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  • Rod McKuen, Prolific Poet and Lyricist, Dies at 81

    01/31/2015 1:35:31 PM PST · 35 of 35
    x to EveningStar
    Die he freeze to death trying to "listen to the warm"?

    I assumed he died decades years ago.

    It's also a surprise he was only 81.

    It's natural to picture somebody who belonged so much to a past era as more an ancient than a contemporary.

    RIP, translator of Jacques Brel, writer of "Seasons in the Sun," last best-selling poet.

  • Bruce Jenner made decision to transition to a woman more than a year ago: report

    01/31/2015 1:24:17 PM PST · 62 of 75
    x to SeekAndFind
    If this is a publicity stunt it's brilliant.

    If it's not, it's sad (or much worse than sad).

  • Ashley Judd Goes 'Cuckoo' for Hillary, the 'Most Overqualified Candidate (LOL Alert!)

    01/31/2015 12:44:42 PM PST · 62 of 62
    x to rktman
    Ashley Judd or Ashley Juggs?

    I'd post pictures, but Ashley Juggs's are all x-rated.

  • Report: Jeb ‘Never Forgave’ Mitt for Rightward Move on Immigration

    01/31/2015 12:32:44 PM PST · 39 of 51
    x to C19fan
    Smells fishy. Like one of those tabloid stories that start with what people assume to be true about someone (Jeb loves illegal immigrants) and creates something dramatic about it.

    Sometimes those stories do turn out to be true, but often they're just too emotional to be true.

  • Russia would consider aid to Greece if asked: Siluanov

    01/31/2015 12:08:29 PM PST · 19 of 21
    x to Olog-hai

    How long before the new Greek government starts turning over NATO secrets to Russia?

  • Mitt Romney Not Running for President in 2016

    01/31/2015 11:04:10 AM PST · 110 of 110
    x to Kaslin
    I got the Mitt thing right.

    Unfortunately, I also didn't believe what they said about Bruce Jenner, so I'm back to zero.

  • Downton Abbey's Laura Carmichael transforms from Lady Edith Crawley to a maid in new Madame Bovary

    01/31/2015 10:09:35 AM PST · 2 of 8
    x to C19fan
    Paul Giamatti is also in the movie.

    Playing himself as usual lately?

  • The Left Realizes Too Late that Political Correctness Is a Virus

    01/31/2015 10:08:10 AM PST · 3 of 23
    x to SeekAndFind
  • The GOP's Long Love Affair With Schmucks

    01/31/2015 10:01:21 AM PST · 90 of 91
    x to rdb3
    Gillespie got grief for anti-religious stuff he wrote on the website That was in 2000, a lot longer ago than I thought, so maybe there's a statute of limitations.

    Anyway, the reason he thinks the GOP loves schmucks aren't the reasons a lot of conservatives think the party loves schmucks. Now that I've finally looked through the article, it looks like he has different schmucks in his sights, too.

  • The GOP's Long Love Affair With Schmucks

    01/30/2015 2:48:54 PM PST · 80 of 91
    x to montag813
    Gillespie, a frequent guest on the libertarian love-fest Stossel, is a schmuck himself, if you call someone who believes that the U.S. should have no borders and that illegal aliens should get blanket amnesty a schmuck (which I do).

    Religious and national defense conservatives also wouldn't agree with Gillespie much either.

    He has his own libertarian agenda that isn't shared by many people here.

    Just because he attacks the same targets some people aim at doesn't mean he's coming from the same place.

  • While Rand Paul Seeks Donors, Ron Paul Talks Secession

    01/30/2015 1:40:12 PM PST · 18 of 38
    x to 2ndDivisionVet

    Well, they say it was “brother against brother” last time ...

  • Mitt Romney Not Running for President in 2016

    01/30/2015 1:34:09 PM PST · 84 of 110
    x to Kaslin; fireman15
    Somebody better check in on ahab12 and see how he's doing.

    I heard he lost all focus in his life and questioned the meaning of existence.

    Or maybe we should worry for whoever his next target is.

