Friday, March 30, 2012

ESPN Spikes "Rise Up and Register" NASCAR Ad Campaign

NASCAR race car driver Blake Koch wanted to promote a campaign to educate fans on the importance of participating in U.S. elections. Koch teamed up with the “Rise Up and Register” campaign, but it seems that ESPN did rejected the ad supposedly due to the religious and partisan overtones.

See the cancelled ad for yourself:

It is curious that ABC/Disney was so concerned about controversial overtones of the ad, as there were neither allusions to religion or Republicans.  The worst one could say about it is that it depicted an American flag.  Perhaps it would have been permitted if it showed the Obama Stars and Stripes.

Their mission statement notes “ Rise Up and Register firmly believes that increased electoral participation will yield tremendous benefit to our great nation at a time when our problems seem to mount daily.”

One wonders what was the real rationale for not allowing Rise Up and Register’s advertisement of Koch’s car 41 campaign to be aired.  Are networks purporting to be prissy about allowing advertisements of controversial commercials?

READ MORE at the DCBarroco website

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Consquences of Court-Side Cheerleeding at SCOTUS

As the Obamacare cases are now being deliberated by the Supreme Court of the United States, it is worth considering judicial ethics and proper public policy.

Associate Justice Elena Kagan refused to recuse herself from hearing the Obamacare cases, even though she was President Obama's first Solicitor General and her office formulated Obama Administration’s legal defense of the legislation. During her confirmation hearings before the Judiciary Committee, then Solicitor General Kagan swore that she abide by federal recusal standards (28 USC 455(b)(3)) which requires recusal when  a person has “served in governmental employment and in such capacity participated as counsel, adviser, or material witness concerning the proceeding or expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the particular case or controversy.” ...

Since the Supreme Court refused to consider the merits of Kagan recusing herself from the Obamacare, the only Constitutional remedy is impeachment. But impeachment by the U.S. Senate is about as rare as rocking horse’s manure.  There might have been a campaign in the late 1950s and the 1960s to impeach Chief Justice Earl Warren, but the Senate has never conducted a trial of a Supreme Court Justice.  So it is inconceivable that trying to impeach Kagan for bad conduct would be successful. What is warranted is taking Constitutional duties seriously...
READ MORE at the DCBarroco website

This Is What Democracy (Really) Looks Like

“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.  Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote.”      (attributed to) Ben Franklin

While attributions to Franklin may not quite be on the money since the term lunch did not enter into common parlance until the 1820s, the meat of this food for thought is still quite fulfilling.   It aptly captures the tyranny of the majority and class warfare epitomized by the ineptocracy currently in power.  To borrow a phrase from the unmasked Occupy Movement "This is what democracy looks like".

The coda of this faux Franklin phrase alludes to the Second Amendment, which protects Americans from tyranny.  It is important to recognize why the Second and the Fourth Amendments were included in the Bill of Rights.  The British tried to enforce burdensome laws on their British American colonies without any input by the citizenry.  When Americans balked at things like the Stamp Act and the Tea Act (1773), the powers that be doubled down on their policies by sending in massive force and forcing the colonists to quarter the Red Coats. Taxation without Representation is more than a slogan that DC Statehood activists have ironically re-appropriated.   The right to keep and bear arms was not about helping hunting but as natural rights which  are backstops against anarchy and organized tyranny to protect property rights.

Mark Twain on Censorship

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Morpheus on Adversity

Perhaps Morpheus may join SCOTUS in their deliberations, after all he is dressed for the part as a Man in Black.

Which pill is the right one for U.S.?


Monday, March 26, 2012

Considering "The Road We've Traveled"

Academy Award winner David Guggenheim directed an agiprop film for the Obama 2012 re-election campaign titled “The Road We’ve Traveled”.  The 17 minute documentary is narrated by Tom Hanks.

Obviously a sponsored campaign film will portray as sunny of a perspective on the President’s record as possible. But Guggenheim was unable to wrap his mind around the notion that Mr. Obama made any mistakes during his reign in office. Based upon Mr. Obama’s consistent polling in the low to mid 40s percent, many Americans are scrutinizing “The Road We’ve Traveled”.
Glenn Beck produced a slick video answer which wonders where the Obama Administration has really taken us.

