarah Palin (and only Sarah Palin) will deliver us from the world’s evils
- Sarah Palin (personally) is our first line of defense against Russian invaders
- Sarah Palin is still governor of Alaska
- Sarah Palin will be the new leader of America after 2012
This is not snark. This is not a sarcastic jab at the new right-wingers (teabaggers) who are bubbling to the surface in today’s politics. These people and thousands of others like them were willing to stand in line, outdoors, in the cold of winter, for several hours (some reported in Michigan as 15 hours+) just to get Sarah Palin’s autograph on a book she didn’t write.
Imagine what they would do for her – if she asked.
This would all be comical if it wasn’t so bloody frightening.
Please circulate this video. I’m going to leave it stuck (at the top) for the rest of the month.
To comment on this post please scroll to the title Please Post This Video and click the word comment just beneath. Thanks, OzMud
January 13, 2010
Because too many people believe her lies…
New Left Media Interviews Palin Supporters: Columbus Ohio (Nov 2009)
Please share this video. The youtube embed code is:
January 12, 2010
Thought I’d offer a brief background for the KFC ad, so we’re all on the same historical page, even if our perspectives vary. KFC has been doing series of ads for the Australian cricket games for a number of years. They usually run the series around a specific product. One year the featured item was a new set of sandwiches KFC called Fillers. Another year, a bucket of chicken calledThe Backyard Bucket took the star role. An athlete is chosen to do the series. It’s all rather basic marketing, really.
This year, a pro-player named Mick was selected to film the series KFC calls Mick & the Survivor’s Guide to Cricket. The particular episode causing the kerfuffle in America finds our hero (Mick) at a West Indies game, surrounded by West Indies fans all dancing and singing and poor Mick, outnumbered and alone, can’t see the field. Enter KFC’s latest advertising concoction, a giant bucket of chicken called “The Crowd Pleaser”. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Something to know about Cricket: While the cricket season is the average for most sports, four months long, a single game can last between one and eight days. The day game is so long teams actually have to break for lunch. Teams fly throughout the entire season, criss-crossing the countries involved including Australia, Great Britain, West Indies, India, Pakistan, and more.
Something to know about West Indies: Evidently the folks in West Indies love chicken so much there is literally a KFC outlet in every nrighbourhood. Often more than one. And West Indians love their cricket and have a great sense of humour.
Leesa sent us this youtube link. Watching it encouraged me to look for more. It wasn’t exactly how I’d planned on spending my day, but in the end it was pretty worth the time and effort spent. I hope you enjoy them all.
(NBC Los Angeles) The Filter: Our topic begins at 3:12 It should actually make you feel better about ‘people’ in general.
(Fox News) Bill O’Reilly: This one, however, should scare the crap out of you.
Korean KFC Ad: This one should make you bellylaugh right out loud.
(HBO) The Racist Test: This one will be hard to understand if you’re not accustomed to a heavy British accent. Crank up the volume and play it through twice – you’ll get it and be glad you did. It’s hilarious.
Here’s a link for the entire library of clever and cute KFC Cricket ads. I found a couple of my favourites on youtube to embed for you.
Cricket Ad: The helicopter
Cricket Ad: Never take your eye off the ball
And then I found this – an Oz ad made for India cricket. It’s been labelled the absolute worst Cricket ad ever made – and it was done by Cadbury (the Chocolate people).
I howled. Then howled again. But it’s ok, Im not a racist. Just Greek
Thank you, all, for your great comments and contributions. I love a good discussion!
To comment on this post, please scroll to the title Sometimes a Bucket of Chicken is Just a Bucket of Chicken (cont.) and click the word comment just beneath. Thanks,OzMud
January 12, 2010
Many Australians this morning are so outraged by having been called a nation of racists by the American media in general and The Young Turks specifically, they have begun fighting back via emails and online comments to those news sources who have misrepresented their personal views on the subject as fact. Ozzies are screaming CROCK! And not in the Paul Hogan, cuddly sort of way. Here is the ad as presented by TYT:
One of my readers has sent me a copy of her email to TYT:
From: Leesa in Australia
Dear “The Young Turks”
Rarely does something rile me so much that I take the time to write a letter.