  • Mitt Romney Not Running for President in 2016

    01/30/2015 1:26:42 PM PST · 82 of 110
    x to Kaslin
    Wow. I was right for once.

    I'd like to say it's because of superior pundit skills, but I guess it was just dumb luck.

    I don't know if the talk that Mitt was running was a ploy he worked out with Jeb to blindside Christie or if his head was momentarily turned by all the attention, but if somebody says "No. No. No. No. No. No. No." it's better than even odds that they may actually mean "No."

  • Gone Demagoguin'! Ted Cruz and Scott Walker Stage "Fiery" Appeal to Farthest Right

    01/26/2015 3:45:49 PM PST · 15 of 26
    x to montag813
    Esquire's been very liberal for a long time -- big fans of Jack and Bobby Kennedy, for example.

    Maybe they couldn't count on their readers being overwhelmingly liberal and dismissive of opposing opinions until recently, so they had to play down their point of view a little.

  • St. Joan of Arc & the Truth about Snipers & Why Tyrants like Hitler Always Hate Them

    01/26/2015 3:36:44 PM PST · 19 of 33
    x to poetbdk
    Everybody who has power takes security measures to prevent assassination. They also use snipers and whatever else they can to win their wars.

    This is the Sniper's Badge (Third Class) that Hitler established in 1944:

    Soldiers were told to remove it if they were at risk of being taken prisoner as the Russians would shoot men wearing the badge. Stalin, like Hitler, was afraid of assassins but not opposed to having snipers in his army.

  • St. Joan of Arc & the Truth about Snipers & Why Tyrants like Hitler Always Hate Them

    01/26/2015 3:20:09 PM PST · 17 of 33
    x to poetbdk
    Most wrong-headed article in quite a while. Hitler may have hated snipers when he was in the trenches (as other soldiers did), but his army certainly made use of them. Total war means making use of whatever tactics commanders think will win (or hurt the other side).

    Was William Tell really a sniper? Hitler is supposed to have exclaimed in 1942: "Why did Schiller have to immortalize that Swiss sniper!" But his plans for last ditch resistance in 1945 included heavy reliance on snipers. He certainly didn't have a principled opposition to that tactic or any other that served his purpose.

  • How an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man became a transgender activist

    01/26/2015 3:06:45 PM PST · 13 of 55
    x to NetAddicted
    To the world, he was Jeffrey Smith, an ultra-Orthodox Jew and spiritual leader teaching the Torah to hundreds of students in Jerusalem’s Hasidic community. ... “How does a 5-year-old in 1956 tell his mother he’s really a girl?”

    But the really hard thing for Jeffrey Smith was telling his parents he was really Jewish.

  • Bill Gates explains why Breaking Bad proves the world is getting smarter

    01/26/2015 3:01:55 PM PST · 23 of 34
    x to E. Pluribus Unum
    He does have a valid point. TV drama now is more complex and ambivalent and reflects a much "grayer" less "black and white" view of the world. Is there really any argument about that?

    Whether it's a good thing for society or not, is another question. Arguably, it's a sign of a much more divided country or world with less consensus about basic values.

    A country that can't condemn Walter White or Tony Soprano could have real problems (though long before HBO and AMC, Hollywood took an ambivalent view of mobsters).

    Bill's question about why the complexity or ambivalence or nuance isn't reflected in today's politics is also a good one to mull over.

    It could be that Bill Gates's thinking is flawed, though: stage drama and film fifty years ago weren't bad at portraying a complex world. Playwrights in the 50 and movie makers in the 70s were no slouches.

    Today's teledramas may be better than the television Bill grew up with simply because TV is where the talent went when live theater declined and movies surrendered to the influence of video games.

  • Slate: ‘Friends’ reruns no longer politically correct

    01/26/2015 2:34:44 PM PST · 69 of 110
    x to GulliverSwift
    That’s according to the historical revisionists over at Slate, where Ruth Graham has been taking notes while binge-watching reruns on Netflix.

    She gives Joey a pass and comes down hard on Chandler -- a sign that maybe it's not all about political correctness with her.

