Saturday, August 30, 2008

Springtime for Castro

From this weeks City News:

The Rochester Committee on Latin America will present the film "Fidel: the Untold Story," a moving portrait of the Cuban leader, on Wednesday September 3 . . ."

And brought to you by . . .   What else?   A church.

Of course!   ". . . at Downtown United Presbyterian Church, 121 North Fitzhugh Street, at 7 p.m."

And the mainstream churches wonder why they keep losing members.

Let's show the world the Castro we love.  The Castro we knowThe Castro with a song in his heart . . .

Leroy Yentuar


Friday, August 29, 2008

Overlooked Points About Palin

Two important points about Governor Palin were given very short shrift in all the chatter today.

First:   Was there a single prominent speaker at the Democratic convention who didn't extol his or her industrious, working class forbears? We don't think so. We'll see more of the same at the Republican convention next week.

Yet Palin herself -- not just parents or grandparents -- is the genuine article.   A union member herself, married to a fisherman and oil rig worker, also a union member.   When was the last time we saw a nominee for national office who is actually part of what left-wingers seem to mean when they use the term "working family?"

Second:   As law professor Ann Althouse points out in this video on her splendid blog, Palin is "distinguished from Hillary Clinton in the sense that she made it on her own.  She wasn't leveraged into power by a father or a husband."


Friday, August 22, 2008

Cracks in the Monolith

Recently it was playwright, screenwriter and director David Mamet, writing in The Village Voice, to announce that he is no longer a "brain-dead liberal."   He believes instead that the understanding of the world shown by free market thinkers such as Thomas Sowell, "our greatest contemporary philosopher, . . . meshes more perfectly with my experience than that idealistic vision I called liberalism."

Now comes director and producer David Zucker, another erstwhile liberal Democrat who has "grown in office" in recent years.   His new movie, An American Carol, will be released in October.   From the trailer it looks like a hilarious critique of the liberal cultural monolith, focusing on an anti-American filmmaker, "Michael Malone," who campaigns to end the Fourth of July holiday on grounds that America's past and present is offensive, and therefore shouldn't be celebrated.

For taking aim at a fundamental article of left-wing faith -- America is bad -- Zucker should expect efforts by true believers to stop the film's distribution.

It's a long way to liberation from leftist cultural hegemony.   Mamet, Zucker and others are making the first cracks from within. But remember that the liberation of Europe in 1989 began with cracks in the Soviet monolith made years earlier, by Solzhenitsyn, Sakharov and others.

We recall Mamet's Village Voice essay:   "We were riding along and listening to NPR.   I felt my facial muscles tightening, and the words beginning to form in my mind:   'Shut the fuck up.' "

Sounds like a crack in the Monolith to us.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hard To Ignore the Logic

Katha Pollitt, writing in The Nation:

If you don't want to hear about women who give themselves names like Rielle and their love children, elect more female candidates!
Somewhere today I read that it's pronounced "re-ELL." To which I respond, "oy-VAY."


Monday, August 18, 2008

Paving Over Brighton

The Rochester Turning blog has been paying attention to a proposed big development project in Brighton.   Its contributors have commented soundly on the unfolding story.   Today's entry covers a weekend citizen protest and contains links to the blog's previous entries, which we recommend.

Do Brighton authorities really want to grant a variance -- which they don't have to grant -- for a megadevelopment in one of the last remaining spaces in a fully-developed town?

We appreciate Rochester Turning's coverage of this issue.   Check it out.

Why pave over paradise (even a little square of it in Brighton) and put up a parking lot?


Saturday, August 16, 2008

More than "Symbolic:" "Half of House Dems may vote Hillary"


ABC News's The Politico says that half of the Democratic members of the House of Representatives at the Democratic National Convention may vote for Clinton over Obama.   Link here.

As we told you yesterday, this vote is going to be much more than "symbolic."


Friday, August 15, 2008

She's Not Going To Be Ignored

We think Barack Obama no longer reliably may be called the "presumptive nominee."   He's made a potentially fatal mistake in permitting the name of Ms. Rodham-Clinton to be placed in nomination at the Democratic Convention.

Anyone who doesn't think the Clintons are working right now like whirling dervishes to peel away enough delegate votes from Obama to win the floor vote for the grisly Hillary doesn't understand either of them.

"The first rule of politics is, "Never count out the Clintons." Their political conglomerate, Clinton Inc., is like Glenn Close in that bathtub scene in the movie "Fatal Attraction": It always comes back to life a second or third time."

Between now and the convention, watch for the release (which ultimately will be traced to the Clinton camp) of information alleging a potent scandal implicating Obama.

In dealing with Clintons you deviate from the Hannibal Lecter Rules only at grave risk.   We bet the food order for their convention suite includes some fava beans and a nice chianti.


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Monroe Rising on Public Education in New York: It's Bad, But Expensive

We recommend this post by Occam, on the Monroe Rising blog.   It discusses the sad statistics showing that, despite being at the top of the state rankings in public "education" spending per pupil, New York ranks near the bottom in key school performance measures.

States more advanced in public education, such as Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Arkansas, not only spend much less per pupil, but all have graduation rates above the national average.   Of the fifty states, New York ranks thirty-sixth on graduation rates.

And sixth from the bottom on SAT scores.

Thanks to Occam and Monroe Rising for giving us a close look at this data.   Keep it up, folks!