I have just watched two of your youtube.com segments and I seriously sat here shaking my head and yelling at the screen – “NOOO – You have it all wrong!”
When you are trying to explain that the Australian KFC knew how Americans would view the stereotypical analogy of black people and fried chicken, I was still yelling NOOOO!
Please allow me to explain to you how an Australian saw this advertisement. Please do me this courtesy, (and refrain from attempting my accent because, really, you are terrible at it). Also, your attempt at mimicking the Australian accent could be considered racist as you are putting us in a stereotypical setting of assuming we all speak that way (kind of like everyone assuming that a bunch of black people can be easily settled with fried chicken).
When you say “We are not calling Australians racists” I disagree – You are. You are calling anyone who “gets” the advertisement by KFC, Australian or otherwise, racist.
You are the ones associating black people with loving fried chicken. KFC is associating a cricket game – West Indies v Australia – and the love of chicken.
I am so incredibly confused as to why this turned into the way it did and why you simply cannot state that you made a mistake in first reporting it as racist. As a true blood Australian, this is how I saw the ad….
Setting: Cricket Match Australia v’s West Indies . One Australian uncomfortable because he is sitting with a pack of West Indies supporters. He wants to be included so he gets a bucket of KFC and shares it with the people sitting near him. It’s as simple as that.
Now before you go reading anything further into “a pack of West Indies Supporters” I want to clarify that I would feel as uncomfortable at a footy game sitting with a pack of NSW supporters as I support Queensland . Here is an image of a group of NSW supporters at one of our State of Origin matches. http://www.thepunch.com.au/images/uploads/bluesfans.jpg – Imagine me sitting there in my maroon shirt supporting Queensland… it’s the “sporting” uncomfortable feeling that you apparently don’t get and what has me shaking my head in confusion and disbelief.
I am not surprised at all the email you have received. Australians are passionate people who don’t like names being thrown unwarranted.
Sometimes, you have to realise, that it is not all about America . One statement made on your segment was that KFC did not plan to have it shown in America and therefore they knew it would cause some upset. I believe that KFC would not assume this ad would be shown in America because it is about “our” cricket season. Please forgive me if this sounds racist; but a cricket ad would not have been aired in a country that doesn’t play cricket – case and point. Everything doesn’t have to include you or be about you – and by you, I mean America . . Furthermore Since when do all advertisements run in a different country have to consider the way it will make you who live in America feel? Should all our promos be run past Americans to ensure we don’t stereotype somebody?
I’m not sure if you have read this article but I have attached it for you. http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/kfc-ad-a-storm-in-a-fried-chicken-bucket-20100111-m21e.html
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The above KFC ad is aimed at cricketers. At their teams, their fans and their favourite ‘in the stands’ finger food. It is not an ad about skin colour. If you knew anything about the game of cricket, you’d know it is played internationally. You’d know that it is common for the stands to be filled with an uneven representation of fans, one team’s side usually outnumbering the other as whole series of games are played in one country at a time. When Australia plays cricket with the West Indies team, for example, on West Indies home turf, most Oz fans cannot take the three weeks off work to travel overseas that it would require for them to attend the series. But they can watch the game from home – and they do buy the chicken. That’s what KFC was targetting.
To get a more accurate perspective of the ad, replace cricket with football. Now make the game between the SF 49rs and the NY Jets. Now put a lone guy from California in the stands with an entire stadium full of Jets fans. Now give the guy a bucket of chicken to share with the jets fans whose enthusiasm is overwhelming.
And that’s all it is. The act of sharing food is a universal sign of friendship. The ad could just as easily have been a West Indies fan in a stadium full of Oz blokes. Or, it could have been an ad for Tim Tams.
To TYT: Sometimes a bucket of chicken is just a bucket of chicken. Perhaps, in the future, before you appear on international television and label something as racist, you might do a small bit of research to determine if racism actually exists. Had you done even a modicum of research on Australia team sports, you would have found there is no prejudice. There is team spirit and a true love of the game, but no prejudice.
