10. If guys didn’t look like heroin-addicted street dwellers…
Before committing suicide, musician Kurt Cobain copyrighted the grunge look that came to define Gen-X/millennial crossovers in the ’90s. A reaction to the preppie style made famous by ’80s yuppies, grunge involved a level of disheveled that transcended even the dirtiest of ’60s hippie looks. Grunge trademarks included wrinkled, untucked clothing complemented by greasy, knotted hair and an expression best defined as heroin chic. The style depicted an “I don’t care” attitude that took punk’s anti-authoritarian attitude to a darker, more disengaged level. Grunge became the look of resigned defeat among American males.
As a boy, I enjoyed some of Zimmer Bradley’s works like Mists of Avalon, while others seemed to exist solely to score leftist political points — while these were often lost on my adolescent self, the sexual politics certainly detracted from the storyline. Knowing what I know now, I’ll never be able to pick up one of her works again without feeling dirty.
The publisher in me wonders what her editors and publishers knew at the time. Were they in the dark? Did they have an inkling, but decide to turn a blind eye in order to protect a valuable author? I don’t ask in order to judge, but because these questions are much tougher for a publisher than they are for a reader.
As a reader I can choose to tune out any author based on their politics or their character. But as a publisher, sometimes you wonder whether you have a responsibility to the work and to readers to give a work of substance and quality an audience — even if the author is otherwise odious.
My inclination is to apply a test of character as well as one of quality to authors I want to publish, but is that fair? Seldom is the case as clear cut as Zimmer Bradley’s. As a young editor I pursued Stephen Glass as an author before it became known that he was a phony, despite warnings from a couple of smart folks that his stories didn’t ring true. If I had succeeded in landing him, would I be complicit in his fabrications?
Here at Liberty Island we do our best to make sure the authors we publish are folks you would be happy to have as next door neighbors, but it seems inevitable that (being human) we’ll fail that test at some point. And when that happens people will have the right to question and judge us based on the decisions we made. It’s only fair.
An 11-year-old boy fathered a child after sex with a school friend’s 36-year-old mother.
Both the father and child are now understood to be in care after the principal at the boy’s school raised the alarm.
The case has caused counsellors working in the area of child sexual abuse to highlight the lack of attention given to women as potential offenders.
It has prompted Justice Minister Judith Collins to step in saying she will seek more information on the law. “This case raises an important point. I will seek advice from officials on whether or not a law change is required.”….
Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse manager Ken Clearwater said if the case were proved, the woman should be held accountable for her actions. Making charges able to be brought dependent on the gender of the offender was wrong and the law should be changed. “It is a huge issue for us.”
He said male victims of sex abuse carried out by women were equally as damaged as any other victim of rape.
“As a male you’re supposed to enjoy it but we don’t say that about young girls. Males are not seen as victims. The psychological damage is huge – and they carry extra shale because it’s a woman and you’re supposed to enjoy it.”
Mr Clearwater said most abuse of the sort in this case was not reported.
And it has also highlighted disparity in the law of rape, which makes it impossible for a woman to be accused of the crime.
This is a sad case and an unfair one. The law should be changed and as soon as possible.
I remember the written response of the senior doctor in the prison in which I worked to an editorial in the British Medical Journal lamenting the difference between health care in prison and health care in the “community.” Yes, he replied, where else in the country but in prison could everyone get to see a doctor within an hour of complaining of something?
I thought of this as I read an article recently in the New England Journal of Medicine about Hepatitis C infection and the American correctional system.
About 3 million Americans are infected with the Hepatitis C virus, mainly because of having shared needles in intravenous drug abuse, but also through transfusions before blood was screened for the virus. Those who are tattooed have two or three times the average rate of infection.
Ten-to-fifteen percent of cases of untreated infection (among males) will go on to get cirrhosis of the liver, and of them an increasing proportion will develop liver cancer as the years go by. Hepatitis C infection is now the largest single cause of the need for liver transplants.
With its notoriously strict gun control laws, this story should come as no surprise:
Yoshitomo Imura allegedly downloaded and printed five plastic guns, two of which could fire real bullets. He was arrested last month, but the news was only revealed on Thursday. It’s believed to be the first arrest made for possession of 3D-printed guns in Japan, a country with extremely strict gun laws. A law passed in 1958 forbids a person from possessing a “firearm or firearms or a sword or swords,” although it lists list several exceptions.
