Greg Prince's Blog

Musings and pontifications from a reality based progressive

Archive for September, 2009

Time doesn’t change the nature of the crime

Posted by Greg on September 29, 2009

I am sick to death of the glitterati and their silly defenses of child rape.  Yes, Roman Polanski has made a great film or two (and a lot of mediocre crap).  That doesn’t change the fact he’s a child rapist.

Kate Harding calls it well.

The point is not to keep 76-year-old Polanski off the streets or help his victim feel safe. The point is that drugging and raping a child, then leaving the country before you can be sentenced for it, is behavior our society should not — and at least in theory, does not — tolerate, no matter how famous, wealthy or well-connected you are, no matter how old you were when you finally got caught, no matter what your victim says about it now, no matter how mature she looked at 13, no matter how pushy her mother was, and no matter how many really swell movies you’ve made.

*****

The reporting on Polanski’s arrest has been every bit as “bizarrely skewed,” if not more so. Roman Polanski may be a great director, an old man, a husband, a father, a friend to many powerful people, and even the target of some questionable legal shenanigans. He may very well be no threat to society at this point. He may even be a good person on balance, whatever that means. But none of that changes the basic, undisputed fact: Roman Polanski raped a child. And rushing past that point to focus on the reasons why we should forgive him, pity him, respect him, admire him, support him, whatever, is absolutely twisted.

Posted in Culture War, International, Justice and the Courts | Leave a Comment »

Mental patient addresses UN

Posted by Greg on September 24, 2009

Another satire gem from the Borowitz Report:

An escaped mental patient broke into the United Nations yesterday, getting all the way to the General Assembly and delivering a ninety-minute speech.

A day after the stunning security breach, U.N. officials were still attempting to sort out how it was allowed to happen.

“We’re trying not to play the blame game here,” said U.N. spokesperson Carol Foyler. “The simple fact is, a legally insane man somehow got all the way to the podium, so how do we keep that from happening again?”

Theories abound as to how the mental patient made it to the U.N., with some suggesting that he may have escaped during a field trip to a county fair.

Reacting to the rambling and incoherent ninety-minute rant, Sec. of State Hillary Clinton echoed the feelings of many: “I was like, where’s Kanye when you need him?”

Posted in Humor, International | Leave a Comment »

Neither are most Americans

Posted by Greg on September 24, 2009

Loving my new senator.

Posted in Civil Rights, Congress, Justice and the Courts, Minnesota | Leave a Comment »

Caught in the act

Posted by Greg on September 21, 2009

Jed at Daily Kos has a good summary of Faux News getting caught with their hand in the till, so to speak.

The video isn’t really a surprise: anyone whose watched coverage of protests can see that Fox is sympathetic to the protesters, but this video offered a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of Fox actually fueling the fire of the very same crowds they claim to be covering.

All the news that’s fit to invent.

Posted in Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, Media | Leave a Comment »

The company they keep

Posted by Greg on September 21, 2009

It’s taken a while, but Powerline is finally recognized as being too nutty, evey by LGF standards.

Overdue, but well done.

Posted in The Blogosphere, The Right | Leave a Comment »

Fabricating the news

Posted by Greg on September 21, 2009

A Faux News producer caught on tape rallying the crowds for the 9/12 rallys.Sad.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about "Fabricating the news", posted with vodpod

Posted in My Musings | Leave a Comment »

Explaining the plan

Posted by Greg on September 21, 2009

Posted in Health Care, Obama Administration | Leave a Comment »

Can you hear my blood boiling?

Posted by Greg on September 18, 2009

by Sean, crossposted from Hiding in the Backwaters:

Saw this today in a comment thread on Facebook:

…expanding real competition by allowing insurance companies to issue health policies across state lines, changing deductables[sic] and coverage to encourage people to only go to the doctor when they need to, and to pay more of their health costs themselves directly.

First: I’m no insurance industry expert, but I’m a bit confused by the first statement there. So Blue Cross/Blue Shield only operates in one state? Cigna? Humana? You’re telling me the legal hoo ha that creates separate business entities per state prevents these three (and all the rest) from competing with each other on a national level? Really? I’m not sure how that’s even relevant. My understanding is the industry is driven more my local markets than national ones.

Second: The only people who talk about consumers bearing more of their health care costs directly are the people with insurance coverage good enough that they pay for very little themselves. As someone who has one of these “consumer health plans” and who often wakes up in pain from a bum shoulder that needs some kind of medical assessment, but who can’t do anything about it because he can’t afford a $100 office visit—assuming the doctor doesn’t order an x-ray or (god help me) an MRI, and we’ll just try to not contemplate the possibility of surgery—I have two words for you. Bite me.

Third: The same people who think consumers should bear more of their health care costs are the same people who are freaking out because they think Obama is going to “take away their health care.” So what they are really saying is “Someone needs to bear the costs of health care, just not me.” Self serving bastards.