KFC did not air this ad in America. It was aired in Australia. And here, everyone laughed at the good joke.
To comment on this post, please scroll back to the title Sometimes a Bucket of Chicken is Just a Bucket of Chicken and click the word comment just beneath – Thanks. OzMud
January 10, 2010
Bristol Palin, IMHO, is just another victim of the era. She certainly isn’t the only unwed teen mother to surface in 2008, she was simply the most visible. Thanks mum, for making this ever-so-personal life experience an international event of epic proportions.
I do not for one minute believe becoming TCF Ambassador for the advocation of teen-abstinence was Bristol’s idea. While I do believe she was comfortable in speaking to an audience about her experience, I’m certain she would have been more comfortable and far more effective a spokesperson had she been allowed to speak about and represent the ideals and problems facing today’s teenagers as she honestly perceived them, not as she was directed to portray them.
Neither do I believe in the advocacy of abstinence-only contraception because it’s been proven unrealistic and ineffective time and time again. In fact, some argue that teaching abstinence-only is almost criminally negligent as it sends unsuspecting teens out into the world uneducated, unprepared and vulnerable to contracting venereal diseases, some of which are absolutely fatal.
And… Bristol Palin, who lives in a big house, surrounded by loved ones, who is never stressed about where her next meal will come from or whether she will have a warm place to sleep and a roof over her head is not like the very teenagers she’s meant to reach. She shares very few of their problems.
It’s observed in several comments on several (conservative included) blogs and websites, that TCF would have done much better to take up a young mother who was living in dire circumstances and offering her a leg up. That by hearing from a young girl who was actually living the negative side of being a teenage mother would have been more responsible on the part of TCF and proffered a more believeable spokesperson to the teenage community. At the end of the day, the most prevelant comment was that these teens would have preferred if TCF had given a more deserving teenager the rewards of being their ambassador. Bristol, quite frankly, didnt need anything.
To paraphrase a few teenagers’ comments, after attending Bristol’s 2009 townhall meeting, It’s hard to identify with Bristol. She flies around the country on a jet. Her mom makes lots of money. She doesn’t believe in abstinence anyway. She said so on TV.
No, I do not believe an abstinence-only regiment was ever on Bristol’s agenda. I sincerely believe the entire poster-girl-for-abstinence idea was yet another ill-conceived, poorly administrated scheme by Sarah to launch a second Palin into the lucrative business of public lecturing. And I’m betting that the ex-governor coached Bristol for the podium herself, as with Sarah’s inflated ego she would have considered herself an expert speaker now that she’s given a few $peeches-for-ca$h and undergone that rigorous *cough* training for the VP debate… (The Palins do have a penchant for circumventing the education process and going straight to the diploma/fund trust/cheque whether it’s earned or not.)
This morning, however, as my computer is hard at work sifting through resources and research with which to back my next few articles, I’m struck with a slight conundrum regarding Bristol’s infelicitous ambassadorship for TCF.
If Sarah Palin was so privacy-oriented, that she:
- Felt the need to hide her [alleged] seventh pregnancy from even her closest friends and co-workers for seven-plus months
- Refused to allow news cameras to take the traditional photos of mom, dad and newborn child in the hospital when Trig was born
- Omitted his birth certificate from public record
Why then, did she push her daughter and firstborn grandchild into the international spotlight? For almost a month, newsbites of Sarah all but crucifying David Letterman for a 6-second comedic jab he’d directed toward Bristol’s unwed pregnancy on late-night television (a joke she’d grossly exaggerated and repeatedly misrepresented) monopolized prime-time international news slots (much to the chagrin of most journos who’d preferred to have let the issue quietly die).
But back up a moment – it’s Sarah, herself who kept that particular embarrassment in the forefront of news cycles just as it was Sarah herself who initially walked Bristol out into the center of the gladatorial media ring, tethered her pregnant, underaged daughter to a public pole of humiliaton, then stood back and shouted, let the games begin!
So when Sarah Palin demands privacy at the top pf her lungs – what exactly does she mean? And for whom does she think it should apply?