Imura defended himself, saying he didn’t know it was illegal to own a plastic gun.
“I produced the guns, but I didn’t think it was illegal,” Imura said, according to Japan Times. “I can’t complain about the arrest if the police regard them as real guns.”
This one guy was caught and arrested, and to this American reader, strangely sanguine or even passive about it. But the internet is undermining all kinds of laws, in all kinds of places, in all kinds of unexpected ways.
He was the worst serial killer in American history, but when he went on trial, the courtroom press section was all but empty. No Hollywood studio has stepped up to make the movie. Why? Because Dr. Kermit Gosnell was an abortionist, and facing the truth about his crimes means facing the truth about abortion itself.
My friends Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer are trying to tell the story. The two talented filmmakers have mounted the biggest ever crowd funding campaign, hoping to raise the $2.1 million they need. They are so close, but the days are dwindling down and they still need about $200,000 more or else everything they have so far will be lost.
They used Indiegogo because KickStarter kept refusing to host them — putting them off with a series of clearly bogus excuses. That’s how much pressure there is to keep this story from being told, to keep the truth from being known.
Watch the video above, in which Ann struggles to read part of the grand jury report. It’s not one of the grisly sections so you should be able to stand it — and you’ll know why Ann had to fight to control her emotions in order to get through it. It’s heartbreaking. No wonder the abortion industry wants this case buried in silence.
A new policy change in Denver requires 911 dispatchers to contact a supervisor for immediate service when “Federal, State or Local Dignitaries (such as the Mayor or Governor) or personnel within their office requests or requires a police response on the dignitary’s behalf.”
Elected officials will now get preferential treatment by police officers in emergency cases of life and death. This is corruption, openly practiced.
Our justice system isn’t perfect. Celebrities often receive special treatment in court. The rich and powerful can afford a robust legal defense and if they sometimes slither through cracks in the system, well, the system still endures.
What our country cannot long endure is open corruption where elected officials are above the law. When a dispatcher sends a police officer to the Mayor’s house ahead of an ordinary citizen they are acting as a palace guard, and when they do it openly the rule of law is nullified.
To see the result of this failure you need look no further than our neighbor, Mexico, where corruption has led to a profound breakdown in society. Mexico is blessed with a mild climate, abundant natural resources and a hard-working and intelligent people. None of these benefits can overcome a government so bad that millions of citizens have fled for the economic freedom offered by the rule of law in the United States. In Mexico drug cartels have created unending cycles of terror and violence including human trafficking, prostitution, money laundering, rape and murder. When government operates by graft and corruption, the only businesses that thrive are ones who are just as corrupt.
Denver’s elected officials just chose to follow Mexico’s example and create palace guards who answer to their needs first. Denver police officers who take their jobs seriously should be outraged. If they allow this rule to stand, Denver police should find new uniforms to wear that more closely represent their new status. I suggest this one.
It should come as a surprise to just about nobody that Chicago is the most corrupt big city in America, and long has been. The setting for the godfather of all gangster movies – Scarface, the Shame of a Nation, starring Paul Muni as a thinly disguised Al Capone, directed by Howard Hawks — Chicago has flaunted its outlaw status in the country’s face for nearly a century. And continues to do so, now that one of its own occupies the White House.
Facing up to 15 years in prison and stripped of his U.S. passport, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s former city comptroller ordered his wife this week “to get him a fake birth certificate from Pakistan for a passport,” according to court records obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times. Now, Amer Ahmad is on the lam, and a judge issued a warrant Friday for his arrest…
Ahmad — who has continued to live in Chicago since resigning from his $165,000-a-year City Hall post last summer — pleaded guilty in December to being part of a large kickback and money-laundering scheme when he was Ohio’s deputy state treasurer.
The crimes occurred before Ahmad joined Emanuel’s administration in April 2011. An outside investigation that City Hall commissioned to review Ahmad’s conduct revealed no criminal wrongdoing by Ahmad or his staff. That investigation cost Chicago taxpayers $825,000.
