Thursday, March 19, 2009

Grumpy's Hobbie: Complaining About NPR

NPR's "not-an-Ombudsman but apologist" has a new post, defending what some listeners considered NPR's tad one sided coverage of story on Prop 8 in California. In addition to a long explanation that "maybe, kinda, well, ah, . . ." that the story might appear to some as one sided, there was some unintended revelatory information on how NPR does its reporting.

Apparently, the FOX NEWS idea of "balance" has been adopted by NPR, and they said Ken Tomlinson didn't leave an impression. Yours truly has an opinion on that and left two comments: Quel Surprise! Its some of my best snark interspersed with your minimum daily adult requirement of typos.

(Woman Holding a Balance by Jan Wermeer.)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day meets Official Month of the Pirate Month Pt. V

Happy St. Patrick's Days Y'all!

If you want to buy the T, here's the address:

St. Patrick's Day

One of my favorite history professors in college, a first generation Polish American Jew from New York (at Eastern Illinois University! Go figure?) Taught me that if you couldn't read history with empathy, there was no purpose to it. He taught us that we should read the history of Cherokee people, the Warsaw ghetto, slavery, Tibet, (Warning: Not a complete list) and weep; if we couldn’t, there was no point in learning history.

For me, to read the history of Ireland is to weep, and yet one of the most oppressed peoples in the English-speaking world, have given us some of its most beautiful, profound and valuable art. Irish immigrants to America where originally met with racism and bigotry, they were considered an ignorant, corrupt, diseased, uncivilized criminal community that was a threat to American culture.

I spent some time a few years ago teaching English as a second language here in Dallas to immigrants, of which 90% were from Mexico. According to the bigots on cable TV and the GOP, including one prominent Irish-American, these people were a threat to American culture because they are an ignorant, corrupt, diseased, uncivilized criminal community. The first American solider to die in Afghanistan? Latino. First American solider to die in Iraq? Latino. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

But it won't be an Irish celebration without a sad song, so here it is:

Happy St. Pat’s fellow immigrants, now where's me Guinness?

Monday, March 16, 2009

"Oh, Lord It's hard to be humble, . . ."

OK, yours truly's tip just got posted to Think Progress:

Here in Dallas, since the only local paper was W's "the Emperor" tailor, I have to put up with a lot of delusional organic fertilizer in the local paper about our former "Beautiful Leader" except that reality can intrude, for example even W's own foundation can't think of anything good to say about his Presidency.

As Michael Myer's character Ditter on SNL would say:

"I'm as happy as a little girl!"

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Official Month of the Pirate Month - Part IV

Now on a lighter side, submitted for your approval, three interpertaions of "What Do/Shall You Do With A Drunken Sailor?" (Youtube, way better than TV)

A traditional version:

a "nicer" version, sounds like it could be sung at my church:

a version for the kids out there:

Now, where's me grog?

NPR/Morning Edition - Pentagon PR Department?

Today on Morning Edition, a report really "chapped my hide" as they say here in Tejas, Mary Louise Kelly's report on Afghanistan was nothing but a series of Pentagon talking points, she didn't interview anyone outside the Pentagon, made no reference to the military's or Bush's last six years of failure, just an open mike for the Pentagon.

Here's my comment, which may get deleted by the moderator, we shall see, they've gotten testier about criticism of their reporting:

Wow, this story was one long series of interviews with military experts: Yes when it comes to understanding foreign cultures, political dynamics in other countries, geopolitical issue, and economic develop the experts you want to talk are the military? NPR seems to be still following the Bush/Cheney policy of isolating and treating as irrelevant the State Department (You know: the people with actual foreign policy expertise? (Last I checked the Pentagon’s job was to blow things up, not foreign policy.-G.D.)
Mary Louise Kelly seems to be nothing but an uncritical Pentagon stenographer, how do we know if any of these sources aren't part of the Pentagon's prior propaganda campaign that NPR has used in the past?

