5 December 2009 @ 3:15PM >>
My documentary film Indoctrinate U—which analyzes the attacks on free speech and free thought on politically correct college campuses—will be shown on the Documentary Channel two more times in the coming weeks.
17 November 2009 @ 6:56PM >>
As a bit of a typography geek, I laughed at myself for having noticed many of the things mentioned in this New York Times article. (The sloppy spacing of the word “lean” on that subway sign has always annoyed me.)
I posted a link to the Times piece on my Facebook page, and it ignited a discussion of the fontumentary Helvetica, and of course the typeface of the same name.
It reminded me of the first time I noticed Helvetica in wide use. I was a kid walking down Main Street on Roosevelt Island, where all the retail store signs were rendered in that font.
It seems the typeface has changed in the years since, but most of the signs still do use the same typeface.
And one of the more odd aspects of Roosevelt Island still remains: the storefront occupants on Main Street seemed to compete over whose sign would display the most generic and lifeless name:
THE THRIFT STORE
HARDWARE AND VIDEO STORE
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
...and my personal favorite: THE CHILD SCHOOL
The drab brutalist architecture of Main Street, Roosevelt Island and the austerity of Helvetica always made me wonder if that’s what NYC would have “evolved” into had the Bolsheviks taken over here and not in Russia.
I always felt Helvetica was like the Soviet Union of typefaces, aspiring to but failing at unadorned efficiency while entirely lacking in human spirit.
Leaders of the Maryland NAACP, worried that a Baltimore mayor’s criminal conviction could result in the appointment of a white or Republican leader who may not fully represent the majority black and Democratic city, are asking state lawmakers to strip the governor of authority to permanently fill the office.
“There is that possibility of a conviction, and we want to know those protocols that are in place,” said Elbridge James, the political action chairman of the state National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. “If it looks like it is going to rain, I am going to buy an umbrella.”
Marvin L. Cheatham, the president of the Baltimore Chapter of the NAACP, introduced the resolution because he heard an attorney on a radio program discussing a lack of clarity on succession if [Baltimore’s mayor] were to be convicted and sentenced.
“Our concern is who would the governor appoint?” Cheatham said. “Here you have a predominantly African-American city. What if the governor appointed somebody white? ... Would he appoint someone Irish to be the mayor?”
The resolution passed “nearly unanimously” with little debate from the 150 or so delegates who attended the meeting, James said.
13 October 2009 @ 6:22PM >>
Months before Barack Obama formally accepted the Democratic presidential nomination, the name “Obama” was already being stamped on or sewn into objects of every type, and these objects could be purchased just about anywhere you happened to be standing. Keychains, buttons, hats, t-shirts were all readily available. I saw Obama skateboards and heard rumors of Obama bongs. Eventually, companies usually seen selling things like pewter gnomes and porcelain kittens got into the game, hawking commemorative coins and Obama dinner plates on late-night cable shows.
It was a time when Democratic politicians complained loudly whenever they felt their patriotism was being impugned. In those days, bumper stickers reminded us that “Dissent is the Highest Form of Patriotism” and Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in the House of Representatives, declared that disruptive protests were “very American and very important.” Now that protests are directed against a Democratic president and a Democratic Congress, Nancy Pelosi thinks such disruptions are “un-American.”
During the Bush era, the media looked the other way at the extremist element in the protest movement; the large number of protest signs bearing swastikas and mathematical formulae like “Bush=Hitler” just didn’t interest them. But it did interest me, and because the media didn’t want to report it, I did some reporting of my own. The videos I posted online inadvertently launched me on a second career as a documentary filmmaker.
I recently dug through my old footage and found many examples of the same kind of inflammatory speech that the media and the Democratic Party—forgive the redundancy—now decry. What follows are just a few examples.
5 August 2009 @ 11:59PM >>
The Obama White House may be breaking the Privacy Act of 1974 by asking citizens to report “fishy” political speech.