    Indeed, slamming Chandler for wimpiness doesn't look terribly PC, whatever she says about Chandler's dad-mom.

    The show wasn't that great when it was on. Maybe its flaws have caught up to it over the years.

  • History Channel Presents Laughably Inaccurate 'Sons of Liberty'

    01/26/2015 2:29:53 PM PST · 70 of 83
    x to PJ-Comix
    A lot changed with The Men Who Built America, the series about the captains of industry (Carnegie, Morgan, Rockefeller, and Ford). They couldn't establish exactly what Carnegie might have said to Morgan or Rockefeller or Frick or Schwab so they winged it and decided to be inaccurate or fuzzy about details.

    The World Wars followed a similar procedure, even though there's more documentation about what happened. Also, the focus on a few selected figures (Churchill, Hitler, Roosevelt, Stalin, Patton, etc.) had a tendency to distort what happened.

    It's sort of like what happened with the BBC. When you've filmed and televised every English novel at least once, and often two or three times, you can't just do a straight remake. You have to -- or they felt they had to -- tinker with things to come up with something that looks new -- and "new" isn't always better.

    So once the History Channel and PBS make enough documentaries that rigorously keep the "docu" separate from the "drama" somebody decides to mix up "docu" and "drama" in hopes of coming with something fresh (or at least cheap and easy).

  • Misreading Robert E. Lee - A Video Review of Elizabeth Brown Pryor's "Reading the Man"

    01/26/2015 1:25:37 PM PST · 40 of 40
    x to kiryandil
    I'll see your "anonymous guy on the Internet" and raise you a grandson & great-grandson of two US Presidents - who fought against Robert E. Lee, and would have been thrilled to kill him, or see him dead during the war.

    A lot of old soldiers got nostalgic after the war.

    The love fest of post-war reconciliation, which lasted through to Eisenhower's time wasn't the most accurate reflection of how things were during the war.

    Charlie's brother Henry's comment is also worth considering:

    I think that Lee should have been hanged. It was all the worse that he was a good man and a fine character and acted conscientiously. It’s always the good men who do the most harm in the world. -- Henry Adams

  • Misreading Robert E. Lee - A Video Review of Elizabeth Brown Pryor's "Reading the Man"

    01/26/2015 1:17:21 PM PST · 39 of 40
    x to rockrr
    He should have stuck to writing his review - he’s all over the map with this video presentation.

    I know. This guy just babbles on and on.

  • Good news: Saudi Arabia’s new king nearly 80-years-old, suffers with dementia

    01/23/2015 2:42:36 PM PST · 16 of 18
    x to annalex

    Paging monarchy list.

  • Saudi Arabia's 'reformer' King Abdullah dies

    01/22/2015 3:40:32 PM PST · 17 of 84
    x to 2ndDivisionVet
    The next king will be Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, state television reported.

    His brother Jeb bin Abdulaziz is supposed to the smart one, though.

  • Obama Used Former Democrat Staffer as Fake "Real Person" in Speech

    01/21/2015 2:46:28 PM PST · 3 of 40
    x to Kaslin
    I caught Barack saying "Rebekah and Ben were married" on the news.

    This was the visual:

    I assumed he was talking about lesbians again.

  • Why Didn't The Gop Have Ted Cruz Give SOTU Response?

    01/21/2015 2:00:10 PM PST · 58 of 58
    x to Pajamajan
    Just so that you could ask why they didn't -- and nobody could ask why they did.

    Politicians don't crave over-exposure. They don't want to peak too soon and don't want voters to get tired of them too early.

  • 'Django Unchained' Producer on 'Selma' Oscar Snubs: Did Voters Have "Racial Fatigue"? (Guest Column)

    01/21/2015 1:36:28 PM PST · 36 of 56
    x to MeshugeMikey
    he goes on....and on,..and on...

    700 words? That's not so much. If you want to post an article like this, can you blame him for writing one?

    The amusement industry thrives on novelty. They aren't going to award the same kind of movie every year, and they aren't going to give in to somebody's notion of what's high-minded. After Gandhi won they weren't in the mood for another movie about India right away either.