As a VP candidate, of course the reality of her daughter’s pregnancy needed to be publicly announced. It’s one of those things (like your husband holding a seven-year membership with an active secessionist movement) that’s fated to become public, and the first rule of public relations says it’s better to get negative news out yourself rather than leave it for your adversaries to dig up later to use as political fodder, but…
…wouldn’t someone with such a deep feel for the right of privacy take the more dignified approach of simply making the announcement and then letting their child slip anonymously into the backdrop, gracefully letting her off the hook?
Methinks the lady doth protest too much…
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P.S. Trying desperately to find which Fox cable channel in Australia might air the US version of 60 Minutes with Steve Schmidt tomorrow night. We used to have that nice cable guide delivered once a month. At some point, while doing the year-end bills, spouse decided since he never read it, we didn’t need to keep paying for it and unsubscribed. It was one dollar a month. One. I told him we could save at least four times that amount by just giving up sex. Hear that? That’s the sound of spouse tripping over himself, frantically trying to find the telephone number of our provider
* * * * * * *
Would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.
To comment on this post, please scroll back to the title Sarah Palin: Role Model for Teen Pregnancy (pt-1)and click the word comment just beneath – Thanks, OzMud
January 10, 2010
Posted by ozmud under Uncategorized Comments Off
Traversing the internet, I find it jarring to be in the middle of reading a post only to discover the writer has used an acronym with which I am not familiar. I suppose this is a byproduct of text’ing, however I don’t text.
I’m guessing some of you don’t either.
For our edification then, a page sporting
Annoying Acronyms can be found right over there –> ========================================================================
January 8, 2010
A 2008 press release advertising a public service announcement (produced by The Candie’s Foundation) to be aired during an episode of Gossip Girl introduces the video clip shown in the previous post. The release also states the publishing of their talking points list would coincide with the TV ad, proffering parents a discussion tool to use when talking with their teenagers about “the devasting consequences of teen pregnancy”. (It was all about promoting teen abstinence, you see, not their provocative tee-shirts.)
The talking points appeared in the New York Times and the New York Post. It’s reported that USA Today was scheduled to also publish the ad, but pulled out at the last minute using the ambiguous excuse of “unable to accomodate” it [the ad].
Hmm… October 2008. I’m trying to think what might have been going on nationally at the time… well let’s have a sticky beak at the ad and maybe it will jar my memory:
(click image to enlarge)
Could it possibly be that USA Today didn’t want the wrath of the Republican Party descending upon them like a pack of right-wnged vultures wielding giant claw-shaped scrubbers at their hard drives for publicly humiliating the daughter of the then Presidential candidate John McCain’s running mate via their dirty little walk of shame photo?
I have to tell you – and I will only say this one time… Had I been Sarah Palin when this appeared in the newspapers, I would have pounded the NY Times, the NY Post, Seventeen and The Candie’s Foundation into the ground and not stopped until grass was growing above their collective heads.What a horrible way to portray a seventeen year old girl whose only transgression was to announce to the world that she became pregnant and elected to keep her baby. Like, oh I don’t know, a few billion seventeen year olds before her?
The days of having a classmate disappear from school to go off and live on a farm with Aunt Jane long enough to give birth and put the baby up for adoption are over. And thank goodness that primitive way of looking at life is in the past. Well, for most of us anyway. (Either Neil Cole stills lives in that era or he’s just a businessman whose line of clothing wasn’t selling properly and looked around for a gimmick to up his sales. My jury is still out on that issue.)
But… the phrase “the devasting consequences of teen pregnancy” grates on my nerves like fingernails on a chalkbord. (Do we still have chalkboards?) Pregnancy is not a tragic consequence of anything. It’s a part of life. All life. Unless you’re a chicken or a turtle, maybe.