On Tuesday, Macon Phillips, President Obama’s Director of New Media, wrote on the White House blog asking citizens to rat out fellow citizens who are spreading “disinformation” about Obama’s plans for more government control over the health care system. Phillips wrote:
There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to email@example.com.
One wonders, what constitutes “fishy” speech or “disinformation”? Is it anything that runs counter to what the White House wants you to think? And what, precisely, is the White House planning to do about someone who’s speech has been “flagged”?
It turns out, even asking for citizens to report on each other may be illegal. According to the Department of Justice, “the purpose of the Privacy Act is to balance the government’s need to maintain information about individuals with the rights of individuals to be protected against unwarranted invasions of their privacy stemming from federal agencies’ collection, maintenance, use, and disclosure of personal information about them.”
I’m no lawyer, but it sure sounds like the White House is violating the law by asking people to snitch on their friends and neighbors for engaging in “fishy” political speech. Anyone want to try this one in court?
In the meantime, I’m going to report myself. I’m obviously not thinking the way our Dear Leader wants...
Update: Renowned attorney David T. Hardy identifies another area where the Obama White House appears to be breaking the law:
“(7) maintain no record describing how any individual exercises rights guaranteed by the First Amendment unless expressly authorized by statute or by the individual about whom the record is maintained or unless pertinent to and within the scope of an authorized law enforcement activity;”
Notice how there was no “antiwar” movement during the ’90s, even though we were at war the entire time in Iraq, Haiti, Kosovo, a dab here and there in Afghanistan and Sudan. Then, after 9/11, it was the “Next Vietnam” with a passionate “antiwar” movement with the [New York Times]’s full treasonous participation, just like the good old days. And now, even though the daily death count has matched the highest daily rate we ever saw in Iraq, there is no “antiwar” movement or daily casualty count in all the newspapers. It’s like the “antiwar” movement can be turned off and on like a switch, depending on which party is in the White House.
14 July 2009 @ 9:11AM >>
This weekend, while walking around NYC, I noticed a couple more propaganda posters put up by members of the Cult of Obama.
The first, “Siddhartha Obama,” is a large mural on the side of a building in Chelsea. It shows Obama as The Enlightened One holding solar panels, and features Dick Cheney popping out of a stars-and-stripes-painted Hummer and gas pumps bearing the Republican Party logo sitting atop coffins draped in American flags.
Whatever words you can use to describe these cult members, “subtle” is not one of them.
The second propaganda display was spotted inside the Blades board and skate store on Broadway near Great Jones. Adorned with pictures of Barack, Michelle and the campaign logo, it says simply, “Obey.”
“Siddhartha Obama” appears on a wall outside an art gallery, which is at least an understandable venue for over-the-top Obama worship; it’s almost a job requirement for artists that they be driven purely by emotion. The political naivete of assuming one politician will be Our Savior is the sort of thinking artists are almost expected to adopt.
But I find it strange that businesses keep attaching themselves to the Obama Cult, because in theory, they should want to minimize the number of customers they drive away with partisan propaganda.
Then again, in America today, as government takes over more and more companies and tightens regulatory control on the rest, customers matter less and less to companies.
“The customer is never wrong” is last century’s business maxim. Now, it’s “the government is never wrong.” So maybe companies are just making business calculations and deciding that it’s smart to make a public spectacle of their allegiance to Obama.
Billions of dollars in federal aid delivered directly to the local level to help revive the economy have gone overwhelmingly to places that supported President Obama in last year’s presidential election.
That aid—about $17 billion—is the first piece of the administration’s massive stimulus package that can be tracked locally. Much of it has followed a well-worn path to places that regularly collect a bigger share of federal grants and contracts, guided by formulas that have been in place for decades and leave little room for manipulation.
“There’s no politics at work when it comes to spending for the recovery,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says.
Counties that supported Obama last year have reaped twice as much money per person from the administration’s $787 billion economic stimulus package as those that voted for his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain, a USA TODAY analysis of government disclosure and accounting records shows. That money includes aid to repair military bases, improve public housing and help students pay for college.
