Free Markets, Free People

Dale Franks

Dale Franks’ QandO posts


Dale’s Observations For 2010-06-15

How would you like to sequester some of MY carbon? #AlGorePickUpLines #

Hey, baby, I'd like to open up your lockbox. #AlGorePickUpLines #

This Perez Hilton thing is just insane. Doesn't EVERYBODY know the cops get really upset when you show pictures of a 17 year-old's kitty? #

Yet another Obama administration czar, this time to oversee the oil spill. So, what is it that Obama does, exactly? http://bit.ly/a4BVYQ #

I see via @JonHenke that Grover Norquist joined GOProud. That's faaabulous! in reply to JonHenke #

I've been watching that Etheridge video. Jeebus, if that old man had laid his hands on me, he'd have been making his apology from the ER. #

I got the vandalism damage estimate for my truck. $1,044 damage to the passenger door and window. #

Twitter's incapacity tonight is ticking me off. I can only assume it's all the heathen foreigners tweeting about kickball. #

Wow! We just had an earthquake. The whole house shook. We've been having those a lot lately. I'm pretty sure that's not a good thing. #


Dale’s Observations For 2010-06-14

AT&T IS BLAMING TUE iPad security leak on "malicious" hackers. As oppposed the helpful hackers we're all so used to. http://bit.ly/9inHEx #

BP has a outlines a plan to contain the oil spill. Well. That's, uh, reassuring. "Milord, I have a cunning plan!" http://bit.ly/9KryyQ #

Seriously, what's the deal with the Japanese and whaling? They LOVE it! It's just…creepy. http://bit.ly/9vvEvt #

Why the EU is ultimately doomed to failure: if Belgium is on the verge of dissolution, how do you unify a continent? http://bit.ly/ddfAVm #


Observations: The Qando Podcast for 13 Jun 10

In this podcast, Bruce, Michael, and Dale discuss whether President Obama’s “Jimmy Carter Moment” is approacjing as a result of the BP Oil spill, and his proposal to eliminate the mortgage interest rate deduction.

The direct link to the podcast can be found here.

Observations

The intro and outro music is Vena Cava by 50 Foot Wave, and is available for free download here.

As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Podcast Alley. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here. For podcasts from 2005 to 2009, they can be accessed through the RSS Archive Feed.


Dale’s Observations For 2010-06-11

Knock-knock.
Who's there?
IRS.
IRS who?
The Internal Revenue Service. #failedjokes #

As far as #worldcup soccer goes, any sport so boring they take commercial breaks without stopping the on-field "action" isn't worth watching #

Who keeps digging holes in my back yard? I may never know… http://twitpic.com/1vuezk #

May retail sales declined 1.2%, against expectations of a 0.2% rise. And it's across the board, as ex-auto sales were down 1.1%. #


Dale’s Observations For 2010-06-10

If you think AT&T's data network sucks now, wait 'til iPhone 4 users start streaming HD video. Or trying to, anyway. http://bit.ly/aSR1zb #

Obama kills the mortgage interest deduction in the 2011 budget. Drowning kittens in a sack would be more popular. http://bit.ly/cIF2xE #

Jebus Cripes, how is it that we here in California keep sending this dolt back to Senate?! http://bit.ly/crJxdd #

The whole point of uaving a CEO is so the board doesn't have to oversee every decision. #

Gibbs to press: O hasn't spoken to BP CEO 'cuz the board has to approve the CEO's decisions. Pure BS. Corporations aren't run that way. #


Live Chat is Back

I’ve installed a live chat client to the blog once again.  You can access the page by clicking on the Live Chat link at the menu bar below the header image. It’s a pretty basic chat setup, but it works.

I’ll be futzing around in it ’til about 9:30pm Pacific or so.


Dale’s Observations For 2010-06-09

The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that new mortgage apps were down another 5.7% last week, and 43% since April. http://bit.ly/aWxOJH #

In the near future, links will no longer count against your 140 character limit, as Twitter unveils new changes over the summer. #

Another troubling analysis of Turkey. They are reverting to the Ottoman Empire–and an Islamist one, to boot. http://bit.ly/cZWCYS #

Stupid Californians have voted to allow open primaries, where the election will pick the top 2 vote-getters to run in the general election. #

Looks like Chuck Devore in the CA senate primary is getting hammered by Carly Fiorina, who did such a bang-up job as the CEO of HP. #


Helen Thomas Part II

I shut off the comments to the earlier Helen Thomas post, because the comments pretty much ran off the rails. I mean, talk about not being able to see the forest for the trees..

Look, whatever you may think about the legitimacy of Israel, the arguments of the reconquistas, that’s all irrelevant. It doesn’t have anything at all to do with the issue I was addressing. All of that stuff is a non-sequitur.

