| Category: Culture
| Posted at: Thursday, 31 May 2007
A few minutes south of Cincinnati you can now visit the newly opened Creation Museum where you will find bible-themed exhibits depicting dinosaurs aboard Noah’s Ark.
About 35 years ago another theme park opened just north of Cincinnati where you’ve long been able to see dinosaurs coexisting with humans . . . as well as with a talking dog, and a jovial picnic-stealing bear.
In all seriousness, I think a creation-themed park is silly, but then I worked at Kings Island for two summers during high school, so I’ve seen more than enough silly entertainment to last a lifetime. If that’s how you want to spend your time and money, and how you want to worship, then who am I to tell you you’re wrong.
Apparently, however, the armies of tolerance aren’t as tolerant of you being wrong:
The caption for this photo in the Cincinnati Enquirer has this to say:
Creation Museum protester Noelle Cleverly, of Knoxville, Tenn., checks out Robert Mackowski’s sign as they stand along Bullittsburg Church Road, outside the museum on Memorial Day. Mackowski is from Clinton, Tenn.; they are members of The Rationalists of East Tennessee.
Rationalists? Making the 500-mile round trip from East Tennessee to Cincinnati just to protest another’s religious belief doesn’t sound . . . well, very rational.
Noelle Cleverly (pictured above) responded in the comments below.
While saying that “The purpose of the rally was not to protest anyone’s religious beliefs,” Ms. Cleverly, whose email address includes the phrase “noelletheatheist,” noted:
“8 hours in a car is a small price to do my part in helping bring awareness to such falsehoods.”
In my religion, we believe that a mere mortal can turn wine into blood. I wonder . . . what is the appropriate travel distance to bring awareness to that religious “falsehood”?
| Category: Blogging
| Posted at: Thursday, 31 May 2007
WBIR’s (oops) Knoxville News-Sentinel’s Michael Silence, mentioned me in a post this morning saying that I’m “one of the best bloggers in the state.”
While flattered, I recognize that being called “one of the best bloggers” is like being told that I’ve assembled a great fantasy football team.
In case you’ve missed the local internet dustup in Nashville, let me fill you in.
WKRN, our local ABC-affiliated television station, employs two paid full-time political bloggers. One, Brittney Gilbert of Nashville is Talking, is as far left as you’ll find on the internet. The other, Adam “A.C.” Kleinheider of Volunteer Voters, is so “hard right” (the name of his previous blog) that he proves either the Jersey rule: “three rights makes a left,” or my “politics is a sphere, not a spectrum” dictum, whereby I hypothesize that if you go far enough in either direction you bump into your opposites on the dark side of the political globe.
Well, A.C., who must have been abused as a boy by Fred Thompson for all the unfounded grief that he’s given the former Tennessee Senator, once again gleefully lit into Thompson over a lengthy and poorly produced YouTube attack video.
Not content to scorch just Thompson, Kleinheider also hit another of his favorite targets: the military–more specifically, soldiers,who are just under-educated pawns, by the way. Gilbert then seconded the opinion herself.
All this would escape my usual notice, since if I used my blog to comment every time one of WKRN’s bloggers wrote something imbecilic, I’d probably push up against my server storage limits. However, after what happened on the Steve Gill show Wednesday, I had to weigh in.
Gill, a syndicated radio talkshow host (and btw, a WKRN contract employee himself), took Kleinheider to task for comparing U.S. military troops to mafia hit men. He then asked listeners to contact the television station regarding the future employment of the two. Various Tennessee bloggers then worked themselves into a tizzy defending Gilbert and Kleinheider’s jobs.
What makes that particularly ironic is the role that these same two bloggers took in the firing last year of another popular local political blogger.
The cynic in me thinks that the whole thing is just a WKRN publicity stunt coordinated between its new management to try and improve the station’s ratings, both on and offline. After all, how embarrassing (not to mention, expensive) it must be for a television station to employ two paid, bloggers, only one of whom actually rivals the readership of BillHobbs.com, a local political blogger who does his work for free.
(The yellow is BillHobbs.com, the red line is NashvilleisTalking, and the blue line that you can almost see at the bottom–that’s VolunteerVoters.)