The reports show the 872 counties that supported Obama received about $69 per person, on average. The 2,234 that supported McCain received about $34.
7 July 2009 >>
Fredric U. Dicker—regarded as the pre-eminent political reporter in New York’s state capital—recently published a column decrying the complete breakdown of the state legislature, which has been unable to conduct business for the past month.
Buried way down in Dicker’s piece, starting at the 19th paragraph, we learn:
During the first five months of this year, with the Senate under the control of its first African-American majority leader, [State Senator Malcolm] Smith, top Democrats bemoaned the lack of minority Senate staffers.
But instead of trying to recruit new hires, they fired nearly 200 almost exclusively white workers and replaced them with a large number of minority employees, many of whom were seen by their fellow workers to be unskilled at their new jobs.
The move produced severe racial tensions, made worse by the fact that, as a high-level Democratic staffer confided, “We’ve been told to only hire minorities.'’
So, nearly 200 people lose their jobs in New York State because of their race? And not at the hands of some evil corporation, but our own elected officials?
It’s quite telling that, in our political age, mass firings can still happen because of one’s race. It’s even more telling that—the only time I’ve seen this story get any coverage at all—it was in the 19th paragraph of an otherwise unrelated column.
Since its inception in 2001, the Bucknell University Conservatives Club (BUCC) has been repeatedly singled out for political censorship by school administrators. The latest media coverage focuses on two more instances of the university silencing the political speech of the BUCC’s student members.
(Full disclosure: Several years ago, as an invited guest of the BUCC, a Bucknell administrator threatened to have me arrested during a screening of Brainwashing 101, a precursor to my documentary Indoctrinate U. The school objected to my videotaping the event, even though I was granted permission by the event’s organizers, who routinely taped their own events. The school was aware that my screening might be disrupted by protesters; apparently, Bucknell didn’t want me getting that on tape.)
In one incident, the BUCC held an “affirmative action bake sale,” which was intended to both illustrate and criticize racial preferences. University administrator Gerald Commerford shut down the bake sale, saying it was discriminatory.
But if an affirmative action bake sale is discriminatory, it’s only because affirmative action itself is discriminatory. And given that the university implements affirmative action, it’s really quite Orwellian to claim that an affirmative action bake sale is any more discriminatory than what the school itself is doing.
The BUCC also protested President Obama’s stimulus plan by handing out “Obama bucks,” mock Monopoly money with the president’s face on it. Administrator Judith L. Mickanis struck a law-enforcement tone with the students, telling them, “you’re busted,” and grabbing one female student by the arm while demanding that the group stop their protest. The administrator claimed that the students were not allowed to hand out materials without prior approval, a standard that never seems to have been applied to any other student group.
The university attempted to justify this, saying that by giving out Obama bucks, the students were committing a transgression akin to “handing out Bibles.” (Perhaps it is obvious to Bucknell administrators—but not to me—why handing out Bibles poses such a grave threat that it would need to be stopped by the university.)
As the school’s excuses continued to evolve, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)—the free speech advocacy group that has been defending the students—concluded that Bucknell’s general counsel Wayne A. Bromfield is now resorting to flat-out lies to cover up the school’s speech suppression. Unfortunately for Bucknell, their tactics have been documented on video and audio, so FIRE’s claims are verifiable.
President Mitchell will keep his position for one more year, so he isn’t exactly being shoved out the door. Still, it is interesting timing that Mitchell announced his resignation the day after the story began to get traction in the national media. Bucknell’s public relations office has to know that announcing the resignation the day after all this bad press would cause at least some people to conclude that the two events were related. So was the timing intentional, intended to mollify Bucknell’s critics by making them think that swift action had been taken?
Considering the last few days have probably brought him plenty of Maalox moments, I wouldn’t be surprised if Mitchell felt a wave of relief as the send button was clicked on his resignation letter. Now he’ll be free to continue ignoring the controversy and running out the clock on his time at Bucknell.