Helen Thomas didn’t say the Jews should be stuffed into ovens. Now, maybe she’s a raging anti-semite who believes that’s what should happen. I dunno. I don’t have access to her inner life. All I know is that isn’t what she said.

What she said was that the state of Israel was occupying Arab land, and that the Israelis should return to their countries of origin, i.e. “Germany, Poland…America, and everywhere else.” That’s certainly a minority opinion in the US, but it’s less of one in Europe, and it’s the absolute majority opinion in the Arab world.

So the only relevant question is whether stating that opinion is so outrageous that she should lose her livelihood for stating it. If so, then the implied conclusion is that questioning the legitimacy of the Israeli state is a disqualification from participating in public discourse (and is no doubt prima facie evidence of anti-Semitism to some).

So, lets confine ourselves to what she actually said, and discuss whether denying the legitimacy of Israel is such a horrific opinion that those who express it have to be driven out of public life like some kind of poison troll.


Helen, We Hardly Knew Ye

OK, that’s not really true.  We knew that Helen Thomas was a pretty opinionated, nasty piece of work, as her questioning of President Bush–when he occasionally deigned to recognize her–showed over his two terms.  So, learning this week that Ms. Thomas was of the opinion that Israel had no right to exist, should be disbanded, and the Jews should return to Wurstland and Kielbasastan wasn’t much of a surprise.  Her agent acted surprised, though, as did Hearst newspapers–both unconvincingly.  Surely they knew what a c– uh, controversial set of opinions she had.  They had to.  But they went through the tired old kabuki of being shocked at her opinions about Israel…and of letting her go, after suitable mouth noises indicating shock and surprise.

Now, all the right-wingers are happy she’s been fired, and her career is over.  Although, at 89, wasn’t her career in the inevitable winding down phase anyway?  I find I can’t really join in the celebration at her firing, though.

NineSpeakers, her agent, and Hearst, her employer, are, of course, perfectly within their rights to choose not to work with her.  But I don’t particularly rejoice to see them exercise that right.  I guess I approach this differently.  I didn’t think Don Imus should’ve been fired for the “nappy hos” comment.  I didn’t think Opie & Anthony should have been suspended because they let a homeless person come in and make horrible statements about Condoleeza Rice and Queen Elizabeth II.  And I don’t think that Helen Thomas should have been fired because she thinks that Israel, as a state, was illegitimately created on Arab soil.

When the La Raza/Reconquista types talk about how the southwestern United States used to be part of Mexico in the 19th century, that people of Mexican extraction have continuously lived there since, and that it needs to go back to Mexico, conservatives immediately reject that argument as having any validity at all in today’s political context.  They then turn around and argue that, since Israel was the Jewish state prior to the Romans forcing Jews to disperse in 70AD, and that Jews have lived there continuously since, that gives Israel the right to exist as a modern Jewish state.  So, it’s a completely illegitimate argument in Mexico’s case, but perfectly rational in the case of Israel.  That means that when Helen Thomas makes the same argument about Israel that conservatives make about Mexico, it’s an intolerably outlandish opinion.

And I find it fascinating that the same people who get themselves in a tizzy about “hate speech”, political correctness, and speech codes are the same people who are cheering on Helen Thomas’ firing.  Turns out that they don’t really object to speech codes or political correctness.  They just want them enforced on a different set of opinions.

Helen Thomas’ opinion about Israel tells us all something.  It provides us with information that we can use in judging her subsequent writings or statements.  Now, of course, what we’ve done is send a message to everyone else who might have controversial or nasty opinions to keep them to themselves.  So, in the future, people in Ms. Thomas’ position will now be less likely to share those opinions with us, and we will be deprived of insights into their minds that help us judge their veracity and intentions.

Once again, a clear message has been sent out about the importance of narrowing acceptable political opinion. So, apparently there are a lot of people on both the Left and Right who sanctimoniously declare that “the solution to bad speech speech is more speech,” but they don’t really mean it.  It just makes them feel good about themselves to say it.

For my part, I think Helen Thomas is a kook when it comes to Israel, just like I think the reconquista folks are kooks when it comes to Mexico. I am hugely uninterested in revisiting geopolitical events that occurred before I was born, whether in 1948, or 1845. And I am completely opposed to using distant historical events as a justification of who gets to live where today.  Quite apart from anything else, if pushed to its logical conclusion, it would mean that I would have to turn over my house to the Pala Indians, and spend the rest of my life wandering around the cold, windswept coast of north-central Scotland in a plaid skirt, with maybe an occasional jaunt to Aberdeen for a night of drunken fist-fighting. Mexico lost the southwest.  The Arabs lost Israel.  Tough.

I just find that I don’t disagree enough with Helen Thomas’ opinion–or anyone else’s–to want to deprive her of her livelihood, or to deprive me of the pleasure of pointing at her and laughing.

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