Chicago taxpayers spent $825,000 to find out that Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s now-convicted former City Comptroller Amer Ahmad did not cost them a penny beyond his $165,000-a-year salary. The $825,000 was paid to the law firm of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP and the accounting firm of Grant Thornton for a 47-page report that concluded that Ahmad did not defraud cash-strapped Chicago as he did in Ohio…
An embarrassed Emanuel flatly denied that he should have known about Ahmad’s alleged wrongdoing in Ohio and promised an exhaustive investigation — with Inspector General Joe Ferguson and Corporation Counsel Stephen Patton overseeing the forensic audit.
Ahmad was raised in Ohio by Pakistani immigrant parents. After his guilty plea, Ahmad remained free on bail but surrendered his passport. Though his sentencing date hasn’t been set, he faces up to 15 years in prison and has agreed to pay $3.2 million in restitution. Ahmad had been a rising star in the Emanuel administration before abruptly resigning last summer, saying he wanted to seek a job in the private sector…
Ahmad pleaded guilty in December to federal conspiracy and bribery charges, admitting he used his Ohio government position to secure “lucrative state business” for Douglas Hampton — his high school classmate and financial adviser — “in exchange for payments” to himself and others.
In his plea agreement, Ahmad said Hampton made secret payments to him, and, as Ohio’s deputy treasurer, he steered state securities brokerage work to Hampton. Prosecutors said Ahmad and a business partner — Joseph M. Chiavaroli, also of Chicago — hid those payments by passing them through an Ohio landscaping company they owned.
Interestingly, there’s somebody named “Mohammed” involved in this story as well. And who is he? According to his indictment, he’s an immigration lawyer who last December pleaded guilty to federal charges of “aiding and abetting honest services wire fraud” as part of the general indictment of Ahmad et al. for bribery and money laundering.
Hampton also funneled cash to Mohammed Noure Alo, an attorney, lobbyist and close friend of Ahmad from Columbus. Altogether, Hampton got about $3.2 million in commissions for 360 trades on behalf of the Ohio state treasurer’s office. Ahmad and his co-conspirators — who have all pleaded guilty — got more than $500,000 from Hampton, according to prosecutors.
For more news on “the city that works,” please turn the page –
Believe me: If my mother-in-law didn’t live with us, the sights and sounds of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) would never pollute my home.
But for much of her life, there were only 13 channels, so she habitually switches to the state broadcaster when she can’t find anything else to watch.
That’s how I heard, on Easter Sunday morning, via various noises making their way from our living room television into my office, that Hurricane Carter had died.
Judging solely by the anchor’s somber tone, one would be forgiven for concluding that the deceased had been some great Canadian statesman or artist, not a notorious American boxer and ex-con.
For all their purported sophistication, the Canadian media is embarrassingly parochial. One particularly annoying manifestation of this inward-looking mindset is their habit of conveying “hono(u)rary Canadian” status to any celebrity foreigner with a friendly if tenuous connection to the country.
(Note that these same liberal media types happily mock the Mormon custom of baptizing dead “gentiles” — presuming they’re even aware of it.)
Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, the former professional boxer who became an advocate for the wrongly convicted after spending 19 years in prison for a triple murder he didn’t commit, died Sunday in Toronto. He was 76.
Carter’s struggle for freedom and exoneration was made famous in a number of books, a Bob Dylan song and a Hollywood film.
Although born in the U.S., Carter had a special connection to Canada, where he settled following his prison release, which came about with the help of a group of Canadians.
It’s a one-sided, anti-American message the CBC has been pushing for years (using my tax dollars), even on so-called “investigative” programs like The Fifth Estate, which is Canada’s answer to 60 Minutes:
In Congress, Rep. Darrell Issa of California has just leveled an explosive charge against his Democrat counterpart on the House Oversight and Government Reform committee — to wit, that the gentleman from Maryland colluded with the IRS to harass a conservative organization fighting for honest elections:
Issa said records obtained last week from the IRS show communications from the office of ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., about True the Vote, a Texas-based, non-profit conservative group that aims to prevent voter fraud.The communications at one point involved Lois Lerner, the ex-IRS official whom Issa’s panel is poised to hold in contempt of Congress on Thursday for refusing to provide testimony about her involvement in targeting conservative groups.