With a lame duck president who broke his pledge to run a university that respects free speech, Bucknell’s administrators will likely feel free to continue their harassment of students who dare disobey the dogma of political correctness.
But today’s students are armed with video cameras and the Internet, so alumni can keep a close watch on Bucknell’s actions from afar. The school may not care what students think, but if there’s one thing you can count on, Bucknell wants us alumni to keep opening up our wallets.
After all, the school knows that a conservative’s money is just as green as anyone else’s.
24 June 2009 @ 8:50AM >>The Wall Street Journalreports:
The Iranian regime has developed, with the assistance of European telecommunications companies, one of the world’s most sophisticated mechanisms for controlling and censoring the Internet, allowing it to examine the content of individual online communications on a massive scale.
Interviews with technology experts in Iran and outside the country say Iranian efforts at monitoring Internet information go well beyond blocking access to Web sites or severing Internet connections.
Instead, in confronting the political turmoil that has consumed the country this past week, the Iranian government appears to be engaging in a practice often called deep packet inspection, which enables authorities to not only block communication but to monitor it to gather information about individuals, as well as alter it for disinformation purposes, according to these experts.
The monitoring capability was provided, at least in part, by a joint venture of Siemens AG, the German conglomerate, and Nokia Corp., the Finnish cellphone company, in the second half of 2008, Ben Roome, a spokesman for the joint venture, confirmed.
The “monitoring center,” installed within the government’s telecom monopoly, was part of a larger contract with Iran that included mobile-phone networking technology, Mr. Roome said.
“If you sell networks, you also, intrinsically, sell the capability to intercept any communication that runs over them,” said Mr. Roome.
Human-rights groups have criticized the selling of such equipment to Iran and other regimes considered repressive, because it can be used to crack down on dissent, as evidenced in the Iran crisis. Asked about selling such equipment to a government like Iran’s, Mr. Roome of Nokia Siemens Networks said the company “does have a choice about whether to do business in any country. We believe providing people, wherever they are, with the ability to communicate is preferable to leaving them without the choice to be heard.”
23 June 2009 @ 8:23AM >>
Blogger Shannon Love argues a point about media transparency and bias disclosure that I’ve been making for years:
Obama’s Federal Trade Commission have decided to regulate blogs based on the premise that undisclosed financial relationships between bloggers and businesses could lead bloggers to deceive their readers as to the value of products they blog about. [h/t Instapundit]
If we’re going to regulate speech based on inducements to bias why stop with mere financial relationships? I think we should require all media sources to reveal all possible sources of bias starting with the political affiliations of the publishers and reporters. After all, the media sells stories they advertise as accurate and objective. Shouldn’t consumers have ready access to the information they need to decide if those claims are true?
Politics is more important than money. If you buy a toaster based on a biased recommendation, you’re only out the cost of a toaster. If you vote based on a biased political recommendation, you could lose your freedom. If the government has both the duty and the ability to protect you against bias in product recommendations on blogs, why doesn’t it have the same duty and ability to protect you against biased reporting on political matters?
Political beliefs matter. Soldiers fight and die for their political beliefs, not their paltry pay. Our political beliefs are closely tied to our moral sense of right and wrong and our sense of the just order of society. Political beliefs influence us on an unconscious level. Political beliefs do, without doubt, bias people even more strongly than money does.
This Wednesday, ABC is turning an entire day of news programing over to the Democrats’ health care plan. Wouldn’t viewers alter their judgment of the accuracy and objectivity of ABC’s reporting on the subject if they knew that the ABC employees donated to Democrats 80 times as much as they did to Republicans? Certainly, I can’t help but note that if the circumstances were reversed, most people who see nothing wrong in ABC’s actions now would suddenly see ABC’s donations as profoundly undermining the integrity of ABC’s reporting.
I’m not arguing for the government to mandate such disclosure, merely that if the government is going to be in the business of forcing disclosures of some types of information—which is what the Obama Administration is pushing—why not be consistent and thorough about it?