TCF also persists in likening teen pregnancy to an epidemic. Pregnancy is not a disease! It is therefore erroneous to refer to it as an epidemic.The statistical figures comparing the number of today’s teen pregnancies against those of my generation (or even my daughter’s generation) cannot be justified because today most pregnant teens are happy to share their news as opposed to my day when they were all hidden from sight and told to be quiet. We really only have about a 15-20 year window from which to glean almost-accurate stats. So Mr. Cole, looking at your numbers, is there an actual critical rise in teen pregnancies? Or are we just getting better at admitting the truth
Pregnancy is neither a sin nor a crime. Ironically enough, it is the right-wing Republican nut jobs who portray unwed pregnancy or teen pregnancy as such troubling, sinful and criminal behaviour that it must be STAMPED OUT BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE GAHhhhhhh. Their drum-banging only serves to keep our adolescents (and their parents) riddled with guilt long enough to spout sanctimonious sermons on abstinence, all the while repressing any and all sex education techniques which might actually – work.
Onya Repubs… no wonder your party is carking it.
The big thing we (today) need to take away from this ad campaign launched October 2008 is this:
Before they were for Bristol Palin, The Candie’s Foundation was dead-set against her. She was their pin-up girl for family values gone wrong. They paraded her down their walk of shame without a second glance. They didn’t even think enough of her to paint a red letter A on her forehead. Just plastered her photo all over nationally read periodicals under the neon pink & white banner of: WAKE UP AMERICA WE HAVE AN EPIDEMIC.
And yet… I don’t recall seeing this pic-ad until a reader sent it to me a few days ago. Could it be the RNC cut a deal with Neil Cole to back off? Could Sarah herself have negotiated such a deal? Could Sarah have promised full use of her daughter as a gimmick for TCF to exploit in a whole new campaign in return for TCF backing down during her campaign?
It’s just conjecture on my part. But it smells *sniff* somewhat *sniff* dare I say…fishy.
Suddenly Bristol… is chosen to be ambassador for the same organization which held her in contempt only seven months earlier. We’re to believe that in October of 2008, Bristol’s behaviour was the object of TCF’s public ridicule and yet in May of 2009, the very same organization embraced Bristol as their heroine, portraying her exact, same behaviour as a shining example of bravery and maturity… I’m… spent.
Looks like pollies aren’t the only ones who can play the flip-flop game…
You know, it took me almost a year to learn this, but when something smells really really fishy… I’ve only to close my eyes to visualize the fisherman hard at work in the background…
And in case you’re like me and have never heard of/seen the television show Gossip Girl, here’s a youtube promo of their Season Two opening episode.
Yup this will help sell abstinence alrighty! And i’m guessing the shows other sponsors were thrilled
H/T to LisanTx for the October ad… and where it led is coming next
To Comment on this post please scroll back to the title Candie’s Ambassador Bristol Palin and click the word comment just beneath – Thanks, OzMud
January 7, 2010
To summarize the previous post:
Through public records in an Alaskan court we learn that Bristol Palin has filed for custody of her son Tripp. She claims to be fully employed as the owner of BSMP LLC, a company which offers political lobbying and consulting services. Bristol is 19 and barely out of high school. She uses this (group? firm? one-man business?) to collect (salaries? payroll cheques? donations?) from at least one known source, the Candie’s Foundation. As the Candie’s Foundation Ambassador for 2009, Bristol is charged with promoting abstinence-only education to other teenagers. To the best of public record, Bristol worked all of one day for this organization, headlining an event on 6 May 2009.
It is by virtue of this one day of work that Bristol claims (in court documentation) to be financially solvent. (At 19, I didn’t even know what financially solvent meant…)
And while the major networks along with other bloggers have been concentrating on the legitimacy of Bristol’s court-documented claims, I thought I’d trot over to the Candie’s website and have a sticky beak at the kind folks who are working so hard to teach today’s kids how to don a $15 tee-shirt and just say no to sex. It could actually start a whole new fad: “Read my shirt mister!”