“The IRS and the Oversight Minority made numerous requests for virtually identical information from True the Vote, raising concerns that the IRS improperly shared protected taxpayer information with Rep. Cummings’ staff,” a statement from the Oversight panel reads.According to Issa, Cummings and his staff sought “copies of all training materials used for volunteers, affiliates, or other entities,” from True the Vote.
Naturally, the honorable gentlemen denies the charges:
Cummings said the letter from Issa and others Republicans is “a desperate attempt to shift the focus on tomorrow’s contempt vote away from the serious Constitutional deficiencies in these proceedings.”
Did somebody say “contempt vote”? What kind of nefarious activity might occasion such a thing?
I have been thinking about this lately after a reader of my book pointed out to me that he felt prostitution should be made legal in order to give men more freedom from marriage and being tied down to a relationship in the hopes of getting sex. If prostitution were legal, men could get sex more readily and not be so dependent on getting involved with women. Given how dangerous it can be these days for men, between being called a rapist, a sexual harasser or a pervert, it makes sense that legal prostitution might be a good solution for some men that want to avoid the risks inherent in taking on a wife or long term (or short term) relationship with a woman. I looked at a couple of articles about why prostitution was illegal and found this article at Slate:
In 1999, Sweden made it legal to sell sex but illegal to buy it—only the johns and the traffickers can be prosecuted. This is the only approach to prostitution that’s based on “sex equality,” argues University of Michigan law professor Catherine MacKinnon.
It treats prostitution as a social evil but views the women who do it as the victims of sexual exploitation who “should not be victimized again by the state by being made into criminals,” as MacKinnon put it to me in an e-mail. It’s the men who use the women, she continued, who are “sexual predators” and should be punished as such.
….Sweden’s way of doing things is a big success. “In the capital city of Stockholm the number of women in street prostitution has been reduced by two thirds, and the number of johns has been reduced by 80%.” Trafficking is reportedly down to 200 to 400 girls and women a year, compared with 15,000 to 17,000 in nearby Finland. Max Waltman, a doctoral candidate in Stockholm who is studying the country’s prostitution laws, says that those stats hold up. He also said the police are actually going after the johns as ordered: In 2006, more than 150 were convicted and fined. (That might not sound like many, but then Sweden has a population of only 9 million.)
For feminists like MacKinnon (with whom Waltman works), this sure looks like the solution: Go after the men! Take down Eliot Spitzer and leave the call girls alone! On the other hand, the group SANS, for Sex Workers and Allies Network in Sweden, doesn’t like the 1999 law.
My question after reading this mind-numbing drivel? How can it be legal to sell sex but illegal to buy it? Who are you selling sex to if no men are allowed to buy it? Of course, any time one sees a feminist of the Catherine MacKinnon ilk, all logic goes out the window as long as men are rounded up and put in jail. This is sick, twisted logic and has no place in a free society. It was a group of women who apparently banned prostitution in the US according to this Wikipedia entry:
Originally, prostitution was widely legal in the United States. Prostitution was made illegal in almost all states between 1910 and 1915 largely due to the influence of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union.
Perhaps women don’t want the competition from prostitutes for resources from men? Or they just feel disgusted that a man might be able to get sex so easily? I do wonder if men were able to go freely to prostitutes without fear of jail time if it would free them sexually from female and (and state) control? Or do you think there would be more problems caused by it?
Ingrid E. Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, sent a letter dated Friday to the realty agent who has listed the Bath Township house for sale. In the letter, she asked about the listing and proposed making the house a vegan restaurant “to respond to the past with something positive.”
Newkirk likened the way animals are slaughtered, processed and consumed to the way Dahmer treated his victims.
“We are always looking for ways to draw attention to the violence inherent in the production of meat, eggs, and milk — which involve processes that would shock all but the most hard-hearted person,” Newkirk wrote in the letter to Richard Lubinski of Stouffer Realty. “Dahmer’s old house gives us a way to evoke sympathy for these victims and to suggest that a life-affirming diet can change everything.”
Because who doesn’t want to enjoy a satisfying vegan meal while contemplating that a notorious serial killer murdered and dismembered a young man just inches away from the elegant baby beets with tofu and crispy shallots you’re gnawing on?