(Of course, I think we already know the answer, considering the “80 times” figure cited above.)
13 June 2009 @ 4:34PM >>
Received in an e-mail forward recently:
Sam, a U.S. Naval Officer, visits New York City for Fleet Week.
With the afternoon off, he decides to see the Bronx Zoo. Dressing in civilian clothes so as not to attract attention, he blends in well with the other tourists.
As Sam strolls by the lion’s cage, he notices a little girl leaning into the bars, grabbing towards the lion to try to pet it.
Suddenly, the lion snatches the girl by the cuff of her jacket and yanks her against the bars, trying to pull her inside. As the girl cries out in fear, her parents stand by helpless, screaming.
Sam runs to the cage and stuns the lion with a powerful punch square on the nose. The lion jumps back, whimpering, and lets go of the girl. Sam brings her to her terrified parents, who gush an endless stream of thanks.
“Sir, this was the most gallant and brave thing I saw a man do in my whole life,” the girls’ father says.
“Why, it was nothing, really,” Sam replies. “The lion was behind bars. I just saw a little girl in danger and I acted.”
The girl’s father thanks Sam again and says, “I’m a journalist with the New York Times. I’ll make sure your heroics will be on the front page in tomorrow’s paper. So, give me a little background about yourself. What does a hero like you do for a living?”
“Well,” Sam says, “I’m in the Navy, and I’m visiting the city as part of Fleet Week.” He spends the next hour answering the reporter’s questions before they finally part ways.
The next morning, Sam wakes up and rushes out to buy a copy of the Times. The headline on the front page says:
“MILITARY THUG TORTURES AFRICAN IMMIGRANT — AND STEALS HIS LUNCH”
11 June 2009 @ 8:15AM >>
President Obama’s former “spiritual advisor” is making news again:
The Rev. Jeremiah Wright says he does not feel any regrets over his severed relationship with President Barack Obama, a former member of the Chicago church in which Wright was the longtime pastor.
Asked if he had spoken to the president, Wright said: “Them Jews aren’t going to let him talk to me. I told my baby daughter, that he’ll talk to me in five years when he’s a lame duck, or in eight years when he’s out of office. ...
“They will not let him to talk to somebody who calls a spade what it is. ... I said from the beginning: He’s a politician; I’m a pastor. He’s got to do what politicians do.”
I have a hard time believing that the supposedly brilliant Barack Obama never figured out—after 20 years of listening to this guy—that he’s a loony bigot.
3 June 2009 @ 8:49AM >>
Joe Paladino of Lake Mary, Florida e-mailed in response to my piece on President Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor. And, no, the reason I’m posting this is not because of the first paragraph... I keep telling myself.
First off, let me say that I love your site. There have been very few times were I seem to disagree with your posts. But what I like most is that you seem fair with the issues you write about and present all facts, then state your opinion. And still have time acknowledge the letters of those who disagree with you, even though there have been instances when they don’t seem worthy of anyone’s time. That is far more than I can expect from many other sources.
But for this most recent post, I have to express opinion. To most people, this nomination seems to clearly be a case of affirmative action. Understand that I’m certainly not doubting her qualifications, which may be sufficient. Of course that is to be decided during the Senate confirmation hearing. However, what infuriates me (and should disturb her as well) is that Sotomayor was only considered on the luck that she is female, and better yet, Hispanic. I believe it is safe to say that a majority of this country has no problem working and going to school with whoever desires to be there, so long as they deserve to be there. And by that I don’t mean because a college Dean or the President of the United States wants to even things out a bit.
This inforrmation you provide about her outrage while in college concerning the lack of hispanic students on campus is ridiculous. How is it anyone’s fault that only 66 Puerto Ricans applied to Princeton that year? Perhaps her time would have be better spent encouraging the potential students to consider Princeton as the college of choice. To support my argument I’m going to quote a great man who’s influence is still seen today though the messge is often passed over.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.—Martin Luther King, Jr.