Another part of me realizes again that since the departure of Teddy Bart from the airwaves and Roger Abramson from the Nashville Scene, this town is in desperate need of another semi-mainstream outlet that offers political conversation that is funny without being mean, and insightful without being inciteful.
Finally, if Gilbert and Kleineider do get their pink slips, there is someone they can turn to for help: Bill Hobbs. In addition to being an amateur political blogger, Hobbs is also a blogging consultant who has helped individuals and businesses establish their own blogospheric presence.
That would be especially ironic, since it was Hobbs who was the local blogger fired after Gilbert and Kleinheider threw gasoline on an internet firestorm last April.
Nashville City Paper
Just to be clear, I do not advocate firing Gilbert and Kleinheider over their content. The job of media personalities is to drive advertising revenue. If they are doing that by being what some may think is offensive, then the problem is not with the speaker, but with the listeners. That’s how the market works. If enough people disagree with what is being said, advertising revenue falls.
Frankly, I’m surprised that Steve Gill called into question their jobs. Conservative employees of media companies are the last people who should want to establish the precedent that what you say and how you say it should be grounds for dismissal. Conservatives, after all, aren’t exactly dominant in a whole lot of newsrooms around the country.
All that being said, I reiterate again the need for a conversational political forum in Nashville. There isn’t one, and while NiT and VV have a particular niche, that’s not really theirs. (And, no, I’m not throwing my virtual resume out there.)
However, if Roger Abramson could be persuaded . . .
The QOTD comes in response to the question, “Why do I like Fred Thompson?”
He bugs James Dobson, who bugs me.
It almost makes me wonder if Dobson’s “he ain’t a real Christian” outburst was a calculated ploy to give Thompson needed distance from the extreme religious right. If that wasn’t the intent, it sure was its effect.
It also probably had the effect of boosting Mitt Romney’s profile ,as it likewise diminished Dobson’s political influence. (Or, perhaps, exposed that Dobson really had very little to begin with.)
So says Jim Geraghty.
But who cares, really? The fact that he’s getting in is all that matters.
Mike Allen reports in today’s Politico that on July 4th Fred Thompson is going to make a Declaration.
I’ve mentioned before that when I was deployed in Kuwait on the Iraqi border, the only time that I was scared was when I saw on CNN that tornadoes had struck the Fort Hood area.
My wife didn’t tell me until I returned home a month later that she and my one-year-old daughter were just a couple miles from Jarrell when it happened.
That was ten years ago.
| Category: Iraq
| Posted at: Tuesday, 29 May 2007
Cindy Sheehan “resigns”:
Good-bye America …you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can’t make you be that country unless you want it.
I don’t know if I’m supposed to feel pity or contempt. Most of all, I just don’t care.
Glenn Reynolds: . . . when her utility as a Bush-bashing tool evaporated, the media weren’t interested.
Don Surber: Gee, Democrats are partisans. Go figure.
Note: “Attention whore” isn’t my label for her, but Ms. Sheehan’s label for herself.
Update on the Estonian “cyber war”:
It looks like the worst is over, and internet addresses belonging to high-ranking Russians certainly gives the attack the appearance of an official Russian act.
The good news is that even with huge resources committed to the internet attacks against tiny Estonia, their networks stayed largely intact. If this was the best that the Russians could do, it indicates that Russian cyber attacks are not currently as potent as we might fear, since it would be logarithmically more difficult to conduct a successful internet attack against the much larger networks found in the United States
| Category: Iraq
| Posted at: Friday, 25 May 2007
Democrats have finally resolved to see the war in Iraq through to a successful conclusion no matter how long it takes.
Oops . . . that should have read “the war over Iraq.”
“Those of us who oppose this war will be back again and again and again and again until this war has ended,” said Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass.
McGovern . . . now why does that name sound so familiar?
It’s not just Democrats, some Republicans are demanding that something be done this summer:
Sen. John Warner, R-Va., said Thursday that if the security situation in Iraq does not improve by mid-July, the president should consider adopting a new strategy there.
But how will the Senate measure improvement since it won’t be until Septmber that Gen. David Petraeus reports to Congress the status of operations? “Also due by September is an independent assessment of progress made by the Iraqi government.”
I suppose that Warner has already made up his mind now that whatever the military does over the next four months will fail. But he supports the troops . . .