PETA thinks such a restaurant, situated on the scenic 1.5 acre wooded lot where Dahmer scattered the remains of his first victim, 19-year old hitchhiker Steven Hicks, could be a “celebration of culinary compassion.”
And PETA wants you to understand that the steak you’ll have for dinner tonight is exactly the same as the human victims that Dahmer tortured, murdered, mutilated, dismembered and ate:
Like Dahmer’s human victims, cows, pigs, and chickens are made of flesh and blood and fear for their lives when confronted by a man with a knife. They are also drugged and dragged, and their limbs are bound. Their struggles and screams are ignored as they are killed and cut up to be consumed. Their bones are thrown away like garbage.
A Democrat-appointed Delaware judge one-upped the Texas judge who let a drunk driving teen off for “affluenza.” Judge Jan Jurden came up with a unique reason to let a convicted rapist out of having to go to prison for his crime.
A Superior Court judge who sentenced a wealthy du Pont heir to probation for raping his 3-year-old daughter noted in her order that he “will not fare well” in prison and needed treatment instead of time behind bars, court records show.
Judge Jan Jurden’s sentencing order for Robert H. Richards IV suggested that she considered unique circumstances when deciding his punishment for fourth-degree rape. Her observation that prison life would adversely affect Richards was a rare and puzzling rationale, several criminal justice authorities in Delaware said. Some also said her view that treatment was a better idea than prison is a justification typically used when sentencing drug addicts, not child rapists.
Richards is 6’4″ and over 250 pounds. He is a scion of the du Pont family. He is not ill or suffering from any ailments. He is unemployed, living on his family’s wealth. He owns two homes, one for which he paid $1.8 million in 2005. He’s doing quite well outside of prison.
He raped a little girl. And according to filings in his divorce, he admits to sexually abusing his infant son. Judge Jurden gave him 8 years in prison, then suspended the entire sentence with probation, and ordered him to get treatment. The entire 2009 case never made any news media until Richards’ wife filed a civil case against him this year.
O’Neill said the way the Richards case was handled might cause the public to be skeptical about “how a person with great wealth may be treated by the system.”
It’s just more evidence that there is one system of justice for the rich and connected, and another for everyone else — which is deeply un-American.
Aquarius will be set in Los Angeles in the late 1960s, and Duchovny will play a police sergeant whose personal life is more troublesome than his job, [sic] at least it was until he sets his sights on Manson, who at that point was just released from prison and starting to build his Family of easily swayed hippies. (…)
”The twists and turns of a complicated undercover operation will lead Duchovny’s character and his young partner to the brink of Manson’s crimes that will eventually lead to the Tate-LaBianca murders in subsequent seasons.”
The backstory to the infamous murders certainly gives the folks behind Aquarius some juicy, colorful stuff to work with:
While researching how public libraries became a popular spot for weirdos to go and watch porn (especially child porn) on free, untraceable WiFi, I discovered something truly hideous. There is an entire community out there who film themselves masturbating in libraries (usually while watching porn on publicly funded WiFi) and then upload these videos to […]
Thanks to my friend and colleague Ed Driscoll for his plug today regarding my phrase, “a criminal organization masquerading as a political party.” As Ed notes, I first coined this handy explanation for everything Democratic over at National Review, in my alter-ego guise of “David Kahane,” in my world-famous parody essay, “I Still Hate You, Sarah Palin.” (Please join “Dave” on Facebook — look for the cover of Rules for Radical Conservatives — or follow him/me on Twitter @dkahanerules.) Some of is worth revisiting today:
I don’t know why I’m telling you this, but maybe now you’re beginning to understand the high-stakes game we’re playing here. This ain’t John McCain’s logrolling senatorial club any more. This is a deadly serious attempt to realize the vision of the 1960s and to fundamentally transform the United States of America. This is the fusion of Communist dogma, high ideals, gangster tactics, and a stunning amount of self-loathing. For the first time in history, the patrician class is deliberately selling its own country down the river just to prove a point: that, yes, we can! This country stinks and we won’t be happy until we’ve forced you to admit it.
