Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Slantinel Drops the "D"...again!

Hot on the heels of my post regarding the libs alleging that Fox is not a news outlet, here's a doozy! Visit this link:
As of the time of the posting, I see absolutely no reference to the fact that Kraft is a Democrat!

What will the libs say? "Oh, the party affiliation isn't relevant." Sure.

So let me get this right. Fox is not news but the Sun-Slantinel is?

South Florida Liberals Silent on White House attacks on Fox

No surprise to me, but the South Florida liberals are dead silent on the Glorious Leader's attempt to isolate Fox News:
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said on CNN's "State of the Union" that Fox "is not a news organization so much as it has a perspective."

"It’s not so much a conflict with Fox News," Emanuel told John King. "I suppose the way to look at it and the way … the president looks at it, we look at it is: It’s not a news organization so much as it has a perspective. And that’s a different take. And more importantly, is not have the CNNs and the others in the world basically be led in following Fox, as if what they’re trying to do is a legitimate news organization …
Interestingly, the left is also silent on Anita Dunn's statements:

President Obama's presidential campaign focused on "making" the news media cover certain issues while rarely communicating anything to the press unless it was "controlled," White House Communications Director Anita Dunn disclosed to the Dominican government at a videotaped conference.

"Very rarely did we communicate through the press anything that we didn't absolutely control," said Dunn.

(Never mind that Dunn apparently admires all Glorious Leaders!).

To my knowledge, Fox News is the only news outlet that actually fact checks and is unafraid to inform the public of news items that reflect poorly on Glorious Leader. Fox was at the forefront of exposing Glorious Leader's "czar" (GL's term, not mine!) Van Jones, an issue that other news outlets mentioned and then quickly buried. Fox is also at the forefront of exposing Kevin Jennings, another incomprehensible "czar" choice by Glorious Leader. Fox is at the forefront of criticism of Obamacare, and during the election was at the forefront of exposing the fact that Obama had no political history, and ties to a host of unsavory, hateful people such as Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers.

I get it, the folks on the left are in love with Glorious Leader, and are his "Obamatons." They don't want to hear anything negative about their Glorious Leader, his policies, his ideas, his associates, his past. They want sunshine, rainbows, lollipops, and above all, the demonization of George Bush. CNN, MSNBC and NPR give the left what it wants. A world where everything is perfect, Glorious Leader is perfect, and nobody complains.

Fellow citizens, history tells us this is dangerous, even if it seems harmless at the moment. America was founded on a distrust and aversion to powerful centralized authority. We revolted from the British crown. Today, the American is a person who seeks an idealized warm and caressing hug from his powerful, centralized government headed by a mythical and idealized Glorious Leader.

Fox News is not SNL's "Weekend Update," or the "The Onion." Fox is a legitimate news organization. Like ALL news organizations, there is going to be an editorial bent that tends to emphasize or de-emphasize certain stories that the editors feel will be of more or less interest to the viewers. Note that there has never been an allegation, to my knowledge, that Fox News failed to cover some particular news event that could be construed as favorable to Obama or his policies. Does the Fox network also host opinion-style shows, such as O'reilly? Of course, so does CNN and all the major networks. Many of the opinion shows are also hosted by news anchors.

What then, is the White House's justification for shunning Fox? Must be, based on Dunn's comments, that the White House can't control Fox. That scares Glorious Leader. The truth scares Glorious Leader. Even liberal reporter Helen Thomas agrees with me, which ought to say something to the self-righteous liberals occupying the South Florida blogosphere.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Broward *DEMOCRATS* Busted by FBI

As usual, the local papers are conveniently omitting the fact that corrupt Broward politicians busted by the FBI this week were Democrats:

1. COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD Dist 2. - Beverly Gallagher (Chair) - Democrat!
2. COUNTY COMMISSION Dist 9 - Josephus Eggelletion, Jr. - Democrat!
3. Fitzroy D. Salesman Miramar City Commissioner 2001-2008 -Democrat!

Funny how the local left wing blogs are silent on the facts that:

a) All three busted were members of Obama's party, and
b) The media is SILENT on identifying party affiliations.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Liberal Fascists in South Florida

The past few weeks in the South Florida blogosphere provided the Liberal Fascists among us ample opportunity to expose themselves.