For those who do not want to deal with the facts come November, maybe they will appreciate the Talking Heads “We’re On the Road to No-Where”.

Maybe it’s a bit nihilistic, but it still reaches the same destination.

Samuel Adams on Liberty

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Obama's West Wing Not "Punching Above Its Weight"

Recently,  I had a short  yet civil conversation with an acquaintance from the other side of the aisle.  When the topic of foreign policy arose, I noted the many mis-steps that the Obama Administration has make with the United Kingdom and how we needed to renew the “special relationship” with our principle ally.  My liberal interlocutor dismissed the many gift gaffes and insisted that the world holds President Obama in great esteem.

The Fox News Channel showed the following montage of ham handed handling of foreign dignitaries at the White House, but this evidence would be dismissed by Obamatons because it was a right wing news source.  However, here is the original Danish feature.

Universally well respected-- hardly.  The sarcasm emanating from this reporter about the repetition that all nations are “one of our strongest allies” and “punching above its weight” is palpable.

READ MORE at the DCBarroco website

Blurry Focus for Traffic Cameras

Several developing stories are capturing the real picture about the use of traffic cameras by state and local governments.

New Orleans will start enforcing traffic camera violations on their current biggest scofflaws, city employees driving municipally owned vehicles. But this policy won't take effect until wiping the slate clean first.

Maryland legislators want to give blanket exemptions to traffic camera tickets for all emergency and law enforcement vehicles, whether or not they are responding to an emergency. Maryland lawmakers have also effectively admitted that traffic cameras are intended for revenue generation not public safety.

If that is not enough, Maryland legislators are poised to allow private companies, not law enforcement officials, to officially certify traffic camera violations.

It seems like the lines between public and private are becoming blurred and the bias also now profit as opposed to public safety.

READ MORE at the DCBarroco website

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Anthematic Borat Boo-boo

Maria Dmitrienko of Kazhakstan was being honored for her first place finish in for the Amir of Kuwait International Shooting Grand Prix competition in Kuwait. But instead of hearing her national anthem as he received her gold medal, the organizers played the parody national anthem of Kazakhstan from the Sacha Baron Cohen film Borat (1986).

Ms. Dmitrienko handled herself with aplomb as wrong song was played and even smiled a bit towards the end as she realized what happened. This shows considerable poise as the lyrics of Borat’s Kazakh anthem is full of obscenities and insults.

While the anthem sounds triumphant as Sacha Baron Cohen sing the tune, the lyrics from the mockumentary Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan are a little less glorious than most national anthems.

Kazakhstan greatest country in the world.
All other countries are run by little girls.
Kazakhstan number one exporter of potassium.
Other countries have inferior potassium.

Kazakhstan home of Tinshein swimming pool.
It’s length thirty meter and width six meter.
Filtration system a marvel to behold.
It remove 80 percent of human solid waste.

Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan you very nice place.
From Plains of Tarashek to Norther fence of Jewtown.
Kazakhstan friend of all except Uzbekistan.
They very nosey people with bone in their brain.

Kazakhstan industry best in the world.
We incented toffee and trouser belt.
Kazakhstan’s prostitutes cleanest in the region.
Except of course Turkmenistan’s

Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan you very nice place.
From Plains of Tarashek to Norther fence of Jewtown.
Come grasp the might phenis of our leader.
From junction with the testes to tip of its face!
It is a good thing for organizers that the competition had concluded and Dmitrikino was so ameniable. Kazhak officials demanded that the ceremony should be rerun.

But before one concludes that the mistake was with someone with a sick sense of humor, it is important to note that Borat was banned in Kuwait as well as Kazakhstan. In addition, the organizers of the Amir of Kuwait’s Grand Prix also played the wrong song for the Serbian National Anthem.

May the summer Olympics in London be better organized or there could be a real international incident. And Ms. Dmetrienko deserves combat medals for good sportsmanship.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Is Driving America Just a Sign of Crony Capitalism?

