Let’s all give some props to the good folks at Hallmark

for managing to field complaints from complete idiots with apparent grace. 

A local chapter of the NAACP is upset because a Hallmark graduation card, with a “solar system” theme, uses the word “black,” followed by what they have interpreted as the word “ho.”  Really. (video at the link).  Hallmark pulled the card. 

When I was a senior in high school, I stage managed a play version of “School House Rock” at the children’s division of our local community theater.  Three elementary school aged, home schooled* sisters were in the cast.  The play closed on the most fun, rocking song of the show, “Interjections!”  where the whole cast joined in.  You can read the lyrics here, and be shocked by an supposed children’s program making liberal use of the NSFW word “Darn.”  Or, you could if you were the mother of these three sisters, who approached me at a rehearsal to tell me that her daughters could not be in this song due to the use of that word.  I laughed in her face.  It was simply absurd to me. 

But not as absurd as it would have been if I had been working a customer service line at Hallmark, and a person had called in to tell me that they heard the word “black hole,” in a space context, and still understood it to mean “black ho.”  Kudos, Hallmark customer service rep who fielded that call!

* Before any home school advocates jump on me, I just want to say that my first tastes of home schoolers really came from some odd families in that town who apparently believed that theater was the only acceptable activity that their children could participate in outside of the protected womb of the home.  They were clearly doing it wrong, and it left a bad taste in my mouth about homeschooling.  Since then, I have had the opportunity to work with some kids from homeschooling groups in my current town, and they are far more well adjusted and sane.  It’s changed my mind so much that, should we have kids, we may even consider taking this route with them someday.  (Although I’m not sure these kids are really homeschooled they seem to be more of a very flexible private school group that calls themselves homeschooled.  Either way, I was really impressed with them.)


Magic Money from the Government’s Tree

I can’t imagine why this wasn’t a bigger story, because it explains so much.  A Fox News poll in March (via Amy Alkon, sort of) found:

Where does the government get its money anyway? While 65 percent understand the government’s money is their taxpayer dollars at work, some 24 percent think the federal government has “plenty of its own money without using taxpayer dollars.”

Now, how many of that 24 percent (and of the 35 percent that doesn’t understand that the government’s money is their taxpayer dollars) voted for Obama?  I”m guessing a full 100 percent.

I don’t like it when people call the president a moron

Or an idiot, or stupid, or any other name my mother used to chide me or my brother for calling each other when we were fighting over who got the toy surprise from the Apple Jacks box.  So I simply don’t know how to react to this video, pointed out by theblogprof. (via Instapundit)

Normally, I don’t watch web videos: I prefer to keep the sound off, they’re sometimes slow, sometimes they take too long to make their point.  I’d prefer to just read at my own pace.  But when I read this transcript:

When I was young, just got out of college, I had to buy auto insurance. I had a beat-up old car. And I won’t name the name of the insurance company, but there was a company — let’s call it Acme Insurance in Illinois. And I was paying my premiums every month. After about six months I got rear-ended and I called up Acme and said, I’d like to see if I can get my car repaired, and they laughed at me over the phone because really this was set up not to actually provide insurance; what it was set up was to meet the legal requirements. But it really wasn’t serious insurance.

Now, it’s one thing if you’ve got an old beat-up car that you can’t get fixed. It’s another thing if your kid is sick, or you’ve got breast cancer.

I actually had to watch it, just to make sure that this wasn’t missing some wisecrack or some explanation. 

When President Obama was running for office, I think that this would have worked as a parody.  Never worked, no real life experience, doesn’t even know the simplest things about insurance.  I would have laughed, taking it as exaggeration.

Sounds like a stunt to me

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, by way of the Augusta Chronicle, some one is trying to start a “whites-only” basketball league. 

The Augusta Chronicle reported on Tuesday that the All-American Basketball Alliance plans to kick off its inaugural season in June and hopes that Augusta will be one of 12 cities to host teams.

But here’s the kicker: According to a press release the newspaper and other Augusta media outlets received from the new league, “only players that are natural-born United State citizens with both parents of Caucasian race are eligible to play in the league.”

That’s right. Lewis, who calls himself  the commissioner of the AABA, will exclude blacks and all foreigners from his new league, which the newspaper said will be based in Atlanta.

