Posts categorized “Television”

The Cain Train - All Aboard!

September 29, 2011   5:31 pm

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I support Herman Cain as the Republican nominee for president in 2012. With his recent victory in a Florida straw poll and passing both Rick Perry and Mitt Romney in a recent Zogby poll, he’s certainly on the rise, and going to be a player in this Republican primary season. However, if you watch the news or listen to the traditional pundits, you’d think that this is a 2-man race between Romney and Perry!

Herman Cain and his wife, smiling and embracing while both looking at the camera

The Cain Administration filled the role of First Lady 43 years ago

There have been some other “flashes” in the primary season so far, but each of them occurred after the candidate announced. Cain was one of the first declared candidates, and every time he talks, his numbers go up. One of the complaints many of us had in 2008 was that we felt that John McCain was selected by the media rather than elected by the people. “He’s electable,” they said, “unlike these other guys…” To an extent, this is the prevailing narrative surrounding Perry and Romney; the former isn’t electable, while the latter is.

The media doesn’t want to acknowledge Cain, because he causes some problems in their view of the way politics in America works. (If the name wasn’t already taken, maybe we’d call them “inconvenient truths”…) Let’s take a look at these; rather than liabilities, these are strengths that will not only force conversation on these issues, but areas in which he resonates with the average American.

1. He’s black

As a Democrat, this is a plus; as a Republican, this must mean that there’s something wrong! (Yet we’re the ones who are called racists - go figure.) Republicans have been pilloried as racists (or worse) for not supporting various Democrat candidates over the years - Jesse Jackson, Geraldine Ferraro, Barack Obama - with claims that we didn’t support them because they were black or female. Why the “impartial” media amplifies these ridiculous claim is probably a bigger topic than we have time for here, but they are willing accomplices in painting the party of Lincoln as racists. Only in the affirmative-action-addled mind is one’s race or gender a plus (if you’re a minority) or minus (if you’re a white male).

The media simply cannot abide a black man with a broad base of Republican support. I honestly believe that their minds are so steeped in their fantasy view of the world that they can’t wrap their minds around this. This is a plus for him; his story of challenge-to-success is both authentic and inspiring. There was great celebration around Obama’s election, which proved that racism was over; a week later, we started with the stories about how he was in danger because these racists wouldn’t accept a black president. There is no appeasing these race-accusers; refuting their claims via our actions is the only thing that will may silence them.

2. He’s successful

This blows up the media narrative as well. He isn’t a low-to-medium-performing “diversity” hire (hired solely for his skin color), he has used his own education and work ethic to rise to the top. Through his two turnaround-CEO roles and his leadership of the National Restaurant Association, he has shown that you can get tangible results if you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and do some hard work. While our current president was fomenting and organizing rage against the establishment (you do know what a “community organizer” does, right?), Herman Cain was working hard, making his businesses profitable, and stimulating both the national economy and the personal economies of his company’s employees.

We should have known what we were in for, starting with the “present” votes in the Senate. Then, on to the ridiculously-named “Office of the President-Elect” (it’s called a “transition team”), the job-killing health insurance mandate, two stimulus plans (plus an attempted third in the name of jobs) - I’m hard-pressed to think of a single program that the current administration has attempted that has actually made things better. It’s time for a leader with proven results.

3. He’s electable

I think that the media doesn’t know what that word means. Bob Dole and John McCain? Electable. Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush? Unelectable. Yeah, that must be in some AP style guide somewhere, that mandates the opposite use of that word. Maybe it’s like with your kids, where they don’t seem to hear the words “not” and “don’t,” choosing instead to do whatever it is you just prohibited.

This narrative on electability is just laughable. The media cannot see through their bias to understand what the average American actually wants. They want jobs. They want to be successful. They want to see their neighbors successful. They want to be able to make decisions for their family without the interference of a heavy-handed government. This is exactly what Herman Cain brings to the table, and stands in stark contrast to the current administration.

So - if you’re expecting the “news” to inform you on Herman Cain, you’re going to be waiting a while. If you think I’m off-base, research him and see for yourself. If you agree that the above sounds good, let’s get together and work to make sure that Cain’s success is so huge that even MSNBC can’t ignore it!

UPDATE: Today’s Wall Street Journal has an article called “Taking Cain Seriously.” It summarizes Cain’s qualifications quite nicely.

2010 Year in Review - The Ridiculous

January 11, 2011   6:00 pm

2010 was quite a year. To wrap it up, I’m bringing back a mostly annual tradition here of the three-post “Year in Review - The Good, the Bad, and the Ridiculous.” Per tradition, the posts are published in reverse, so when they’re all posted, the good is on top. With no further ado, the ridiculous…

The BP Oil Spill

While this, on its own merits, would have landed on the bad list, the incompetence surrounding the spill launched it to the top of the list. On the front side, BP’s pencil-whipped audits and ignoring of safety warnings is deplorable; those controls are there because they are necessary, and I’m sure that shutting off that particular well until it was fixed would have been much cheaper than clean-up from the spill was. On the back end, the US government’s response was horrible. The failure to quickly approve waivers for foreign ships and exhaust regulations, and the failure to accept help from other countries in containing the spill while it was small, was eerily similar to the failures surrounding Hurricane Katrina. These failures led to the effects of the spill being far greater than they need to be.

