Thursday, September 25, 2008

An Absolute Gift Part Two

Cartoons especially for Monty Python fans here and here. (Thanks Gazelle!)

This website is just hilarious.

Palin Pick Puts Many Women on the Verge

By JOSH GERSTEIN, Staff Reporter of the NY Sun
September 19, 2008

Senator McCain's selection of Governor Palin of Alaska as his running mate, which was hailed in some quarters and met with skepticism in others, is sparking intense reactions from some New Yorkers, who report being driven to fits of rage and even all-consuming panic.

"All of my women friends, a week ago Monday, were on the verge of throwing themselves out windows," an author and political activist, Nancy Kricorian of Manhattan, said yesterday. "People were flipping out. ... Every woman I know was in high hysteria over this. Everyone was just beside themselves with terror that this woman could be our president — our potential next president."

Ms. Kricorian allowed that she was among those driven to distraction, upon occasion, by Mrs. Palin's nomination. "My Facebook status last Monday was, 'Nancy is freaking out about Sarah Palin yet again,'" the writer said.

A posting on a New York-based Web site for women,, spoke of unbridled anger. "What I feel for her privately could be described as violent, nay, murderous, rage," an associate editor at Jezebel, Jessica Grose, wrote just after the Republican convention wrapped up. "When Palin spoke on Wednesday night, my head almost exploded from the incandescent anger boiling in my skull."

Ms. Grose was not alone. More than 700 comments poured in, many from women who said they were experiencing a visceral hostility to Mrs. Palin that they were struggling to explain.

"When I see people crowing about her 'acceptable' speech last Wednesday ... I literally want to vomit with rage," a comment from Anibundel said.

"I am shocked by the depths of my hatred for this woman," another commenter, CJWeimar, wrote.

"It is impossible for me not to read about her in the newspaper in the subway every morning on my way to work and not come into the office angry and wanting to kick things," a commenter using the name ChampagneofBeers wrote. "My boxing class definitely helps."

Even some prominent figures admitted to being overcome by anti-Palin feelings. "I am having Sarah Palin nightmares," an acclaimed playwright and writer, Eve Ensler, wrote on the Huffington Post. She said she was disturbed by the chants about oil and gas drilling during Mrs. Palin's speech to the Republican convention. "I think of rape. I think of destruction. I think of domination," Ms. Ensler wrote.

Experts and the women themselves offered differing explanations for the extreme reactions.

"I think a lot of women felt insulted by the idea you could just take any woman," a longtime editor of women's magazines, Bonnie Fuller, told The New York Sun. "A lot of women feel it was a very cynical decision. ... What got some women's backs up was the idea she didn't earn her stripes. It's been so hard for so many women to get ahead both in business and in the political worlds and she just seemingly slips in."

Ms. Fuller also said she and other women were troubled by Mrs. Palin's decision to have her daughter, Bristol, 17, on stage at the Republican convention, despite news reports about her pregnancy. "She was putting tremendous pressure on her 17-year-old daughter by putting her front and center at a time that has got to be very traumatic," the editor said.

Ms. Kricorian said some of the agitation was because women felt Mr. McCain was pulling off a political trick, using the novelty of selecting a woman to hide her conservative social and religious views. "The women thing is a ruse. ... She was chosen because of the evangelical thing," the writer said. "It's weirdly stealthy that she's not talking about it."

Ms. Grose posited that some of the anger was because Mrs. Palin, a former beauty pageant winner, resembled a high school homecoming queen. "She has always embodied that perfectly pleasing female archetype, playing by the boys' game with her big guns and moose murdering, and that she keeps being rewarded for it," Ms. Grose wrote.

A psychiatrist and conservative blogger, Patricia Santy, said the strong emotional reactions are driven by Mrs. Palin's differing with the left-leaning political agenda of many feminists. "Their entire image of themselves is based on the fact that they are paving the way for women. What do they see? Women getting ahead, women being empowered who don't agree with them," Dr. Santy said.

A Manhattan psychoanalyst, Michael Adams, said the surprise entry of Mrs. Palin on the national stage and the ensuing concern that the Democratic presidential nominee, Senator Obama of Illinois, was in danger of losing, explains the intensity of some people's reactions. "It's not just anger. It's high anxiety ... maybe her 15 minutes of fame will last just long enough for her to get elected," Dr. Adams said. "Any time somebody's ego is faced with an unknown surprise, there's a subconscious effect in a number of different ways. It takes a little while to process this stuff."

A psychiatrist who wrote a book remotely psychoanalyzing President Bush, Justin Frank, said some women felt Mr. McCain was mocking them by naming an unqualified but attractive woman to the ticket. "You're put in the position of attacking her and going against your own gender. ... What makes it even worse is so many people are actually taken with her," Dr. Frank said. "It makes you speechless, almost apoplectic, if you're a feminist."

In recent days, some of those deeply troubled at Mrs. Palin's selection have been circulating an e-mail message urging women to give to Planned Parenthood in the Alaska governor's name, sending a thank-you card to the McCain campaign.

On the Jezebel site, a few voices did express concern about the tone of the discussion.

"I disagree 100%," Eaml7 wrote. "I think your message is counter-productive and ridiculous. Hatred for Palin should be focused on her policies and, at most, her focus on herself as 'average' somehow qualifying her for national office. ... I know I am in the minority, but I believe the only feminist way to attack Palin is on her credentials, as I would any other (male) politician."