In other words, stop thinking of the Democratic Party as merely a political party, because it’s much more than that. We’re not just the party of slavery, segregation, secularism, and sedition. Not just the party of Aaron Burr, Boss Tweed, Richard J. Croker, Bull Connor, Chris Dodd, Richard Daley, Bill Ayers, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and Emperor Barack Hussein Obama II. Not just the party of Kendall “Agent 202” Myers, the State Department official recruited as a Cuban spy along with his wife during the Carter administration. Rather, think of the Democratic Party as what it really is: a criminal organization masquerading as a political party.
So the news yesterday that the FBI has bagging crooked Democrats all across this great land of ours comes as exactly zero surprise to me. After all, at the behest of my PJ Media colleague, friend and publisher, Roger Kimball, I wrote the book on the subject: The People v. the Democratic Party, which you can find on Amazon and at better bookstores everywhere. These people have been enemies of the state since Aaron Burr shot and killed Alexander Hamilton (Burr, who was basically the first Democrat vice president, also was one of the founders of Tammany Hall, the first and last word in Democrat municipal corruption). It’s time to start seeing them for what they really are.
Sharyl Attkisson, who recently gave up her job at CBS citing censorship of her investigative reporting on the Obama administration has reported some interesting facts about journalism today in an interview with Chris Stigall. After spilling shocking details about the level of coordination between the press and the White House (including pre-arranged questions with the press secretary) she went on to dish about how investigative reporting is dying out.
She also said it is more and more difficult for investigative reporters to get their stories published or on the air because of the trouble it may cause.
“Nobody was interested in the stories. It didn’t seem to matter what the topic was.
I’ve experienced this on a local level first hand. When I uncovered sex crimes including public masturbation and even the viewing of child pornography at Orland Park Public Library, I was completely unable to get any news source to report my investigative findings. The story made all the papers, but only parts of it (and none of the salacious parts that would make people angry like the masturbation near children or the viewing of child porn.) Instead, “journalists” I dealt with avoided the juicy details all together in favor of a much more watered-down version of the truth. Instead of reporting the crimes that occurred in the Library and the Library’s neglect to involve authorities, they turned the story into “Mom Sees Boobs, Library Protects First Amendment”. This, of course is far from the truth.
I had an interesting conversation with Evelyn Holmes from ABC-TV Chicago when she came to interview me about the Library issue. I handed her the internal documents and police reports that showed the accounts of public masturbation and child porn and said, “No one will report these documents. Please be the first. This is the story. It’s not about me or what I saw. It’s about what I found after that during my investigation.” I will never forget that she looked right at me and said, “My job is to get your story and then get the Library’s story and report both. I don’t take sides. Our viewers decide on their own.” Seeking the truth is taking a side?
This shocked me. I thought news reporters wanted the truth! I thought that’s why they went to journalism school! Didn’t they all idolize Woodward and Bernstein, those intrepid reporters who took down a sitting president? Didn’t they all want to be the one to uncover the next big scandal and government corruption? Later that evening, Evelyn’s report ran on the nightly news with only a cursory mention of the reports I cited and then ABC allowed the Library’s spokesman, Bridget Bittman, to call me a liar, saying “There have not been sex crimes here at this library,” denying the very reports I gave to Holmes. No one at ABC bothered to investigate those reports further. (Last time I checked public masturbation is still a sex crime and it’s an actual assault if the person is looking at you while doing it, making you feel threatened.) A police report showed that one such sexual assault occurred there against a teenager while she was studying and a man was masturbating right in front of her while leering at her, prompting her to call the police (and snap a photo with her phone for evidence). That’s a sex crime. ABC wasn’t interested in that part of the story.
That would have been a great follow up to Bittman’s whopper (if any real journalists had shown up), “Actually, sex crimes were reported at this library including A, B and C.” Now that is investigative reporting. Whatever it was that Evelyn Holmes put together, (along with FOX, WGN, Telemundo, CBS and NBC) it wasn’t news.
Here is your one and only warning: I am going to discuss some House of Cards plot points from season two. But don’t write and say I spoiled the show for you. The writers did that.
While the first season of House of Cards was hardly realistic, the plotting–especially the moves of its main character, Congressman Frank Underwood–was adroit and fascinating.