According to the Chronicle, Lewis said he wants to emphasize “fundamental basketball” instead of “street ball” played by “people of color.”

Reasons why it is clearly a stunt: 1) the promoter is a former pro-wrestling promoter, 2) why would they choose Atlanta to promote this out of?, 3) it would never work, 4) no website yet, 4) he “hopes will have teams in a dozen southeastern cities such as Augusta, Albany and Chattanooga, Tenn.”  Nobody who doesn’t already live there aims to do anything out of Chattanooga, Tennessee. 

Thing that gives me pause: his “reasoning” for the rule. 

According to the Chronicle, Lewis said he wants to emphasize “fundamental basketball” instead of “street ball” played by “people of color.”

“There’s nothing hatred about what we’re doing,” Lewis told the paper. “I don’t hate anyone of color.”

Lewis pointed out recent incidents in the NBA, including Gilbert Arenas’ suspension for bringing a gun into the Washington Wizards locker room, and said, “Would you want to go to the game and worry about a player flipping you off or attacking you in the stands or grabbing their crotch?”

Most people would have gone with an affirmative action argument, that Caucasians are not represented in the NBA, as a stunt.  His argument is merely silly and pointless. 

Of course, it should go without saying that if it’s not a stunt, it’s pretty horrible.  Even if it is a stunt, other than the reverse affirmative action point that he’s not using, it’s pretty dumb.

I’m sorry, I can’t understand you with that tape over your mouth

So Cindy McCain, wife of the former presidential hopeful, has decided to pose for the Anti-Anti-Gay Marriage campaign “NoH8.”  The picture, similar to hundreds of others in the campaign, displays Ms. McCain, glamourously made up, heavily photoshopped, and hair wind-blown, and posed with duct tape covering her mouth and the (word?  phrase? symbol?) letters and number combination”NOH8″ written on her cheek. 

This has gotten a lot of buzz in the internet world.  I can’t imagine why folks are surprised; her husband has always been at least as friendly towards the subject of gay marriage as his former opponent, our current president.  (By the way, interesting to note how differently these two men’s positions, which are exactly the same, were portrayed by various media outlets.)  The comments in the CNN story consist of expressions of surprise and “you go girl”-type statements as if she’s doing something remarkably brave.  She’s not; she, and the rest of this campaign, are doing something remarkably silly.  Not because they are wrong on the issue, mind you.   I don’t think that they are.  But their interpretation of the issue is nothing short of stupid. 

The Advocate describes this campaign thusly: “All of the subjects are photographed with duct tape over their mouths to symbolize that their voices aren’t being heard on the subject of marriage equality.”  But duct tape over the mouth doesn’t symbolize voices not being heard; it symbolizes restraint from voices being used.  It’s similar to the “Day of Silence” campaign, where schoolchildren are encouraged to act like spoiled brats by refusing to speak all day long, in order to “symbolically represent the [supposed] silencing of LGBT students and their supporters.” 

Imagine, for a moment, that I am a Baptist preacher.  I preach against the sins of alcohol.  (They actually do that here in Tennessee.  No, I don’t get it, either.)  I even preach that the government should make drinking illegal.  I buy commercials and billboards, and do everything possible to make my opinion known. 

And nobody listens to me. 

Oh, sure, a few people might listen to me and agree.  And some (probably quite a lot of) people will make fun of me, and a few people will complain about me.  But no one can say that my voice is not heard, or cannot be heard, simply because the majority of people disagree.  So it goes with the gay marriage movement, and other gay rights issues.  They can speak; no one is preventing it.  Some people simply don’t like what they have to say. 

And let’s talk about the name of the campaign, the real principle of the thing: “NoH8.”  Obviously, the H8 is intended to indicate “hate,” in the sense that hatred, as opposed to just the inability to get married, is what they are really striving against.  Now, I know that it’s in vogue to proclaim that any opposition to your point of view is clearly the result of “hate” and to proclaim all of your opponents to be “haters,” but is this really the case?  Is it really true that all, or even the majority of, opposition to gay marriage stems from “hate”?

As best as I can tell, the main reasons given for opposition to gay marriage comes down to just a few broad arguments: religious beliefs, tradition, or social concerns. 