    Oprah has enough money by now that she could do what Robert Redford did -- set up her own film festival that awards the same kind of movie every year and encourages cinematic uniformity. Make the festival enough of a bid deal and she won't have to worry so much about the Oscars.

    The endless articles about race and racism have gotten boring. Same for showing up to make the same kind of comment about those articles. "Benign neglect" may not have been such an awful idea after all.

  • Robert E. Lee, Southern Heritage, Media Bias, and Al Sharpton

    01/20/2015 4:54:24 PM PST · 208 of 342
    x to central_va

    No. Grant said that if the founders knew all the trouble it would cause they would have written a provision for secession into the Constitution — not that they actually had provided for secession or that secession was in fact constitutional.

  • Al Jazeera - Unbiased?

    01/20/2015 2:51:15 PM PST · 18 of 31
    x to madmominct
    There is no unbiased news. There's news that doesn't have the biases that people object to. In someone else's eyes, though, a site that's balanced between Republicans and Democrats, say, could be clearly biased against other, non-Mainstream views. A site that gives non-Mainstream views of the right or left a fair hearing would likely be seen as biased by those on the other side of the political spectrum.

    I'm looking at al Jazeera's webpage and the headlines don't look more biased than what you'd see at NPR or one of the alphabet networks. I do notice that the most discussed stories relate to Muslim issues and an article about beards in Philadelphia turns out to be about the history of Islam in the Philadelphia music scene, so I guess that could be seen as a bias.

  • The Problem with Romney Nostalgia

    01/20/2015 2:16:48 PM PST · 35 of 36
    x to Kaslin
    In 2007, when President Obama announced that he was running for president, he did it in Springfield, Ill., to highlight his supposed connection to Abraham Lincoln. He brought in his biggest fans to cheer him on. When George W. Bush announced in 1999, he did it in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The Bush campaign, likewise, brought in a big crowd of supporters. John Kerry announced in Patriot's Point, S.C., in 2003, amid a sea of American flags, war veterans and an aircraft carrier in the background. And where was Mitt Romney when he announced on Friday that he was thinking of another run in 2016? He, too, was talking to his base: about 30 deep-pocketed donors in New York City. "Tell your friends," he said.

    I don't disagree with Jonah's criticisms, but that's anything but a fair comparison.

    Maybe every presidential candidate first floats the idea in private to the money guys so as not to be left high and dry by contributors, but that's not the official announcement of a candidacy.

    Last time Romney officially announced on a tractor on a New Hampshire farm. The time before that it was at the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan. If he announces again it won't be at a closed meeting of donors.

  • Bill Ayers, wow that man is either self delusional or he is a sociopathic liar. ~ Vanity

    01/20/2015 2:08:35 PM PST · 20 of 25
    x to GraceG
    He also said he is for anarchy in government but wants socialism, how is socialism NOT going to work without a giant top down structure to force it upon the people.

    That's the question people have been asking for over a century, since Engles coined the phrase about the state "withering away" and Lenin talked about abolishing the state and establishing socialism.

    It's a good question, but I don't think you'll ever get a satisfactory answer from people like Ayers (or Engles or Lenin).

  • The Problem with Romney Nostalgia

    01/20/2015 1:50:37 PM PST · 34 of 36
    x to arderkrag
    If you are for:

    Interference in foreign countries
    The ongoing, senseless war on drugs
    The wasteful war on terror that only serves as a feel-good measure
    Government interference in and control of the markets
    Stopping fuel exploration in this country
    Control of healthcare
    Regulating arms

    Then you'll have to win without me.

    Sounds like your quarrel isn't just with Romney.

    Opposition to 1-3 (maybe 1-4) represent a libertarian point of view that any Republican nominee would be unlikely to satisfy.

  • I’m tired of suppressing myself to get along with white people

    01/20/2015 1:39:06 PM PST · 166 of 178
    x to Second Amendment First
    That's a college girl thing. Lots of people just out of college feel they have to suppress the attitudes they picked up in college in order to adapt to the adult world. With time, they drop a lot of the attitude and fit in -- or at least they don't write articles about it anymore.