The Chrysler Corporation has engaged in a new marketing campaign which catches the eye.  During their TV ads, there is a chyron on the upper right hand part of the screen which shows a logo with their new tag line “Driving America”.  This catchy slogan reinforces the nation’s third largest automotive manufacturer while diminishing the fact that the Obama auto bailout facilitated Fiat’s controlling interest in the  Chrysler Corporation.

What is really remarkable, however, is the insignia for the “Driving America” campaign.  It looks like a kissing cousin of the Obama 2008 Campaign logo.  Was this just coincidence or was it coerced?  This is the problem with crony capitalism.  When money starts streaming from to government to corporations, there is the uncomfortable question about political payback.  Moreover, it gives the government leverage on corporations to offer products that are political pet projects that are turkeys in the marketplace, like the Chevy Volt.

Read More  at the DCBarroco website

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Current Kulturkampf Against Christitianity

Obama's Vacation from Common Sense

Recently, it was reported that President Obama’s daughter Malia took a Spring break vacation to Oaxaca, Mexico. Although the Lamestream Media dutifully ignored the news item, but the White House prevailed on the press to scrub the story.

Coverage of children in the White House can be somewhat tricky. Whenever possible, all politicians want to project a positive family image, as it humanizes them and the photo ops create a warm fuzzy emotional connection with some voters. But children are not all cute and cuddly as they grow up and this is compounded when living in the penumbra of the national spotlight.

Generally, the private lives of political families should be respected if they are ancillary to the political process. As long as individuals are not stepping out into the spotlight on their own, like Meghan McCain’s media strip tease during the 2008 campaign until today, they should not receive celebrity scrutiny per se. But that does not mean that the First Family is immune to criticism either.

READ MORE at the DCBarroco website

Celebrating the Vernal Equinox and JS Bach

 How fitting that Johann Sebastian Bach was born on the first day of spring (at least on the old style calendar). J.S. Bach was born in Eisenach, Saxe-Eisenach (Thurgia) in 1685. Johann was the eighth child born into a very musical family.

J.S. Bach was widely acclaimed as an accomplished organist during his lifetime...

Bach was also prolific in his parenthood. Bach fathered twenty children, four of which became famous as musicians. Despite assertions to the contrary, PDQ Bach is no relation...

READ MORE at the DCBarroco website

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Agonizing Ecclesial Reappraisals Between-the-Beltways

Two parishes in the Washington, DC Metro Area need to make agonizing reappraisals about their parishes.  Their struggles epitomize challenges of keeping the faith along with what church means during these turbulent times.

The historic Falls Church (Anglican) in Northern Virginia lost its six year battle with the Episcopal Church of the United States after it broke away from the denomination over the ordination of openly gay and incelebate bishops and the blessing of same sex unions. Now the large and vibrant Anglican faith community will lose rights to their church building, but not their congregation nor their steadfast faith.

In the Nation’s Capitol, St. Aolysius Catholic Church needs to choose how the congregation wants to reorganize as the Society of Jesus withdraws from leading the parish after 153 years. Both parishes have to discern what is essential to the practice of their faith, how their faith is best formed and what sacrifices must be endured to achieve that end.

  READ MORE at the DCBarroco website

Last Supper Art or Outrage?

The Diocese of Würburg, Germany will permanently display a portrayal of the Last Supper by Henning von Glerken in its Cathedral Museum. This contemporary homage to Da Vinci’s Last Supper depicts six women and two children among the dozen apostles. Three adults and all the children are completely naked and one figure has a bare torso. The place for the Savior is not shown, but when visitors sit on a bench, their face is projected on the wall in the place of the Christ.

 The director of the art museum, Fr. Jürgen Lenssen, defends the naked figures as being a correct expression of the “wounds of people”. Lenssen praised von Glerken’s triptych as it symbolizes different situations of life. According to Lenssen, “[T]he last supper is anywhere a celebration of life takes place.” News reports have spuriously claimed that von Glerken’s work received the full approval of Pope Benedict XVI, but if so, what was the Vatican thinking. Regardless of a papal indult, von Glerken’s opus does raise aesthetic and theological questions.

