The Mr. Nice Guy Show Blog

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My thoughts on what's goin' on in the world,

just like years ago on the radio.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

The Failure of Fact-Checking the Republican Convention: a new advisory from FAIR. Read it and weep for the state of journalism in the USA.

...ascertaining the truth is the responsibility of
every journalist in every story. It's the first point in the
Society of Professional Journalists' code of ethics:
"Journalists should test the accuracy of information
from all sources." It's the ubiquitous reports that
analyze the aesthetics of oratory and speculate on the
impact speeches will have on the horserace that
ought to be the exception.


Friday, September 03, 2004


As an American, a Jew, and the child of a Holocaust survivor, I am shocked, infuriated and disgusted by the comments made by Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis in her closing prayer at the Republican National Bullshitfest the other nite.

Judaism teaches us a Golden Rule of loving one's neighbor as oneself. We place great emphasis on being kind to the stranger, the poor, the downtrodden. We work hard for "Tikkun Olam," the repair of our imperfect world. We respect the environment and know a better world comes from study and acts of loving kindness. We seek peace and pursue it.

When we turn off FOX News and try to take the focus off Jungreis's lips being locked on the pResident's butt, we realize that this administration seems to be opposed to all of the above. Screw neighbors, the poor and caring, it's every man for himself. Hand environmental regulations over to the polluters, use war as a public relations tool, regardless of the casualties, human or factual.

I see nothing Jewish about the Republican party's agenda of hate, intolerance, selfishness, divisiveness and savaging of the environment, education, etc., etc. And I'm not alone. Regardless of what some would have us believe, most Jewish folks - probably 75 or 80% - will be voting Democratic in the upcoming election.

As for Jungreis, let's take a moment to look at her. The title "Rebbetzin" simply means that she is married to a rabbi. It implies no level of scholarship. In Jungreis's case, the rabbi she married was her cousin (okay, a third cousin). I see no bigraphical information that says anything about her academic credentials. Even in this sycophantic puff piece done to help flog her book, we can learn a lot from what isn't said. It's unclear if she ever even graduated from high school. In her world, a woman cannot be a rabbi; that's man's work. Women have "different" [if not completely subservient] roles.

Some regard her as an emotional, dynamic speaker. I think she's ridiculously over-dramatic and syrupy. She, like Ann Coulter and many others, seems to just love having a camera pointed at her and no doubt sucked-up to the RNC figuring, as a "fish out of water," she'd turn all kinds of heads and get some good publicity.

I think facts, ethics and conscience are more important.


PS--Wanna see how caring, thoughtful, Jewish people look at the issues? Visit the Religious Action Center or the National Jewish Democratic Council.

Hate and Fear

That's what they base a campaign on.


Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Zig Zag Zell

What a sad, two-faced hypocrite Zell Miller is. At the 1992 Democratic National Convention, when he was Governor of Georgia, he gave the keynote address as Bill Clinton was nominated. He described Clinton's opponent, George H.W. Bush,
as a commander-in-chief who "talks like Dirty Harry but acts like Barney Fife."

Now, he's singin' a different tune, as we read in this report from the Center for American Progress...

Just one day after President Bush publicly flip-flopped on his views about the war on terror, the Republican National Convention is set to feature one of the biggest flip floppers in modern American history: Georgia Sen. Zell Miller. After a decade ingratiating himself to Democratic President Bill Clinton and excoriating the GOP for being too conservative, Miller is now opportunistically sidling up to President George W. Bush. In the process of selling out his party, Miller has contradicted himself on a host of issues, and re-opened interest into his early career leading public opposition to the Civil Rights Act and working as a top official to one of America's most infamous racists.

See American Progress's new backgrounder showing how this flip-flopper from Georgia has earned the nickname Zig Zag Zell.

Again, the question: how does the guy sleep at nite or look in a mirror???


Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Those Crazy Spammers

I'm endlessly amazed by how stupid so many people are.

I ain't no genius either, but when I get an email as I did this morning with the subject line "Payment Sent: $976205" I'm gonna figure it's not a legitimate piece of communication.

Are there really people who'll click on it and say "Oooooh, someone's gonna send me nine hundred seventy six thousand dollars...that I wasn't expecting?"

The body of the email is even more - uh - credible:

This is an email to notify you that your [m]ortgage application has been accepted. You can get up to $400,000 for $500 a month. That means your monthly payment could be up to 45% less than your current r(a)te!
Please fill out the final details we need to complete the process:

Then it refers me to a site that WHOIS via Sam Spade indicates appears to be owned by a woman in Ontario who I'd love to name, but will just say that she is a disgrace to that great nation and a sad, annoying leech.

What kind of dopey, dumbass would respond to this?
That's who you're gonna turn to for a mortagage, hundreds of thousands of dollars?



Monday, August 30, 2004

Cultural Literacy
Information Literacy, too

We librarians face an ongoing battle on many fronts. I mention them here now and then.

One of the toughest is convincing people that all the world's information is not available for free on the Web and what is there can be "published" by anyone, regardless of accuracy, timeliness and bias. Stuff can be wrong, outdated, dopey, hateful, yet many take it as fact if it's on the Web. Here's some proof.

Libraries and librarians are better at handling the world's information needs and helping people navigate the Web to find the good stuff.

The people at publish good stuff. They do it in real, respected print on paper books and, out of the goodness of their hearts (and a realization that there's advertising money to be made) they also have many, many wonderful resources online for free, fully searchable.

I just discovered yesterday that one of these is The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, "a departure from all other reference works in its attempt to identify and define common cultural knowledge."

Stop yawning. This is actually the kind of reference book you can flip through (click through) and enjoy. Take a look, you'll see what I mean.



The Republican Convention gets underway in New York today.

I won't even waste time repeating my feelings about these people.

Maybe, over the course of their bullshit-laden week, I'll chime-in if something seems really this excellent piece by Jonathan Greenberg on tonite's major prime-time speaker: Five Reasons Giuliani's No Hero.

Read numbers one and two closely; they're my fave.

These are scary, dangerous folks. Even the supposed "moderates" like Rudy-baby.



The Summer Olympics in Greece concluded yesterday.

I may have seen a few seconds worth of the entire Olympiad while walking past a TV somewhere.

I know many athletes work hard and dream big dreams, but it seems to me that many (too many? most?) of 'em are just hoping for fame, fortune, or an endorsement deal. Is it that much different from a reality TV show? I think not.

There are just too many stories of young, vital kids being deprived of a childhood because crazed parents and trainers have them working for hours and hours every day to make it to the Olympics to win a gold medal. Too many stories of dangerous diets and stunted growth.

And what about the drugs, the steroids? Why do they do that? Do they mistakenly think they're just vitamins? I doubt it. Like criminals, do they figure "Hey, I'm not gonna get caught?"

Maybe years and years ago the Olympics were a glorious, noble, beautiful expression of what it means to really be a sport. Now, sadly, it seems to just to be the advertising business.