I think it is safe to say that the way our colleges, and appearently supreme courts, are run is not exactly what Dr. King had in mind. It’s common sense that we should judge all people by their character. But it is absurd that in the year 2009 people still want racial equality, unless of course you are white. We already had our run.
But I don’t suppose I can blame her. It would take a extraordinary person turn down such an incredible opportunity and immense honor.
But a black man now holds the highest office in the land. While that certainly does not undo all of the racial oppression this country has seen, it does show that Americans are ready to move forward. Unfortunately, there are some who still think that things just aren’t fair yet.
Why should the government tax unskilled workers making $18 an hour, who haven’t bankrupted their employers, in order to protect unskilled workers making $28 an hour, and who have bankrupted their employers, from having to take a pay cut?
29 May 2009 @ 6:47PM >>
The recent post on the FDA’s regulation of Cheerios as a drug generated a lot of e-mail from readers. Last week, I posted a well-reasoned disagreement with my view on the matter.
Here are a couple more responses:
Maybe the cholesterol lowering qualities are not the result of the Cheerios themselves, but the fact that the person eating Cheerios for breakfast is not eating a food that might increase one’s cholesterol level, i.e. bacon. Would the FDA be justified in stepping in then? I have to imagine if you had a side of bacon (a few slices) with your Cheerios everyday, your cholesterol would not be lower by 4% in 6 weeks. To me this is common sense. Unfortunately, there are too many people out there who have given up thinking for themselves and are reliant upon others telling them what is good and what is bad. Enter the Nanny-state.
I just want to encourage you concerning your take on the FDA regulating Cheerios like a drug. It seems as though we as a nation have completely lost all common sense, and I can hardly take it anymore.
Is it really a revelation that food affects health? Before we became a nation of pill popping hypochondriacs, how do you think we consumed beneficial nutrients?
Since Cheerios might be able to make health claims, and therefore should be treated like a drug, it makes sense that the FDA should also treat milk like a drug, and investigate those potentially spurrious claims that it “does a body good”. Several years ago, there was an opinion that eggs increased cholesterol. Should the FDA have classified eggs as a harmful drug? Where does it end?
Food products are already regulated to require the disclosure of ingredient lists and nutritional information. Any nutritional scientist can consume the information already required of a food manufacturer and conclude potential health benefits and risks. If a product contains 3000mg of sodium per serving, for example, does it really take a clinical study to determine that it is not heart-healthy? You could not use the same method to evaluate Ambien or Prosac.
Of course, I am making my argument based on common sense. Since common sense is rapidly going out of style, perhaps I should just concede. Let’s treat anything healthy like a drug, just to make sure everyone is “safe”. Calling my doctor now to stock up on prescriptions for citrus - need that vitamin C.
28 May 2009 @ 6:15PM >>
One reason I really enjoy operating Brain-Terminal.com is that I get so many nice notes from people wishing me well. Here is an e-mail I received recently from one fan of my work:
Usually I need to hear or read a few sentences to figure out who is a moron, but you win the prize, one can see your utter stupidity in less than 3 words. I wouldnt even bother with any intellectual debate your fucken morons, well I dont mean to insult fucken morons, but thats as close as I can get. Icomplete web site whose IQ adds up to 1.9 if that, I htink I will go talk to a maggot or slug, will getmore out of it, oh well you get the idea, ummm actually you mos liekely dont thats the funny part.
Thank you for taking the time to construct your informed critique of my website.
I have spent years trying to mask the fact that I am a moron. Most of the time, I get away with it. Unfortunately, to an astute observer such as yourself, my “utter stupidity” is readily apparent.
But I would like to rectify that. So if you would be so kind as to identify the “less than 3 words” that made you recognize my mental deficiency, I can rewrite those few syllables and hopefully continue fooling my fellow morons.
Any assistance you can provide in weaning me from my ignorance would be most greatly appreciated.