Many people believe that religion dictates that homosexuality is immoral and an affront to God.  Do you hate everyone who ever does anything immoral?  If you do, it must keep you pretty busy.  Most religions I’m familiar with indicate that you should love the sinner, even if you think they’re wrong.  The second argument is that marriage has always been between a man and a woman, so it should remain so.  Again, I’m not saying it’s a good argument, you’ve got to squint pretty hard to translate that into hatred.  The third argument is that gay marriage can lead to other social changes, such as kids being taught about gay issues in school without their parents’ consent (this was considered a powerful argument in the Prop 8 debate) or businessowners being forced to participate in gay weddings despite their disagreements with them.  Again, this is an argument about individual rights; it has nothing to do with hatred of anyone. 

Now, I’m not saying that there aren’t some people  out there who truely hate people just because they are gay.  I mean, I’ve never met them, but the internet certainly indicates to me that they exist.  So, of course, do KKK members, and neo-nazis, and people that want to beat up redheads.  We can deal with it.  But accusing your political opponent of “hate,” rather than engaging his or her actual arguments, is nothing short of lazy.  It implies that you don’t have anything substantive to say.  Or not say, as the case may be for the subjects of the NoH8 campaign.

Code Pink is full of assholes

Pardon my crudeness, but, well, anything less would just be untrue.  Imagine this: You’re a little kid, and your dad has been called overseas to serve in A WAR.  You don’t really know what that means, but you know it’s very serious, and that dad will be gone for a long time.  Worse still, you’ve heard that sometimes, in wars, people can die.  Even big, strong soliders, like you dad.  You tried to ask mom about this, and she tells you that everything will be alright, but you notice that, even though she says things are fine, she sort of looks away when that subject comes up, and seems a little bit quiet for a while afterwards.   

So, you’re a little bit sad, you miss your daddy, and you feel a little bit scared to boot.  But, it’s Halloween, and you’re a little kid, so you’re mostly able to put it out of the way and focus on candy and costumes.  Plus, you get a special treat this year; the President (who you understand is a Very Important Person) has invited you to visit the White House to get candy this year!  So you put on your costume and get your candy bag ready, and you wait in line in eager anticipation of shouting “Trick or Treat!” to the President of the United States.  Then, while you’re waiting, you see this:

Dressed as ‘zombie soldiers’ killed in combat, ‘ghosts of war victims,’ witches and healthcare fairies, members of Code Pink menacingly paraded in front of a captive audience of children one block from the White House, who waited along the sidewalk in front of Decatur House just off Lafayette Park for a Halloween party hosted by President Obama. Last Saturday, the President hosted several hundred military families for trick or treating. Also invited were children of White House staff and about 2000 children from eleven D.C. area elementary schools.

 In a press release published at their website, key Obama ally Code Pink  – a group co-founded by one of Obama’s top funders Jodie Evans, announced they were targeting military families for what can only be called psychological abuse by conducting a macabre protest of the war in Afghanistan as the families waited in line to enter the White House grounds.

Is this going to convince anyone to change their minds on the war?  No.  Is this going to save any Iraqi or Afgan lives?  No.  Does this serve any purpose other than emotionally abusing a bunch of innocent kids and proving that Code Pink is fully cowardly attention whores who get their rocks off doing it?  Not a bit. 

 Bunch of fuckin’ assholes. (Obligatory pre-emption to anyone who wants to accuse me of not supporting free speech: I never said anything to suggest that these jackasses should be prevented by the force of law from performing their crap.  But there are similarly no limits to my freedom of speech to call them out on it.)

I’m pleased to announce that there was virtually no racism at last weekend’s tea party

based on the fact that this was the best that Think Progress could come up with to demonstrate the radical racism of their opponents.  (via Ann Althouse)

OK, one could maybe, sort of make an argument for the confederate flag, but only if one didn’t actually know any real southerners.  I can assure you that the flag would make an appearance if we were talking about president Hillary Clinton instead, because that’s just what some people do.  I don’t get it, but I don’t pretend it’s something it’s not. 

And I guess that the term “Mack Daddy” has some sort of something connotations, but I have no idea what.  I’d always understood it to be a positive statement.  Hmm, Urban Dictionary confirms that, while it may not be what I”m looking for in a president, it is not an insult, and doesn’t even seem to have any racist connotations. 

So, in other words,Think Progress, you’re morons.