Here’s the website addy again. You should really see it for yourself. No, really, I’ll wait. If you’re a slow reader it might take you all of twelve minutes to view every pic and read every page. There’s that much content *eyeroll* so really, I don’t mind waiting
It’s no secret that Candie’s originated as a line of quite alluring lingerie aimed at the 15 20 to 30 year old crowd. Founder Neil Cole’s transition from closet wardrobe guru to the saviour of American teenagers via teaching abstinence is well documented. Kudos I say to the man who saw a problem and decided to sieze civic duty by the throat collar and go out there and get his hands dirty do his part…
The Candie’s Foundation website spells out the whole premise of their fundraising organization in bright neon pink and black, proffers a brief history of the foundation and an even more brief bio of the founder, Neil Cole. It offers some tasteful photos of each of the events which have brought in their clamed millions of dollars in donations. It shows the covers of several publications and media logos, which either publicly support the foundation or simply allow Mr. Cole to advertise in their mags, I’m not clear which, to be honest. There’s a full registration page where you can sign up to get a newsletter, a page selling sexy abstinence-sloganed tee shirts and finally, there’s a page sporting all the info you’ll ever need to make a donation to this ever-so-worthy cause.
About the donations: You have two options. You can snail-mail cheques or phone in your CC info to their headquarters in New York. There’s no quick form to make an online donation. The New York telephone number will appear as a long distance call on your phone bill unless you actually live in NY. Don’t bother looking for a PayPal button, there isn’t one. It’s all a bit slack considering … I mean really, if your goal is to collect donations, you might actually want to make making those donations an easy task.
Well, I suppose they aren’t too worried about getting money from the little people. They get all those millions from their events. The Event to Prevent they’re called. One organized fundraiser a year and Neil Cole appears to be happy as a clam in heat a pig in mud.
There’s a page called PSA Campaign. That stands for Public Service Announcement. The campaign features nine different celebs, each with a message about teen pregnancy, set in the style of movie posters. There are three videos, one of which is downloadable. Nowhere does our ambassador appear. Nowhere.
I’m guessing Bristol Palin would have been a tad ineffective in any of these scenarios considering she already has a bub and she’s been on more than one interview, aired nationally, in which she tells the world how truly blessed she is for having Tripp and how wonderful it is to be a new mom, etc. That said, I found it odd that the paid spokesperson for 2009 isn’t anywhere to be seen in any of the ad campaigns. She gets paid for what, again?
But hark! What light through yonder window breaks! Why, it is the east and Britney Spears is the sun…
Two short months prior to Bristol Palin being named Ambassador to Candie’s Foundation and official spokesperson for teen abstinence, there was another Candie’s Girl. Our dear friend Britney Spears.
And you know it just has to be true because it was posted on youtube and well, nobody sued
So the question becomes, what’s the difference between a Candie’s Girl and a Candie’s Ambassador? I mean besides three layers of clothes and a pole dance…
I’m guessing the difference is having Sarah Palin as your mother, busy in the background pulling strings, paying lawyers and organizing your life so that it fits neatly into her political agenda.
I’m also guessing Sarah never saw this or there would be a lot of men running around the MSNBC vigilantly keeping guard over their testicles.
And finally, here are some stills from the Candie’s Foundation promotional video of Britney’s 2009 tour, introducing her to the world as the new Candie’s Girl of 2009:
Because nothing says abstinence…
better than being caged in a corset…
and having mock-group sex…
while wearing tassle-twirling pasties.
Full video here:
In 60 days the image of Candie’s Foundation went from:
If I were an Alaskan journalist with credentials that allowed me passage into certain records buildings, I would be questioning the sincerity of the Candie’s Foundation in their goal to educate teenagers on abstinence, investigating their fundraising practices and determining exactly what duties Ambassador Palin has performed in the past eight months to warrant her needing to form a company with which to channel funds on their or her behalf.
And if I were Levi Johnston’s solicitor, I’d be writing up subpeonas for tax records of both Bristol Palin and the Candie’s Foundation, and tossing a bone or two into the IRS lunchroom and see if it attracted any attention from the big dogs.
And I would consider it my civic duty
January 6, 2010
The legal struggle between Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin over custody of their son, Tripp, has made it’s way into the media, with speculation of details running hot and heavy on both sides of the Palin blogs.