I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.—Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Barack Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court
21 May 2009 @ 7:26PM >>
In 21st century America, the federal government’s solution to every financial problem seems the same: people who are responsible with money are forced to foot the bill for the reckless.
The FDA has sent a warning letter to General Mills, telling the company that its claims about the health benefits of eating Cheerios “would cause it to be a drug because the product is intended for use in the prevention, mitigation and treatment of disease.”
The problem: Cheerios are a food not a drug, the FDA notes in the letter, which was sent May 5 but was posted on the agency’s website today. Thus, claims that the 68-year-old whole-grain oat cereal lowers cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer violates federal law, the agency said.
The FDA was particularly unhappy about assertions on Cheerios boxes and its website that eating the cereal can “lower your cholesterol 4% in 6 weeks.” The FDA counters that the cereal must be approved as a drug before making such specific health claims.
General Mills spokesman Tom Forsythe said the cholesterol-lowering claim has been featured on the Cheerios box for more than two years and that the heart health claim was approved by the FDA 12 years ago. On April 20, General Mills announced results of a clinical study that showed eating two daily servings of Cheerios (1 1/2 cups each) can reduce cholesterol 10% in just a month.
“The science is not in question,” he said. “The scientific body of evidence supporting the heart health claim was the basis for FDA’s approval of the heart health claim, and the clinical study supporting Cheerios’ cholesterol-lowering benefits is very strong.”
Forsythe said the company looks forward “to discussing this with the FDA and to reaching a resolution.” General Mills faces seizure of products or an injunction against making and distributing Cheerios.
As the Los Angeles Times reports the story, it seems that the government’s complaint about the cholesterol claim isn’t that it is false. The problem, according to the FDA, is that because Cheerios is effective at lowering cholesterol, idiots might get confused and mistake a bowl of Cheerios for a pile of Lipitor.
According to government regulations, if Cheerios provides the health benefits claimed, that fact itself is all that’s needed for the government to treat it as a drug. Nevermind that it isn’t a drug. Nevermind that, for decades, schoolchildren have understood that Cheerios is food. Nevermind that. This is the government and the rules must be enforced, common sense be damned.
Anyone who looks at a box of Cheerios and sees a product “intended for use in the prevention, mitigation and treatment of disease” is the type of person whose mortgage I’ll end up paying someday. So screw him. If he can’t distinguish between cereal and medication, then let him get ripped off for that $5 a week habit, I say. Consider it stimulus by stupidity.
After all, what’s good for General Mills is good for America.
What is going on in this country? The government is about to take over GM in a plan that completely screws private bondholders and favors the unions. Get this: The GM bondholders own $27 billion and they’re getting 10 percent of the common stock in an expected exchange. And the UAW owns $10 billion of the bonds and they’re getting 40 percent of the stock. Huh? Did I miss something here? And Uncle Sam will have a controlling share of the stock with something close to 50 percent ownership. And no bankruptcy judge. So this is a political restructuring run by the White House, not a rule-of-law bankruptcy-court reorganization.
One hallmark of organized crime loan-sharking is that, once you are in debt to the mob, you are never allowed to pay off the principal. No matter how much you pay, you always owe more. The mob squeezes you for everything you have. Until a few months ago, I never expected to see an analogy between the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Mafia. But is it unreasonable to see a parallel in the government’s refusal to allow banks that have borrowed money under TARP to repay it? Does it not appear that financial institutions that became enmeshed with the government, and are now being dictated to by the government, find it increasingly difficult to extricate themselves?
So the federal government along with the unions will have total control over not only General Motors, but Chrysler too. Meanwhile, the federal government can indefinitely extend its control of certain banks by refusing to let them repay government loans.
27 April 2009 >>
Pick your brackets and put down your money!
We now have brewing an epic battle that will determine the relative importance of three different groups: Jews, Muslims and Mexicans.
You see, in the Hierarchy of Multiculturalism, when the interests of different identity groups conflict, the arbiters of political correctness must decide which group has the most victim cred. That’s how such disputes are settled: to the victim go the spoils.
