In order to save the owls, we were forced to destroy them.

When you think about it, or rather, STOP thinking about it and start loving Big Brother, this makes perfect sense

To save the imperiled spotted owl, the Obama administration is moving forward with a controversial plan to shoot barred owls, a rival bird that has shoved its smaller cousin aside.

The plan is the latest federal attempt to protect the northern spotted owl, the passive, one-pound bird that sparked an epic battle over logging in the Pacific Northwest two decades ago. 

Read the whole thing.

I’m certain this will do for the spotted owl what government intervention did for GM. Or Solyndra. Or airport security. 

via Les Jones.

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February 29th, 2012 by admindude

Do you hear that, Hollywood?

It is the sound of inevitability. It is the sound of your doom

As “Act of Valor” hauls in a tidy $24.5 million to lead the box office pack this weekend, Hollywood has got to be wondering why it’s bloated $100 million epics are tanking while this low-budget, independently-made fireball will make its producers a bundle.

Let me clue you in, Tinseltown – “Act” is an unapologetically pro-military movie that doesn’t have to pretend that the greatest threat to America is space aliens. It’s got action – holy cow, does it have action. It’s got emotion – real emotion, not that hacky “emotional conflict” cookie cutter crap that your screenwriting seminars push. And it’s got this thing called “moral clarity.”

And it only gets better from there. 

Twenty years ago, Robert Altman made cracker-jack movie about the vanity and greed of Hollywood, but his harshest words were for the audience, claiming that the reason Hollywood doesn’t make complicated, morally-nuanced movies is because those type of movies “don’t play in Peoria”. 

The thing is, he’s right. 

We, the people in flyover country, don’t want to ponder the subtle moral variations between good and evil, mainly because we don’t believe in such things. We accept that good doesn’t always triumph over evil, but we’re comfortable with the idea that there IS good and evil, a concept that Hollywood doesn’t seem to believe in anymore. 

And that is why they fail. 

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February 28th, 2012 by admindude

And in yet another brilliant display of Democratic restraint…

I understand the concept: If Scott Bundgaard can get kicked out of office because of a history of domestic violence and really, really, REALLY stupid decisions, then it’s only logical that state Democrats should try to eat one of their own as well. 

State Rep. Daniel Patterson is rejecting calls by Democratic legislative leaders and an Arizona Democratic Party official that the Tucson Democrat resign from the Legislature. The Tucson City Court confirmed that a woman obtained an order of protection against Patterson but officials declined to provide any details over the phone. Tucson police did not immediately return a call. 

And here’s the problem: At this point, the only thing that State Rep. Patterson has done is have a restraining order filed against him, which, to the best of my knowledge, is not a crime nor a misdemeanor nor malfeasance or anything to do with his ability to legislate. 

If (that’s “if”) it turns out there’s a history of this kind of stuff or Rep.Patterson has a fight with his girlfriend and leaves her stranded in the middle of Ida Road, THEN let’s look at some kind of punitive measure. But the last time I checked, “innocent until PROVEN guilty” was still the law of the land.  

Update: There is a history of this kinda stuff in Rep. Patterson’s past. Ok, time for him to go. 

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February 27th, 2012 by admindude

Well-Charted Waters

Brutal. Just…. brutal. 

Full breakdown of our economic nervous breakdown here.

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February 27th, 2012 by admindude

Movie Review: Boogie Man – The Lee Atwater Story

Before James Carville, before Karl Rove, before David Axelrod…there was Lee Atwater.

I was relaxing at home last night and decided to watch the movie Boogie Man:  The Lee Atwater Story via Netflix.  It was an interesting movie, especially for those of us who were politically active at the time.  Here are my thoughts on the film.

The movie chronicles the short yet eventful life of Lee Atwater, who was best known as George H. W. Bush’s Campaign Manager.  Atwater burst on to the American political stage in the late 70’s and was a force through the late 80’s.  A brain tumor took his life in 1991 but not before he left a mark on American politics.

Overall, the chief villans in the movie are Republicans, especially the Bushs and Atwater.  The filmmaker claims to be independent but the overall subtext is anti-Bush.  The prevailing notion is that Atwater (and his associates like Karl Rove) were responsible for the eventual rise of W to the Presidency and the perceived problems that ensued from that event.  Its important to note the film was released in early 2008 when Bush 43 was ending his term as a two-term, yet deeply unpopular President.

However, there is a lot of truth in the movie about how an amoral yet brilliant person made a massive impact on political campaigns.  Lee Atwater came from the backwater of South Carolina to the big time of Washington, DC as a very young man.  He was successful, but it came at a high price both to himself and others.  In many respects, the movie is a cautionary tale to those who strive to make their mark in politics.  Regardless of political party, there are a lot of shameful things that go on during campaigns, particularly those for national office.  The movie brings some of the darkness associated with that into the open.

What is sad yet most compelling about the movie is the end.  After attaining the pinnacle of power and with a long record of success, Lee Atwater was afflicted with a brain tumor.  As he saw his fast-paced life coming to an end, he regretted what he had done and was fearful for what was ahead of him.  He was terrified of dying because he knew that he had to answer for what he had done to others during his climb to the top.  Some of the most poignent moments of the film are when his opponents and erstwhile cohorts recall Lee Atwater apologizing to them for what he did.

Ultimately, Lee Atwater died on April 1, 1991 from his brain tumor.  His influence was felt long after his demise though, he was a historically significant character in American politics.  Operatives on both sides of the political devide learned from Atwater and applied the lessons learned to their candidates.  Perhaps that is legacy, for better or worse.