Posted in Health Care | Leave a Comment »

Delusions of grandeur

Posted by Greg on September 18, 2009

by Sean, crossposted from Hiding in the Backwaters:

“You evil capitalist; making wealth for other people.”

I heard that sarcastic comment the other day walking down the halls of the building where I rent office space. It never ceases to amaze me how willingly delusional some people are.

First off, let’s establish that wealth is a relative term. Compared to most of the world’s population, I’m sure that I appear as stupidly wealthy as Bill Gates appears to me. When someone makes such a ludicrous statement, it makes me wonder what their definition of wealth is.

Can we agree that giving someone a job is not the same as creating wealth? I’ve heard the same fellow is planning on hiring three people to man phones and make cold calls to pitch whatever product he has to sell. Is he really thinking about creating wealth for his employees? Is going to split the profits equally four ways? I kinda doubt it. He undoubtedly plans to keep most of the profits and pay is employees a meager wage for growing his business.

I’ve always understood capitalism to be about one thing: making money for #1. If capitalism is about creating wealth for others, how do you explain that 80% of the wealth in the U.S. is held by 20% of the population? (sociology.ucsc.edu) Have you ever pondered the term “trickle down economics?” Why not “downpour economics?” Or even “stream down economics?” Because capitalism and trickle down economics work just like a dam on a river. Sure, some of the water continues to flow down stream, but most of it stays behind the dam.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not really opposed to capitalism. I don’t even disparage the ridiculously wealthy—at least not very often. I just think you should call it what it is. If you want to adhere to capitalistic principles and state that capitalism allows all people the same theoretical opportunity to amass wealth, fine. But don’t for a minute delude yourself into believing that makes you a philanthropist.

Posted in Economics | Leave a Comment »

I haven’t changed…

Posted by Greg on September 18, 2009

Well, maybe she hasn’t, but the party around her certainly has.  And it will punish her if she does the right thing.

Sixty-one?  Please Ms. Snowe!

Posted in Congress | Leave a Comment »

Calling it out

Posted by Greg on September 17, 2009

Great piece at MyDD.  Money quote:

But while it is arrogant and dangerous to accuse the entire conservative movement or Republican Party of racism, it is equally dangerous to stick one’s head in the sand and claim it isn’t a factor. There is racism afoot in the modern conservative movement, we can prove it, and even if it is only relegated to the movement’s fringe, it only takes one nut to inspire another to commit what he sees as a necessary murder for the good of his country. It is wrong to accuse 46% of voters or 5 million Fox News viewers of racism, but it is equally wrong to look the other way when even just a few hundred racists speak up. I went to high school in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, where the presence of a few bad apples (the Aryan Nations compound) taught a good community a hard lesson: silence is acceptance.

Posted in Culture War, The Right | Leave a Comment »

Facts are stubborn things

Posted by Greg on September 17, 2009

Yes, objecting to policy doesn’t make one a racist.  But that doesn’t make those who ARE racist any less so.

Posted in My Musings | Leave a Comment »

Puff

Posted by Greg on September 17, 2009

Posted in My Musings | Leave a Comment »

RIP Mary

Posted by Greg on September 16, 2009

I think I need to cry now.  Mary Travers, dead at 72.

DANBURY, Conn. — Mary Travers, one-third of the hugely popular 1960s folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary, has died.

The band’s publicist, Heather Lylis, says Travers died at Danbury Hospital in Connecticut on Wednesday. She was 72 and had battled leukemia for several years.

Posted in Entertainment | Leave a Comment »

Channeling the crazy

Posted by Greg on September 16, 2009

Explaining a source of Glenn Beck’s nuttiness and asshattery.

Even if the turnout wasn’t the 2 million that some conservatives tried, briefly, to claim, it was still enough to fill the streets near the Capitol. It was also ample testament to the strength of a certain strain of right-wing populist rage and the talking head who has harnessed it. The masses were summoned by Glenn Beck, Fox News host and organizer of the 912 Project, the civic initiative he pulled together six months ago to restore America to the sense of purpose and unity it had felt the day after the towers fell.

In reality, however, the so-called 912ers were summoned to D.C. by the man who changed Beck’s life, and that helps explain why the movement is not the nonpartisan lovefest that Beck first sold on air with his trademark tears. Beck has created a massive meet-up for the disaffected, paranoid Palin-ite “death panel” wing of the GOP, those ideologues most susceptible to conspiracy theories and prone to latch on to eccentric distortions of fact in the name of opposing “socialism.” In that, they are true disciples of the late W. Cleon Skousen, Beck’s favorite writer and the author of the bible of the 9/12 movement, “The 5,000 Year Leap.” A once-famous anti-communist “historian,” Skousen was too extreme even for the conservative activists of the Goldwater era, but Glenn Beck has now rescued him from the remainder pile of history, and introduced him to a receptive new audience.

Posted in The Right | 3 Comments »