    FWIW: Isn't "Priscilla" just about the whitest name there is?

  • General Robert E. Lee should be a Role Model for American youth

    01/20/2015 1:29:47 PM PST · 99 of 116
    x to SkyPilot; rockrr
    The fact that he was almost universally admired by the entire Union Army and its officers, despite him being the leader of their enemy in one of the most brutal conflicts in human history, highlights his incredible character.

    They respected his cleverness and admired his ability, but I don't know that it really went deeper than that, especially when the bullets were flying.

    I doubt Union soldiers fighting against Lee felt the kind of admiration for him that bound the Lee cult in the South together after the war. I'm not sure all Southerners felt that way when the war was still going on, either.

    Rommel and Patton admired each other I guess, and troops in both armies had respect for the ability of the other side's commander, but it's possible to read more love and affection into that grudging respect for an adversary than is actually there.

  • Robert E. Lee, Southern Heritage, Media Bias, and Al Sharpton

    01/17/2015 1:15:35 PM PST · 118 of 342
    x to Sean_Anthony
    A couple of years before the onset of the 21st century, a Midwestern college began researching exemplary Americans for a book about the heroes of our nation. The book was to be limited to six famous individuals who exemplified the best of our nation. The project involved a review of famous persons involved in the American Revolution; the primary statesmen responsible for the creation of our Republic, and notable personages involved the sectional conflict that resulted in the War Between the States. - Also scrutinized were numerous scientists, scholars, actors and writers, and celebrated individuals from the civil rights movement, World War heroes, and outstanding industrialists. Ultimately, six famous Americans were chosen: George Washington, Daniel Boone, Louisa May Alcott, George Washington Carver, Andrew Carnegie, and Robert E. Lee.

    That was George Roche at Hillsdale College. More power to him, but so far as I know, the list really doesn't reflect anything more than his own opinion.

  • Selma and the Sanctimony of Liberals

    01/17/2015 1:13:16 PM PST · 17 of 27
    x to george76
    That MSNBC article acknowledges that Johnson was “a reliable member of the Southern bloc, helping to stonewall civil rights legislation” for two decades

    My impression is he was more of an opportunist. It wasn't so much that Johnson was fighting civil rights legislation when he was in the Senate. He knew that civil rights legislation wasn't going to pass in the 1950s, and he was okay with that because it kept the Democratic Party from falling apart on sectional lines.

  • Boy Scout membership falls again in 2014

    01/17/2015 1:01:31 PM PST · 25 of 57
    x to MacNaughton
    One graph is from here.

    I googled "membership in the Boy Scouts of America numbers graph" to get the other. It's the fourth image.

    I can't absolutely vouch for the data and couldn't get to the page the second graph came from and don't have a chart for the most recent years, but my understanding is the membership in the BSA was in decline for a long time. The small rally around 1998-1999 was a surprise though.

  • Donald Clarke: Republican free-for-all is the converse of 1970’s situation

    01/17/2015 12:51:51 PM PST · 5 of 14
    x to 2ndDivisionVet
    Donald Clarke is the chief film correspondent of The Irish Times and a regular columnist with the newspaper. His musings on film can also be heard regularly on the Marian Finucane Show on RTE Radio 1 and on the Cinerama movie show for Phantom 105.2. He maintains the Screenwriter blog for The Irish Times.

    His expertise on American politics isn't clearly established.

    Maybe we should wait until the movie comes out and he reviews it.

    He can be refreshingly candid about himself, though:

    Donald Clarke
    Film correspondent and general blowhard for The Irish Times. Misanthrope. Northerner. Primate.

  • Robert E. Lee, Southern Heritage, Media Bias, and Al Sharpton

    01/17/2015 12:43:54 PM PST · 113 of 342
    x to Regal; rockrr
    Lee is also venerated in Europe, as evidenced by this tribute by Winston Churchill: “one of the noblest Americans who ever lived.”

    Seriously? I don't know if you want to make present-day Europeans the standard of which Americans should be "venerated," but apart from Churchill, who was born less than 10 years after the war ended and has been dead for 50 years, I doubt Europeans think that much about Lee at all.

