Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Herman Cain's enigmatic ad/comedy extravaganza!!

I don't have anything too serious to share with this post but I have to comment on Herman Cain's ad which has become an almost viral sensation. I was trying to explain it to someone recently, and I found it difficult to speak through my laughter. Here it is:


Okay, so did the campaign just suddenly decide "we need an ad, time to break out our secret weapon: Mark Block!"? And the smoking at the end. So perplexing. Is it supposed to be the smoking of the desperate down on their luck, lower class American? A symbol of America's need for a smoke break? Is it supposed to make Mark Block look somehow cooler? Is it a "screw you" to all those liberals and their anti-smoking laws? No campaign ad will top this for pure, almost avant garde, weirdness.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Obama and Steve Jobs: the significance of their meeting


    Recently people in the media have been poking fun at the Occupy Wall Street protesters for using iPhones and other products that are produced by corporate America. The implication being that they are hypocrites for protesting corporations while using their products for their own betterment. An example of this can be found in the picture below:

This of course ignores the real target of the protests, and the fact that most Americans can point to very few beneficial things that the average prop trading desk for a Wall Street firm does but they can hold an iPhone in their hands and find millions of uses for it. Which brings us to Steve Jobs.

   In excerpts from an upcoming biography of  Mr. Jobs there is a story of a meeting between President Obama and Mr. Jobs in which Jobs told Obama that he could be a one termer. You can read a little about it here.

   While there are some things Jobs said that I disagree with, like his scapegoating of teacher's unions for the failures of our country's education system, when he moves to the topic of business I'm all ears. Jobs said that regulations in our country had made it harder for companies to build factories in the U.S. This is something I'm accustomed to hearing from whatever generic Koch brothers mouthpiece you hear on FOX News, but coming from a Buddhist, acid dropping, lefty like Jobs it carries a little more weight with me.

  Political views aside, Jobs recognized that Obama wasn't doing a great job in aiding the growth of the economy. And he didn't parrot a call for more government intervention in the economy, he called for the opposite. If Jobs had made these statements public it could have been an "only Nixon can go to China" moment for a lot of liberal Apple loving citizens in our country (who, speaking of China, probably don't give much thought to the fact that their iPhones are made there). One can only hope that the release of this biography brings more attention to the business views of a man whose company has done so much to advance our country for the better.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Breitbart is no Taibbi.

  I just read this story from Andrew Breitbart's Big Journalism about the alleged role of the "mainstream media" in working with the Wall Street protesters.

  I have to say that the concept of the piece is pretty flimsy. Dylan Ratigan doesn't have near enough of a following to influence hardly anyone. Matt Taibbi and Glenn Greenwald aren't super mainstream either. Definitely not any more mainstream than Breitbart himself.

   My biggest gripe is the way Matt Taibbi is portrayed as being some sort of scheming journalist trying to influence the movement, even getting a mention on the Rush Limbaugh show. Here are two of his responses, here, and here. Taibbi is a journalist, but he's still opinionated.

   I fail to see a big difference between him giving suggestions to OWS protesters (if he was doing this) and Breitbart's speaking at numberous conservative/Tea Party gatherings. As it is, nothing that I've seen shows me that he is personally trying to relay anything to the OWS people that he hasn't written in his articles.

  The concept of Breitbart's website going after Matt Taibbi is hilarious. Breitbart fashions himself a "journalist" but he's really just a spastic kid who takes (often dubious) information from other people and gathers it together. Breitbart would be lucky if he had a person with even a drop of Taibbi's talent working for him.

UPDATE: Another article from Big Journalism does actually have some info on Dylan Ratigan possibly giving guidance David DeGraw who was actually going to be interviewed by Ratigan's fellow NBC employee  Brian Williams. That would cross a line in my mind, especially since they work for the same news network with Ratigan as more of an editorialist and Williams as a straight newsman. Still, I see no concrete info that Taibbi is nearly as involved as Ratigan. Even if he is, I don't have a problem with him trying to get his ideas out to people who could make a difference. If there were more conservatives and liberals raking up the same muck as him then this would probably be a better country.