Today’s battle involves the name of the influenza virus that’s currently causing worldwide panic. “Swine flu.” Say it with me: swine flu.
Do you feel a little dirty? No? How insensitive of you!
The term “swine flu” is apparently offensive to both Muslims and Jews, a pretty impressive bank-shot of an insult if you ask me.
So to alleviate this grave injustice of nomenclature, an Israeli health official proposes renaming the virus “Mexican flu.”
Now you see the conflict.
Try to use your knowledge of multiculturalism and political correctness to determine how this conflict gets resolved. Which identity group wins? And why?
Be careful, though! Improper thinking may result in being labeled a xenophobe, an anti-Semite, a racist, an Islamophobe, or some combination thereof.
Yes, this decision is fraught with peril—your views may mark you as a potential domestic terrorist—but this mental exercise will prepare you well for the New Era of Hope & Change.
...but perhaps we should all be pushing for the name to remain “swine flu.”
You got any better ideas for uniting Muslims and Jews?
22 April 2009 @ 8:13AM >>
Michael Barone, now of the Washington Examiner, makes a good point:
[T]he idolators who attended Obama events last year seemed entranced by the candidate’s persona, while the tea party participants seemed preoccupied with serious issues of long-term public policy. Which side was more intellectually serious?
When the media covered the crowds that came to see then-candidate Barack Obama speak, it was a sign that average Americans were getting engaged in the political process, a positive thing.
When, during the Bush presidency, protesters called the president a terrorist and compared him to Hitler, even accusing him of staging the September 11th attacks, the media took the protesters seriously and certainly never challenged or denigrated them or their cause.
Of course, now that Barack Obama is in office, protesting is not only unhealthy, it’s unpatriotic. And it seems the media will do everything in its power to diminish and demean anyone who dares disagree with our saintly president.
19 April 2009 @ 2:11PM >>
In the Wall Street Journal, David Horowitz makes a telling observation about the state of free speech on campus. Horowitz discusses a recent speech he delivered at the University of Texas, and describes being questioned afterwards by a Professor Dana Cloud:
She presented herself as a devoted teacher and mother who was obviously harmless. Then she accused me of being a McCarthyite menace. Disregarding the facts I had laid out in my talk — that I have publicly defended the right of University of Colorado’s radical professor Ward Churchill to hold reprehensible views and not be fired for them, and that I supported the leftist dean of the law school at UC Irvine when his appointment was withdrawn for political reasons — she accused me of whipping up a “witch-hunting hysteria” that made her and her faculty comrades feel threatened.
When Ms. Cloud finished, I pointed out that organizing mobs to scream epithets at invited speakers fit the category of “McCarthyite” a lot more snugly than my support for a pluralism of views in university classrooms. I gestured toward the armed officers in the room — the university had assigned six or seven to keep the peace — and introduced my own bodyguard, who regularly accompanies other conservative speakers when they visit universities. In the past, I felt uncomfortable about taking protection to a college campus until a series of physical attacks at universities persuaded me that such precautions were necessary. (When I spoke at the University of Texas two years ago, Ms. Cloud and her disciples had to be removed by the police in order for the talk to proceed.)
I don’t know of a single leftist speaker among the thousands who visit campuses every term who has been obstructed or attacked by conservative students, who are too decent and too tolerant to do that. The entire evening in Texas reminded me of the late Orianna Fallaci’s observation that what we are facing in the post-9/11 world is not a “clash of civilizations,” but a clash of civilization versus barbarism.
11 April 2009 @ 12:55PM >>
It’s hard to get your head around just how massive the various government bailouts have been, but if you have any doubt that the actions of Congress and Presidents Bush and Obama over the past six months have left us with a government-controlled economy, watch this illuminating video from Chandler Tuttle:
You may recognize the name Chandler Tuttle from the credits of Indoctrinate U, where he put his editing talents to great use.