The Immoral Minority, Palingates and Bree Palin sites, (see side panel “Great Bloggers” for links) just to name a few, have been reporting on the rather odd discrepancies of details discovered in public documents, surfacing as a result of this custody case, and weighed in with opinions and observations. The Huffington Post reported on Rachel Maddow’s observations regarding the validity of Bristol Palin’s Alaska-based business titled BSMP-LLC (an acronym for Bristol’s full name and identity as a Lobbying Consultant).
She is, after all, an Ambassador for Candie’s Foundation, an organization which preaches abstinence to teenagers across America. Bristol headlined a town meeting last year on 6 May to talk to teenagers and tell them her story. Many celebrities have preceded her including Alyssa Milano and Britney Spears.
The Candie’s Foundation website has all the bells and whistles of a bona fide fundraising organization. The NavBar works, albeit the menus prove to be slim pickings. The yearly events are named and shown with photos of their featured celebs, but there are only three – one each for 2007, 2008 and 2009. If they have more events they aren’t listed on the website.
Actually, having gone through the site a few times now, I get the impression that it’s not much more than an empty box. The outer trappings are all there but there’s no substance. For a foundation boasting the raising of millions of dollars in three short years, there are no details of how, when, were or by whom the funds have been acquired. And glaringly absent is a donor’s list.
So Bristol is the 2009 lead Ambassador for an organization which pays her (salary? commission? expenses?) and she’s only visibly worked one day. 6 May 2009. Well two if you count her TV appearance on the Today Show on 5 May 2009 to promote the event.
By listing herself (on legal documents) as a small business owner, she’s implied to the court that she is a working girl, financially able to support herself and her child. But there’s no money trail. There’s also no visibility trail of having worked more than just the one day in any of the eight months she’s been Ambassador for Candie’s to date.
I wouldn’t blame her one bit, either, if she decided not to promote Candie’s Foundation. Have a look at their mission statement:
If I was a new mother that would put me off. And this statement is the primary text, repeated throughout a website which offers little in the way of text.
Has the wording struck you as ‘on the nose’ yet? Let it sink in. Shouldn’t that read ‘the devastating consequences of teen sex’ ? Because teen pregnancy is a consequence of teenagers having unprotected sex. Like contracting HIV or venereal diseases. The latter, of course, striking me as more ‘devastating’ than becomng pregnant.
I would be really pissed to be told my first-born was a burden or a devastating consequence. And she was conceived when I was 19.
Well – I thought I could finish this before falling asleep but apparently I was wrong. More tomorrow – complete with photos that will sock your knocks off .
January 4, 2010
“The Chasers War On Everything” 09 June 2009, ABC TV (Australia)
Needless to say, the fit hit the shan in record time:
After this episode of The Chasers was aired, nationwide public outrage spilled across the airwaves. The Make A Wish Foundation posted it’s reaction here. They didn’t accuse the boys of using poor judgement or having poor taste. In fact they didn’t criticize the show at all. They simply stated the obvious:
This skit could make it harder for them to reach some of the children who deserved their services because it’s already hard enough for some folks to ask for charity.
Parents of terminally ill children have to deal with so many uncomfortable realities. A skit mocking a dying child’s last request, making it appear lavish and inappropriate, could be enough to cause some parents to recoil, hesitating just long enough to be… too late.
So, as funny and clever as our boys are in most skits, and even though I boast my own slightly warped sense of humour, I’m not one to throw money at the boys. I believe the comic who goes for the laugh at any cost is just a bully with a microphone.
(Most of their skits can be found on youtube under the heading The Chaser’s War On Everything. Have a sticky beak and give me your thoughts.)
To comment on this post, please scroll back to the title The Laugh At any Cost and click on the word comment just beneath – Thanks, OzMud
January 3, 2010
I was havng a cuppa, reading my daily blogs this morning when Spouse passed behind me and stopped. I was reading this article at The Immoral Minority and viewing this video at God’s Own Party. “Bloody Hell” he muttered, peering over my shoulder, “looks like the Yanks have finally sussed out our boys! This can’t end well…” and then he was off to forage for food.
Australian’s hate it when one of the skeletons in the closet makes it to the states. They’d much prefer you just ate the Tim Tams
We’ve tried to keep the Chaser boys confined to the closet, but word just keeps leaking out. (Evidently, we tried to keep Paul Hogan to ourselves as well, and you can see how fruitless an effort that was.)