Is this artwork or obscenity? Should the Diocese of Würburg be displaying this work? Is the Last Supper anywhere that a “celebration of life” takes place? How does von Gleken’s Last Supper compare vis-à-vis Leondardo da Vinci’s masterpiece? What does von Gleken’s Last Supper mean to you?


Is an Alcohol Sobriety Meter T-Shirt So Offensive To Get One’s Irish Up?

 As millions around the world celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by having some mugs of good cheer along with their corn beef and cabbage, some disgruntled soul in America’s heartland is unhappy. John M. Dooley from Davenport, Iowa took umbrage to a t-shirt for St. Patrick’s Day that showed an alcohol detection meter that marked the Irish as being at the far end of the scale.

 Dooley was offended at the stereotype that the Irish are hard drinkers. His op-ed in the Quad City Times links this slight to the litany of outrages against the Irish throughout history. Dooley inveighed:
My first thought at seeing the shirt was of my immediate family and my ancestors. How could someone - I presume ignorant of the bitter story of the Irish being exiled from their homes and homeland, hungry and diseased - once again use a wicked, stunningly incorrect stereotype to make money?
In closing, Dooley recalled the motto of Irish Brigade of the Civil War–“Gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked.” Even though he wants political correctness and ethnic sensitivity to reign, it still sounds like he is willing to get his Irish up.

The owner of the pub selling the t-shirts diplomatically rejoined: "Every year the Circle Tap offers a St. Patrick's celebration in good faith, good fun and with a light heart. We invite everyone to join us for a responsible good time." Ironically, this hullaballoo gave the supposedly offensive t-shirt more publicity. Many Quad City Times readers who responded indicated that they were of Irish ancestry and thought that Dooley should lighten up. What do you think? h/t: Quad City Times h/t: American Thinker

Congressional Kabuki Show Returns with a Fluke-y Farce

Karl Marx argued that “History repeats itself, first as a tragedy then as a farce.”  This axiom came to mind when examining the recent Congressional testimony of Georgetown University Law Student and “reproductive rights activist” Sandra  Fluke.  It is remarkable how strikingly similar Fluke’s mien is to then Lieutenant John F. Kerry (he served in the Vietnam War, you know) when he testified before the Senate in April 1971.


 Aside from the aesthetics, both Kerry and Fluke allowed themselves to be used to advance their ideological causes. Kerry allowed himself to be used as the poster boy for the Winter Soldier hearings.  Fluke chose to be the cause célèbre for the Sebilius contraceptive mandate.  Kerry made explosive accusations about the Vietnam War to further his anti-war aim.

 While the Winter Soldier testimony jaundiced the nation on America's efforts in Indochina, his colleagues later successfully discredited his testimony through the Swift Boats for Truth campaign in 1984. Sandra Fluke made headlines when the Georgetown Law student and "Reproductive Justice" lobbyist was barred from testifying on a panel about religious liberty in regards to the HHS contraceptive mandate.

When Fluke finally testified before the House Democrat Steering Committee, she made some incredible accusations.

It did not take a generation to debunk Fluke's fantastic policy claims.

  READ MORE at the DCBarroco website

Woody Allen on Liberty

Is America Inherently Adverse to Autocracy?

As we celebrate George Washington’s birthday, it is worth considering a myth about the father of our country. It is said that after serving as the Supreme General of the Continental Army, George Washington turned down being king of America after winning the War of Independence...

 Based upon the news of the day, it is dubious if Americans still have an inherent aversion to autocracy. President Obama’s style of governing seems imperial as he seizes upon opportunities to be above the rule of law or the Constitution.


READ MORE at the DCBarroco website

On Civic Opposition to the Ten Commandments

Frederick Douglass on Perseverance

Ineptocracy Epitomized

In this topsy turvy world where rich progressive politicians desperate to retain  their own power have align themselves with the Occupy Movement.  In reaction some wise wag has coined a neologistic definition for our strange strain of governing:
Ineptocracy-  a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing and where members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscate wealth of the diminishing number of producers.
It's bad enough that those most capable of creating jobs are constantly fleeced by redistrubutionist rhetoric, fair minded public policy are having their reason taxed by these  fair share fallacies.  We do not need an ineptocracy lead us to a cacotopia from 1984 instead of the promised land.