But in season two Frank Underwood has gone from being an amoral scheming man of unquenchable ambition to a monster with fewer human feelings than Tony Soprano—much fewer. Unlike Breaking Bad, where we saw a man’s gradual slide from compromising with evil to embracing it, House of Cards lurched into full-blown sociopathy with jarring fashion.
So if you tuned back in to House of Cards this season looking for moments of sheer brilliance like Frank Underwood’s eulogy at the funeral of the girl who drove off the road while texting about the giant-peach water tower—with its mix of pathos, compassion and, yes, self-interest–you will be severely disappointed.
Instead, we are treated to an impenetrable plot about Chinese trade negotiations and illegal campaign finance, and the way Frank is going to use it to undermine the president since he is next in line. But nearly everything about this plot is not how it would, or could, happen in real life—and is weirdly confusing and obvious at the same time.
Worst of all, the House of Cards’ ideological slip is showing, with a complete nonsensical portrait of a “Tea Party” senator who votes “no” on the biggest entitlement reform since entitlements were invented because… well, just because he’s an idiot.
This is in sharp contrast to the CBS legal/political drama The Good Wife. Most of the campaign events and media kerfuffles make sense—as does the public’s reaction to them. You can’t tell the good guys from the bad guys (or the smart guys from the stupid guys) by their ideology (although extreme leftists like a global warming obsessed federal judge are generally the kookiest characters).
But best of all, good people can do less than admirable things they shouldn’t in the heat of the moment, while antagonists are not always evil or stupid, they are just on the other side of the issue. Though sometimes they are evil or stupid.
Kind of like life outside the political bubble.
Oh yeah, and here’s how every Eliot Spitzer/Anthony Weiner/Mark Sanford press conference should end:
Officials in the US have dismantled a huge international online child pornography ring – one of the largest such operations ever uncovered, American authorities say.
They say that 14 men running a secret, members-only child porn website have been arrested.
About 250 children – mostly boys from the US – appeared on the site.
The website had more than 27,000 subscribers, many of whom have been charged in individual cases.
“Never before in the history of this agency have we identified and located this many minor victims in the course of a single child exploitation investigation,” Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) Deputy Director Daniel Ragsdale told Reuters news agency.
Ice worked with Homeland Security officials and other agencies to break up the ring, which ran a website to share videos of boys enticed from social networks into providing sexually explicit material – sometimes by men posing as women.
Ages of the children ranged in age from three to 17 years, officials said, and came from 39 US states. Twenty-three of the 251 victims were identified in Britain, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Belgium.
For all of its benefits, the dark side of the Internet is very, very dark. For years I was accused of being overly protective of my daughter when it came to even my own social media habits. But the online world is one big, sinister playground for some of the worst of society.
CHICAGO – Best-selling author Kevin Trudeau, whose name became synonymous with late-night TV pitches, was sentenced to 10 years in prison Monday for bilking consumers through ubiquitous infomercials for his book, “The Weight Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About.”
As he imposed the sentence prosecutors had requested, U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman portrayed the 50-year-old Trudeau as a habitual fraudster going back to his early adulthood. So brazen was Trudeau, the judge said, he once even used his own mother’s Social Security number in a scheme.
“Since his 20s, he has steadfastly attempted to cheat others for his own gain,” Guzman said, adding that Trudeau is “deceitful to the very core.”
He sold more than 850,000 copies of the weight-loss book, generating $39 million in revenue, prosecutors say. And the judge agreed with prosecutors that the amount of loss stemming from Trudeau’s deception was more than $37 million — nearly the amount in revenue.
But in remarks Monday asking for a sentence of less than two years for his client, defense attorney Tom Kirsch said the harm Trudeau caused was minor compared to fraud in which some people are cheated out of their life savings.
‘A 10-year sentence might be appropriate for a defendant who destroyed lives,’ Kirsch said. ‘(But) Trudeau — if he swindled anyone — swindled them out of $30 (the price of the book).’
His claims include: ‘The sun does not cause cancer. Sun block has been shown to cause cancer.’
Another one of his statements is that Aids is ‘one of the greatest hoaxes and deceptions ever perpetrated on the American public’.