While the Gulf does seem to be recovering more quickly than expected, there will be pockets of oil and a poorer overall quality of water in the Gulf of Mexico for years. The knee-jerk reaction of stopping all off-shore drilling compounds the problem. A safety down-time to recheck all the rigs is in order, but once the rigs are found to be safe, there is no reason that they should sit idle. This also illustrates the ridiculousness of prohibiting drilling on land; how much easier would this well have been to seal up if it was in land? But, to placate tree-huggers and NIMBYs, we’re drilling through a mile of water to get oil.

What solidifies this ridiculousness is that we seemingly have learned nothing from these lessons. Time will tell, and I won’t feel any joy and bringing this back up, but I have a feeling we’ll be revisiting stories similar to this one if things don’t change.

United States v. Arizona

One of the basic rights recognized by our legal system is the right to self defense. Many things that would be otherwise illegal are justified when they are done in self defense. The state of Arizona is experiencing an influx of illegal aliens streaming across its southern border, and people who live in southern Arizona are encountering increasing violence from these illegals. While the Federal government has laws on the books, the current administration (and the one before it) seemed to be more interested in turning this group of illegal aliens into voters than enforcing the law. So, Arizona passes laws similar to the ones the Federal government has. Simple self-defense, borne of necessity due to inaction by the Federal government in the face of mounting threats.

How does the US government respond? With loud denunciation, even threats of lawsuits against Arizona if they enforce these new laws. They are joined by the media, who painted heart-wrenching pictures of illegals who were deciding to move because of the new laws. (To which I say, “Good!” I read one where the illegal was going to Colorado, and I thought, “Well, that’s the wrong direction.”) The law makes the state less hospitable to those who shouldn’t be there in the first place; just as the laws passed in Oklahoma a few years back, this is a good thing.

How much better shape would Mexico be in if they had another 30 million workers there, stimulating its economy? How much better would employment opportunities be here if there were 30 million fewer potential employees, many of whom skirt labor laws? This is win-win! Each nationality lives and works in their own country, and we visit each others’ countries on vacation. It works well for Canada - why wouldn’t it work with Mexico?

The Spiraling Inanity of Reality TV

The Real World started it, Survivor perfected it, and many, many other have followed it. I don’t know that 2010 was the year when this “jumped the shark,” but it certainly continued down the trail. It appears that script writing is becoming a lost art, except on cable channels, where the shows aren’t subject to the restrictions of over-the-air TV; basic cable can now be categorized as either sports, news, reruns, niche networks, and train wrecks. A&E has gone from Biography to Billy the Exterminator; History has gone from actual history to current-day shows that may be tangentially-related to history. This probably explains why I’ve been watching less and less TV that isn’t sports or news.

(One notable exception to this are the sitcoms on ABC; this is likely why they are so successful.)

Finally, a ridiculous quote to finish it off, from now-former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi - “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”

Must-See TV

April 24, 2008   8:19 pm

This Sunday, April 27th, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition will be featuring the Martinez family from Albuquerque, New Mexico. This is the build that we saw happening, and the genesis for the idea of the Not So Extreme Makeover: Community Edition (NSX) that we took part in last month. Gerald Martinez is the pastor at Joshua’s Vineyard, an outreach church in one of the least-desired areas of Albuquerque. Through NSX, we became acquainted with him, and, while I can’t vouch for the other families that have received these, I can say that he is very deserving of the home he received. He has been working in that area for years, and when he wasn’t ministering to the people, he was trying to figure out how to get others in the community involved and engaged. This did it - it was truly an answer to prayer unfolding before our eyes.

On a personal note, our family was lining the street as Ty and Gerald walked around the corner to see another building they had built. They were talking, but who knows what will stay in or be left on the cutting room floor. We were standing just before the people in blue shirts - I can’t remember what I’m wearing, but I do know I was wearing Jameson on my head. Michelle was wearing a green shirt, and was right behind me. Our other two boys were standing in front of me. Who knows - you may see us if you watch closely!

Another exciting turn is that, according to popular local rumors, ABC has requested footage from NSX, so they may be showing some people who participated in that as well.

It will come on early this week - 6pm EDT/PDT, 7pm CDT/MDT - and it’ll run for two hours. Be sure to catch it!

2007 Year in Review - The Ridiculous

January 2, 2008   7:39 am

Continuing the tradition started last year, I’m writing a three-part series “2007 Year in Review: The Good, the Bad, and the Ridiculous.” And, as I did last year, I’ll post them in reverse order so they’re in the right order when they’re done. Without further ado…

Global Glow-Bull Warming

During 2007, the global warming movement was exposed for the political, not scientific, issue that it is. As with any movement which sees its power diminished, its adherents ramped up their rhetoric; and, in many ways, the movement has become a parody of itself. In April, Sheryl Crow suggested limiting how much toilet paper we use at each sitting, and suggested we wear “dining sleeves” - devices on which we can wipe our mouths, then remove them and replace them with a clean one. (I’m not sure if the extra water for that laundry offsets the lack of a paper napkin - and wouldn’t cloth napkins do the same thing?)