Einstein on Leadership

Gandhi on Freedom

Ronald Reagan on Faith

DC Metro: More Fare Thee Well?

 P.J. O’Rourke once observed “Giving money and power to the government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teen-aged boys”. This demonstrated with the latest proposal of fare increases for the Washington Area Transportation Authority. The DC Metro Board has proposed another 5% fare increase to help alleviate budget shortfalls for the system. This comes on top of the $109 million fare increases from July 2010 that included the dreaded 20 cent surcharge for peak-of-the-peak.

Urban planners and green enthusiasts have long touted the virtues of having railroads and subways to ease congestion and lessen the "environmental footprint". Few of these modes of transport are profitable. The reality is that most rail systems will be publically operated boondoggles which enrich municipal union workers at the expense and convenience of the public.

  READ MORE at the  website  DCBarroco

Winston Churchill on Truth

Some Political Animals Are More Equal Than Others

 President Barack Obama is poised to make a recess appointment to name Richard Cordray as the director of the newly formed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. According to the Constitution, Executive Branch appointments must receive the advice and consent of the Senate, unless it in recess so the President can make a temporary recess appointment. In this case, the problem is that the Senate is technically still in session, albeit in a pro forma manner...

 In 1945, George Orwell wrote Animal Farm, an allegory about totalitarianism which famously posits “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal to others.” But the way the Obama Administration is governing, political animals between the beltways should brush up on progressive President Woodrow Wilson’s favorite novel Philip Dru Administrator: A Story of Tomorrow which makes dictator into a good word.

READ MORE at the DCBarroco website

Thomas Jefferson on Liberty

Gen. John Stark on Freedom

Talking Trash About DC's Green Police

Two years ago, Audi made a splash with its advertisement during the Super Bowl “The Green Police” which spoof’s Cheap Trick’s 1979 hit song “Dream Police” by fusing it lyrics and images of  overzealous Eco-Cops.


After the defeat of “Cap and Trade” legislation in the United States Senate and the revelations about scientists skewing global warming data in Climate-gate, the public could chuckle at this green cacotopia while considering the virtues of clean diesel cars. Unfortunately, Audio did not prepare a parody but a prognostication. In the District of Columbia, a Dupont Circle resident is being barraged with fines from DC’s Department of Public Works for not recycling.

READ MORE at my website   DCBarroco

Victor Hugo on Liberty

DC as the District of Calamity--It's a State of Mind

These are the surreal musings of a  political animal living between the beltways.  My favorite contact sport may be politics but by interests are not poll driven. I think outside of the box and beyond the next spin cycle. And I will caucus with a variety of special interest groups. 
Some consider the Nation’s Capital as “Fantasyland on the Potomac”. Other outsiders are “Fed Up” with the Federal City.  Personally, a better state of mind is thinking of D.C. as “the District of Calamity” (sic).
A tongue in cheek encapsulation of this political weltanschauung was made in the preface of P.J. O’Rourke’s book “Parliament of Whores: A Lone Humorist Attempts to Explain the Entire US Government”(1991)—God is a Republican and Santa Claus is a Democrat.
God is an elderly, or at any rate, a middle-aged male, a stern fellow, patriarchal rather than paternal and a great believer in rules and regulations.  He holds men strictly accountable for their actions. He has little apparent concern for the material well being of the dis-advantaged. He is politically connected, socially powerful and holds the mortgage on literally everything in the world.  God is difficult. God is unsentimental. It is very hard to get into God’s country club.
Santa Claus is another matter.  He’s cute. He’s non-threatening. He’s always cheerful. And he loves animals. He may know who’s been naughty and who’s been nice, but he never does anything about it. He gives everyone everything that they want without thought of a quid pro quo. He works hard for charities, and he’s famously generous for giving to the poor.
Santa Claus is preferable to God in every way but one: there is no such thing as Santa Claus.
Knowing the prevalence of Cocktail Party elected officials, I would qualify this quip by substituting the GOP with conservatives.