    On the other hand, admiration for Robert E. Lee will remain as ardent as it has been for almost two centuries.

    The fact that Gail feels it necessary to make a comparison to Al Sharpton to make his point indicates that ardent admiration for Lee is a thing of the past.

  • Boy Scout membership falls again in 2014

    01/17/2015 12:29:40 PM PST · 12 of 57
    x to NKP_Vet

  • Ted Cruz: Loose Cannon or Libertarian Reformer?

    01/17/2015 12:20:43 PM PST · 58 of 106
    x to Optimist
    That depends on state laws.

    As far back as 1960, Lyndon Baines Johnson had a Texas law changed so that he could run for re-election to his US Senate seat at the same time he was running as John F. Kennedy’s Vice President. In 1988, Senator Lloyd Bentsen did the same thing so he could run for both the US Senate and Vice President. Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman (VP in 2000), Delaware’s Joe Biden (VP in 2008), and Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan (VP 2012) all did as well. Source

    That's a little unclear, though. Johnson had the law changed. I don't know if the others had to do that.

  • American Sniper' biggest Oscar surprise, but can it win?

    01/17/2015 12:16:33 PM PST · 20 of 35
    x to Bubba Ho-Tep

    Sure, and his pictures are always at least a half-hour too long. Maybe “finding the film in the editing room” is something Clint should consider.

  • Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs Speaks Out About Lack of Oscars Diversity [Affirmative Action]

    01/17/2015 11:03:01 AM PST · 23 of 42
    x to Steelfish
    Ironically, the Academy could have nominated the two leads from Selma for Best Actor and Best Actress and still not have any African-American nominees, since they are both Nigerian-Britons.

    It's comical that the media are having this argument one year after 12 Years a Slave won for Best Picture.

    Part of the problem may be the reliance on big high-minded Oprah-esque features intended to guilt the Academy into a medal.

    Make the best movies you can about what you actually know and let the chips fall where they may.

  • Ted Cruz: Loose Cannon or Libertarian Reformer?

    01/17/2015 10:48:21 AM PST · 35 of 106
    x to lentulusgracchus
    That's a pretty straightforward and even positive opinion about Cruz from Stone, all things considered.

    Certainly more positive than one would expect from an Establishment guy.

    It sounds like projection -- like you are attributing the contempt you feel for Stone onto his comment about Cruz.

  • I Know Apple. And You, Xiaomi, Are No Apple

    01/17/2015 10:21:02 AM PST · 23 of 43
    x to Swordmaker

    Xiaomi don't play that!

  • Why is it always "BREAKING NEWS" on all the news channels?

    01/15/2015 4:21:49 PM PST · 14 of 54
    x to SamAdams76
    Because that's what they say when they're coming back from a commercial break.
  • Oscars: Acting Nominees All White

    01/15/2015 4:18:24 PM PST · 79 of 82
    x to MeshugeMikey
    Some of them are so White they're almost transparent:

  • Chris Christie, odd man out?

    01/15/2015 3:58:39 PM PST · 12 of 14
    x to bert
    all of which means Mitt is the designated Jeb slayer who is running to push jeb adequately a side to allow rick or scott to be nominated

    Maybe, but between them Jeb and Mitt have frozen Chris Christie out of the money derby. So Chris goes, then Mitt goes, and that leaves Jeb, which may have been the idea all along.

  • Al Sharpton Calls For Emergency Meeting To Address 'Appalling' All-White Oscar Nominees

    01/15/2015 3:43:31 PM PST · 106 of 126
    x to Responsibility2nd
    Start with why the actors in the big black films are from Britain.

    Ditto for the big white films, but if your pitch is depicting the Afro-American experience, why all the Afro-Britons?

  • Rand Paul's path to the nomination

    01/15/2015 3:21:08 PM PST · 15 of 17
    x to 2ndDivisionVet
    Where his Republican rivals draw attention to themselves with a tuba or a trumpet, Rand Paul puffs his Highland bagpipe.

    If that's a metaphor, it's stupid.

    But if it's literally true, color me intrigued.