I would give this movie two stars and encourage those on the right to watch it.  If you take away the liberal bias of the filmmaker, there is a lot to learn from the life and times of Lee Atwater.  Mostly, I see it as a cautionary tale of what happens when unchecked ambition and a lust for power take hold of a talented person.  Furthermore, it holds a mirror up to the voters and shows how they are complicit in how modern political campaigns have evolved.

Sobering stuff indeed.

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February 25th, 2012 by admindude

This is the way a newspaper ends: Not with a bang, but with an online subscription.

Greg Patterson clues us in to the Arizona Republic latest efforts to pound the nails into the lid of their own coffin.

Republic Media parent Gannett Co., Inc., announced a series of initiatives Wednesday including a new pay-for-online subscription model that executives project will return the company to a growth mode.

Well, there is some projection involved here, but mostly, it’s a whole lot of denial…

What the Republic and other newspapers can’t seem to figure out is that they have no unique advantage in the age of the Internet. What’s the difference between a local TV affiliate running a mix of locally-produced stories on their website along with a mix of national news stories from the various wire services on their website and what AZCentral.com provides? 

That’s right: Nothing. Once it’s digital, it doesn’t matter.

The gatekeeper that was the daily newspaper is gone. I don’t need some executive editor in a corner office telling me what’s important to me each day, I have 50+ RSS feeds on browser’s startup page that delivers custom news to me every minute of every day. Information on the Internet is NOT a scarce commodity. When the marginal cost of a substitute product is zero, consumers are free to make choices as they desire. 

You’d think that a paper like the Republic, with a whole section devoted to business news, would have figured that out.

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February 24th, 2012 by admindude

… and I’d like to thank my wife for her part in this decision…

Taking my cue from what Doug wrote, I want to take this opportunity to make an important announcement that might drastically affect my political future. 

I’m straight.

I dig chicks. 

I know this may have a serious impact on my chances to win my party’s nomination for CD15, but I feel it’s important that the voters in my (imaginary) district know who they are voting for. 

I am grateful for the support of my wife and family throughout this trying time, and I look forward to debating the REAL issues that affect our state with the voices inside my head.

Thank you.

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February 24th, 2012 by admindude

I Blogged Too Soon!

He may no longer be in the Hunt(sman), but NPR’s favorite candidate is back in the race.

I don’t know if anybody will notice, but it does fill column-inches and generates blog content.  My tendency is to yawn over this news but some regard it as important.

HillBuzz has been saying for a while that Governor Huntsman had a purpose in the Republican Presidential Primaries.  I don’t know if I buy it but a position in a second Obama Administration sounds plausible.  After all, Huntsman was Obama’s Ambassador to China…

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February 23rd, 2012 by admindude

Meathead murder

If we assume that Shamu is a slave and that meat is murder, this makes perfect sense, I guess.

“Federal authorities say an Ohio woman who describes herself as an animal-welfare activist has been charged with soliciting murder in a plot to kill someone wearing fur.

Investigators say an FBI employee posing as a potential killer learned via email correspondence Lowell wanted the victim to be at least 12 years old and wanted to be on site when the slaying took place so she could distribute “papers” afterward. 

It takes a special type of crazy to want to kill someone (even a teenager) for the heinous cries of wearing warm clothes, and an even MORE special type of crazy to want to scatter pamphlets after the fact 

But crazy doesn’t run through PETA, it gallops. 

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February 22nd, 2012 by admindude

Skeletons in the Closet

I think gay politicians should just come out of the closet.

This is especially true for gay Republicans.

As HillBuzz points out, our open-minded and tolerant counterparts in the Democrat party have dossiers on gay Republicans that are keep ready for the right occaision.  In the case of Sheriff Paul Babeu, his lifestyle got revealed to discredit his positions regarding border security, immigration, and the Fast and Furious investigation.  Right now, Paul Babeu has very little credibility or sympathy with potential voters, his effectiveness as a politician is virtually nil.

Greg over at Espresso Pundit has some clear-headed analysis of the fallout over this episode.  Its proably best that this happened now, even if Babeu’s political future is a dead end for the forseeable future.  He won’t be subject to blackmail (by our very tolerant, open-minded friends who respect people’s personal lives) as a Congressman.  Its time for the Sheriff to concentrate on law enforcement and leave it to others to represent CD-4.

I’m with Vox on this issue, I don’t care if Sheriff Babeu is gay or not.  What disturbs me are his bad decisions and judgements when the allegations came to light.  If you are asking voters to send you to Washington to represent them, don’t take pictures of your mostly naked body along with cruising gay dating sites looking for hookups.  There is enough sleaze is DC already and Republican voters (especially primary voters) won’t be in a hurry to send you there.

If you are a Democrat though, the rules are different.  This is unfair but so is life.

My thoughts on all this are simple, but not easy.  If you are a gay Republican and are in the closet, come out.  Its easy for me to say this as a heterosexual male who isn’t a public figure but in the long run its a better course of action to take.  As HillBuzz points out, our tolerant and open-minded liberal/leftist/progressive opponents already have the goods on these politicians.  That information will be used to blackmail and manipulate gay GOP politicians, just like it has been for decades.  Take that weapon out of their hands and come out of the closet!

In addition, most people care less about your sexual orientation than they do about your truthfullness.  If you are gay, lesbian, or bisexual then tell the voters.  They deserve to know the truth, even if they don’t approve of your lifestyle choice.  Competence, effectiveness, and thoughtfullness go a long way in establishing yourself as a person worthy of elected office.  Don’t squander it by lying, obfuscating, and evading questions about who you are.

Oh, and stop taking pictures of your (mostly naked) bodies!

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February 21st, 2012 by admindude