Ok, truth be told, most of the time the Chaser boys make me laugh. Sometimes to the brink of tears. But then they’ll turn right around and just be incredibly – stupid - so really, most of us just try to ignore them.
Case in point:
The stunt they pulled during the 2007 APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) conference in Sydney. On the one hand, it’s very comical, makes an outstanding political statement and embarrasses the crap out of our smug beaurocracy. (And who amongst us doesn’t like to see their government officials embarrased, eh?) Well here – have a good laugh at this and then we’ll talk:
They were actually arrested. The network was so flooded with complaints they were left to suspend them. The boys had to appear in court and explain their antics to a not-very-sympathetic judge. Because the security was responsible for not having stopped them sooner, the boys avoided jail, were lightly fined and released with warnings.
The sobering issue:
We were responsible for the safety and well-being of the leaders of no less than 21 countries. That included Australia’s Prime Minister John Howard, US President George Bush, Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (the real one, not the one Sarah can see from her house) and delegates from Japan and China.
The leaders arrived in traditional style, single-file, each in their own limo, to be delivered to a single meeting place where they would then confer in the same room, in the same building. And while it was, of course, extremely funny to see how far the boys got with their all-too-obviously phoney id’s, the stunt could have backfired in monumental proportions…
Because sometimes, the only plan the bad guys have is to sit unobtrusively on the side and wait for an opportunity to present itself. A tiny hole in an otherwise organized plan. A couple of seconds while the routine is interrupted and guards distracted, could be just enough of an opportunity to afford a lone suicide bomber unnoticed passage into the area. In that light, the boys were lucky they hadn’t gone down in history as the comics who’d cut a path for a suicide bomber to detonate his load near most of the leaders of the free world.
I would have thought it much funnier had it been just with our own government officials. Or maybe the cricket teams. Because comedy aside, the truth is they unnecessarily put a lot of people in harm’s way.
And yes, stop rolling your eyes, I admit I still laugh at the video. The irony of my hypocrisy has not escaped me
Tomorrow, though, I’ll share the Chaser video I never laughed at it. Not even once.
To comment on this post please scroll back to the title The Chasers Make It To Alaska and click on the word comment just beneath – Thanks, OzMud
January 2, 2010
Her name is 2010 and boy am I ever happy to meet her! She has that sassy look about her that promises lots of adventure and I eagerly await the chance to really get to know her better.
2009, it’s been a good ride but you know, you really pissed me off - heaps. You maligned my President (and Prime Minister) with petty untruths and outright malicious lies. You elevated mediocre people (like the secessionist Palins from Alaska) to stardom, showering them with undeserved fame and fortune on the backs of hard-working folks who could have used some of that cash to just stay warm or feed their families.
You graffitied all over a perfectly good healthcare reform bill.
You went too far with the far-right and now the Republican Party is a complete mess. (And guess who’s going to have to clean up after you eh?)
You took a good friend of mine, causing another, unspeakable sadness.
You brought the word carbuncle into my life. (And I had to look it up!)
On the other hand, you brought me closer together with my family here in Aus, and made it easier and cheaper for me to chat with my family and friends in the US.
You let me sit back and watch an intelligent administration move into and de-hillbilly The White House. After eight long years of dreading every time my president opened his mouth in front of a camera, you finally made presidential speeches a pleasant experience.
You made environmental change a reachable goal in Australia, and at the very end, gave us enough water to use in the gardens again.
Oh and I almost forgot! You made it socially acceptable for members of parliament to breastfeed during session! How cool is that!
Plus, (and this is big), you brought me stacks of new friends, right here, through this blog so I’m more than just grateful for our time together. I am forever grateful.
But 2010 is here and I’m just a one-year-at-a-time sort of person so we need to say good-bye.
Oh, and 2009 as long as you’re going, would you please take Sarah Palin with you? Thanks
Happy New Year to all You Wonderful Readers out there – may 2010 bring you unending joy and immeasurable happiness! -OzMud