Why didn’t Ms. Kelly interview one of NPR’s reporters in Afghanistan? Or someone from the State Department? Or a foreign policy expert? Just askin’? How about calling former NPR reporter Sarah Chayes, who’s lived in Afghanistan for the past six years? Oh, sorry forgot appears she’s been blacklisted must be she wouldn’t stay on the FOX/Bush script.

Another uncritical open mike for the Pentagon; NPR learned anything the last six year?

If anyone would like a clearer and more actuate perspective on Afghanistan, without NPR's pro-Bush filer, here's an interview with Sarah Chayes on on PBS' "Bill Moyer's Journal". Ms. Chayes worked for NPR during the pre-Tomlinson days, when NPR had real journalist, not the FOX want-a-be it now has.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Official Month of the Pirate Month - Part III

Now wait a minute, now! It turns out that someone in Great Britain is trying to make "Grumpy" the new drunk. As reported by the BBC News :

"Drunken sailors" have been removed from the lyrics of a nursery rhyme in a government-funded books project.

But the Bookstart charity says the re-writing of What Shall We Do With the Drunken Sailor? has "absolutely nothing to do with political correctness".

The charity says that the shift from drunken sailor to "grumpy pirate" was to make the rhyme fit a pirate theme, rather than censorship.

Put him in the brig until he's sober," has also been lost in the new version.

This latest ideological spat over nursery rhymes was sparked by the re-writing of What Shall We Do With the Drunken Sailor.


This is the latest in a series of disputes over nursery rhymes.

There were complaints in 2006 about pre-school children attending two nurseries in Oxfordshire being taught "Baa Baa Rainbow Sheep".

Last year, a story based on the Three Little Pigs fairy tale was turned down by a government agency's awards panel as the subject matter could offend Muslims.

A digital book, re-telling the classic story, was rejected by judges who warned that "the use of pigs raises cultural issues".

However, a study in 2004 showed that nursery rhymes exposed children to far more violent incidents than an average evening watching television - including Humpty Dumpty's serious head injury.

This I will not stand for! I wish to protest, this is as a serious violation of the artistic integrity of this old song, grumpy is NOT the same thing as drunk. I should know, I have been both repeatedly. Wine with my blogging, if anything makes me less grumpy, also less coherent and grammatical.

Plus if they rewrite all the nursery rhymes: How will college history professor 's be able entertain bored student with the possible darker meanings of nursery rhymes. For example a sweet little lullaby Rock-a-bye Baby .

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Official Month of the Pirate Month - Part II

What's more awesome than pirates? (Yep, I watch way to much SCRUBS ) Well Legos, of course! When you combine the awesome power of Pirates and Legos, with sea shanties, you've got an "axis of awesome" so powerful, it almost overcomes the poor productions values of this video, or maybe not:

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

MARCH IS OFFICIAL PIRATE MONTH AT GRUMPY WORLD (may not include any actual pirates*)

Inspired by the great "Pirates of the Constitution" poster below, the Board of Directors of Grumpy Industries International, has formally officially decreed March as "Official Month of the Pirate Month". There were some objections from the younger employees about the floggings, but more importantly, that pirates "are soooo over" and that this was just the CEO's "lame attempt to look cool, even though he's, like, really old" but they were discounted. And yes, as a career white collar worker, Grumpy Demo does have the hands of a woman.

*(No apologies to the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: "Great artist steal, bad artists copy." -Honore de Balzac)

Constitution! We don need no stinkin' Constitution!

Thank God, the GOP is the party of "small government" - the party of small, authoritarian crony capitalistic, incompetent government.

Per today's Washington Post:

The number of major legal errors committed by Bush administration lawyers during the formulation of its early counterterrorism policies was far greater than previously known, according to internal Bush administration documents released for the first time by the Justice Department yesterday."
In releasing some of the discredited memos, including three that the Bush administration had argued must be kept secret as recently as November, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. declared that "Americans deserve a government that operates with transparency and openness."

Jennifer Daskal, senior counterterrorism counsel for Human Rights Watch, said the documents taken together "read like a how-to document on how to evade the rule of law."
A spokesman for the Bush Administration replied "Arrrrrgh."

(Picture via MAD Comics )