Carbon offsets were also shown to be next to useless. Carbon offsets, for the uninitiated, are fees one pays to a company which claims to do something “environmentally friendly” to offset one’s carbon emissions. (If that sounds familiar, it should - I believe this technique was pioneered by the Roman Catholic church under the name “indulgences.” Can’t stop sinning? Just get forgiveness beforehand!) A group of three environmentally-conscious people (not right-wing fanatics) created a site called CheatNeutral. It aspires to create a network of fidelity to offset those who cheat on their significant others. It illustrates the point beautifully - ten faithful people mean nothing if you’re the one being cheated on.

In October, Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on global warming, including his film An Inconvenient Truth. Inconveniently, though, many of the claims made in his film have been debunked. Also, a site called Surface Stations shows some of these temperature monitoring stations - these are the stations whose readings have been used to claim that temperatures are increasing. However, many stations are by air conditioning exhausts and other heat-producing structures. Finally, in December, at a UN conference in Bali on global warming, the man leading the negotiations broke down and cried. It must be rough to see all that power slipping away.

Never-Ending Political Cycle

I won’t talk much about this, because I’m pretty much tired of it just when it becomes time for it to actually happen. Do we really need a 2-year period of time to pick our next President?

Celebrity Culture

This could probably be a ridiculous item every year, but this year seemed especially ridiculous. Earlier in the year, after Anna Nicole Smith passed away, a circus erupted over the paternity of her young daughter. I don’t even know where to start - if every one who claimed that they were the father had a relationship with her that would result in a child in the timeframe where it would be believable… Sheesh.

Train wrecks all over - Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears… Even Britney’s sister got into the fray. The biggest problem I have with all this is the amount of press they get, distracting people from other important issues. But, I don’t know whether to be more exasperated with the media for putting out the information, or the people who give it such good ratings that they keep pumping it out.


That’s enough ridiculousness for one year - up next, the bad…

Boo! for Law and Order

January 14, 2005   3:15 am

I am just sick up to the top of my neck with prime time programming’s incessant infatuation with homosexuality. The latest egregious display was at the end of last night’s Law and Order, where Serena, the Assistant D. A. played by Elizabeth Rohm, was fired. Throughout the four years she’s been on the show, we’ve really seen nothing of her family. After being told to pack her things, she replies, “Is this because I’m a lesbian?” Now granted, the writers hadn’t developed her character out enough for anyone to know whether this was true or not, but why bring it into the last episode? It wasn’t even a very good scene - it seemed unnatural for Ms. Rohm (and I have no idea if she actually is gay or not - doesn’t really matter to me).

Now, in re-runs, it won’t be consuming me - I really have no obsession over knowing someone’s (or even a fictional character’s) sexual proclivities. But, the principle of it left me with a bad taste in my mouth, and this “ambush homosexuality” will tint my view of her character when I see re-runs on A&E or TNT. (I’m also a little disappointed that Fred Thompson was part of that scene, but that’s just something I’ll have to get over, I suppose…) I watch ER too, and they have a required gay character - but at least they’ve developed the character; and, whether I agree with the statements the character made or not, it wasn’t something just thrown up in the audience’s face at the last minute.

I sure hope that future “farewells” for folks have a bit more substance, and less statement-making…

AFA Gets It Wrong

November 17, 2004   1:25 am

Offensive language and topics are a concern for many folks, myself included. The American Family Association has a history of fighting to maintain standards of decency in print and over the airwaves. However, their recent decision to protest ABC’s airing, in its original format, the film Saving Private Ryan as a tribute for Veteran’s Day, I believe, misses the point.

ABC did not “sneak” that onto the airwaves - they warned their affiliates in advance, and some chose not to carry the network’s programming that evening. When the movie came back from commercials, there was a warning each time that the program contained strong violence and language. It was rated “TV-MA (LV)” which indicated that it was not suitable for children (and so that V-chip programmed TVs would not let the program through). And, this was not the first time ABC has aired that movie it its original uncut format - I know it has aired at least twice before (usually surrounding Memorial Day), and I believe the first time, it was aired commercial-free. Why this showing seems to have generated such controversy, I’m not quite sure.

I would venture to say that the men that this film portrays are not the ones offended. True, the film has coarse language, but so did many of the folks in the Greatest Generation. And, while the language in the film was quite strong, I can’t remember a single instance that was sexually oriented. This is also not the first time a network has aired an “uncensored” program - I remember when I was growing up, CBS aired the program “Scared Straight”, which was filled with rather strong language.

The AFA usually does some great work, but in this case, they’re missing the point. More than that, rather than allowing ABC’s honoring of our veterans to receive the focus, they are going to get the focus instead, and most of it is going to be something along the lines of “These Christians are at it again, trying to tell us what to do.” It’s always wise, in most things, to “pick your battles” - only choose the ones that matter, and I don’t think that this was a wise choice, especially given the fact that we have folks making similar sacrifices today.