If the selection of Mrs. Palin was a gambit aimed at winning over women, its novelty seems to be wearing off. In a CBS News/New York Times poll released this week, Mr. Obama led Mr. McCain among white women, 47% to 45%. Just after the Republican convention and Mrs. Palin's speech there, Mr. McCain jumped to 53% support in that demographic, while Mr. Obama slumped to 34%.

Ms. Kricorian, who is a coordinator for the anti-war group CodePink, but stressed that she was not speaking for the group, said the level of anxiety among her friends is beginning to subside. "Since her poll numbers went down, people have calmed down," the activist said.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Richard Wright

Richard Wright, keyboardist for Pink Floyd, passed away Monday September 15th at the age of 65.
“In my view, all the greatest Pink Floyd moments are the ones where he is in full flow. No-one can replace Richard Wright - he was my musical partner and my friend.”- David Gilmour.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Answer

(Left) This is a Brittany spaniel.
(Right) These are broccoli spears. Get it? Okay, let's move on ....

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

One Year Ago

One year ago today, I posted this:

"Well, hold everything! This blog got reviewed by, and here's what Jean Valjean said:

'Frogtown is the unique title given to the Blog written by David Kirk. No drama. No exploitation, no antics, and no Britney Spears pictures... just honest stories shared by an honest man. I highly recommend you stop by, read, and comment.'"

Now, the review is real, but there's a very funny joke here that no one got. You have one more day to figure it out....Ready, set, go!

Friday, September 12, 2008

These Folks Are An Absolute Gift ...

... that keeps on giving!

How Obama blew it, by Kirsten Powers of the NY Post

YESTERDAY'S Gallup poll had John McCain ahead of Barack Obama by an astonishing 10 points among likely voters. A Washington Post poll had that lead at only two points, but clearly showed a McCain surge - especially among women.

This wasn't what Democrats were expecting when they left Denver - yet they have nobody to blame but themselves. Obama's toughest challenge has always been to connect with working-class swing voters. So attacking the poster child for small-town values, Sarah Palin, was a bad strategy.

No, Obama didn't engage in the mass sneering at Palin - but he did fall into the trap of disrespecting her. When McCain chose her, the Obama campaign's first response was to ridicule the size of her town. Then the candidate himself began referring to her as a "former mayor" when she is in fact a sitting governor.

When she retaliated (justifiably) by mocking his stint as a organizer, the Obama camp was clearly rattled. Obama himself actually began arguing about the importance of community organizing. His supporters amplified this cry - claiming Palin's attack was a racist slur and passing around e-mails titled "Jesus was a community organizer, Pontius Pilate was a governor."

Meanwhile, the rest of the country was probably wondering what being a community organizer has to do with being president. Lured by the McCain camp, Obama supporters engaged in an argument about who had more overall experience - the top of the Democratic ticket or the bottom of the GOP ticket. This diminished Obama.

Meanwhile, the media lit up in all their cultural-elite splendor. Alaska? they sneered. It has the population of Las Vegas! Funny how the coastal elite only sneers at red states with small populations. Howard Dean hailed from a blue state with almost the same population as Alaska and was a national phenomenon and front-runner for the presidency. Joe Biden's Delaware has a similarly small population - but no mocking was forthcoming there.

Evangelicals will never vote for a woman who works! they declared. This from people who've likely never met an evangelical in their lives. They could barely contain themselves when they found out Gov. Palin's daughter was pregnant, so sure were they that evangelicals would hang her from the highest tree. When evangelical leaders expressed support, there was a palpable disappointment that Palin or her daughter wasn't branded with a scarlet letter.

They claimed that the Palin announcement was some desperate pick that came out of nowhere. Had they been doing their jobs, or even perusing The Weekly Standard or right-wing blogs, they'd have known that she was on the list. Since they didn't know anything about her, they started making things up. Anything that fit the caricature of a right-wing hypocrite was thrown up with, seemingly, no fact-checking.

They said she opposes contraception, when she said in a campaign debate that she is pro-contraception. They said she cut funding for pregnant teens, when she provided a massive funding hike. They accused her of cutting funding for mentally disabled children, when she raised it 175 percent over the former administration. She was said to have been a member of the wacky Alaska Independence Party; The New York Times had to run a retraction.

Like Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Palin has been deemed one of the GOP's rising stars. Since it's national reporters job to cover American politics, their ignorance of about her is distressing. Most Americans think that the media are cheerleading for Obama, so they'll punish him for the reporters' and editors' sins.

So now he is weighted down with more baggage as he works to convince an important voting bloc that he and his party don't hold them in contempt.

The clock is ticking.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Three Political Funnies

1.  Chanj I can beleeve in.

2.  A community organizer?
(From an anti-Palin site called Impalin.
You can purchase T-shirts, buttons and bumper stickers with this message here.)

3.  The liberal philosophy reaches the woods.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I Like Sarah Palin

I think John McCain made a great choice when he picked Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate.  I like her for several reasons.  Here's her take on oil exploration:

And for those of you who didn't get to watch the Democratic National Convention last week, I can sum up what they said in two sentences:

1.  John McCain and Emperor Palpatine may be the same person, and

2.  Barack Obama was probably born in a manger.  More later...
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