"Mustang Bobby" advocates that Obama adopt a dictatorial approach to governance:
... I hope [Obama] takes to the podium, looks at the Republicans, smiles, and says, "Okay, you had your fun. This is what we're doing: public option, coverage for all, regulation of health insurance companies within an inch of their lives, and anything else I can come up with that will drive you up the wall. We'll ram it through by reconciliation the same way Bush put through his tax cuts and his war in Iraq, and if you don't like it, try to imagine within your wildest dreams how much I care. ... So sit down, shut up, and hold on.
Ironically, Bobby advocates for Obama to engage in a governance style that Bobby found detestable under Bush. Apparently, Bobby is a very confused person. But clearly, Bobby likes the idea of a dictatorial leader. Not unexpectedly, Rick concurs.

The fine art of listening and observing is not lost in America. For the millions of Americans who are sobering up and regretting their vote for Obama, remember that if you had listened to the substance (what little there was) of Obama's campaign speeches, he told you exactly what he intended to do to America.

Now listen to the "grassroots" voices of the progressive movement. What you hear are not the voices of inclusion, compromise, and governance by the people. The voices of our neighbors who subscribe to "progressive" thought are the voices of dictators. Their words speak for themselves.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Guns in the Sun

A local blogger notes that a man, William Kostnic, in New Hampshire carried a holstered pistol at an event where Obama was set to visit. Subsequent to the event, he appeared on Hardball with Chris Mathews on MSNBC. I admire Kostnic's chutzpah. Mathews was only able to score a point on the "blood" issue, but otherwise Mathews's usual agression was impotent. Kostnic had some serious verbal jui-jitsu going and handled himself well.

Should there be a gun-free zone around the president? Clearly, such a law would not make the president any more or less safe. However, the reality is a significant group of Americans are made uncomfortable, and are perhaps intimidated by the sight of a gun. Kostnic would argue that's not his problem, its theirs. Here in South Florida, it would have been perfectly legal for a person to attend an Obama rally with his pants around his ankles and underwear on display. Freedom of expression is freedom of expression, right? But we all need to get along, so what to do?

Fortunately, Florida has the perfect compromise: a liberal concealed weapons permit statute. The local Riptide blog notes that concealed weapons permit applications are up in Florida, by a large percentage. Riptide does a fair job of giving the reasons: (1) concerns that a Democrat-controlled congress and a Democrat president will seek stricter gun controls, and (2) fear of crime caused by the economy. This trend is not unique to Florida, this year's boom in nationwide gun sales is well documented.

According to the Division of Licensing, there are 601,625 concealed weapons permit holders in Florida. There are far more actual gun owners, because in Florida no permit is required to have a gun in your home or car. In other words, many Floridians own guns but don't apply for a concealed weapons permit allowing them to carry in public. But the state also reports licenses by county, with over 100,000 between Broward and Dade. Consider that there are 1.7 million people in Broward, 2.3 million in Dade, and about 18 million in Florida. That means 3% of Floridians have a concealed carry permit, and 2.5% of South Floridians (defined as Broward-Dade).

While I support the right to bear arms, and Florida's concealed weapons laws, I have some reservations about open carry around the president. Even if the carrier harbors no ill intent, a visible weapon would be available for someone who did intend harm. The secret service would probably have to assign an agent to the sole duty of keeping an eye on that firearm, unnecessarily tying up a resource. If a large group of people intended to follow Kostnic's example, the president would likely have to skip that venue.

I support Kostnic, but once was probably enough to prove the point. Future statements to the same effect can be made by openly carrying an obviously toy or paper replica gun in a real holster. I don't think Mathews's point about "history" is valid, as due to concealed carry, Obama and former presidents have probably been around armed citizens thousands of times without incident. But Mathews may have a point that when the president is in public, open carry is an unecessary nuisance.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Reverse Projection

This post responds to a post made by "Mustang Bobby" over at his blog. I should note that Bobby's post is essentially a quote from a Salon magazine article; for purposes here I'll assume Bobby adopts the quote in whole.

Bobby is disturbed by the right's accusatory rhetoric directed at Obama, particularly the charges of fascism. To me, suspicion of power is healthy. The office of the President has become far more powerful than the Framers intended, and far more powerful than is healthy for a democracy. I was glad that Bush was accused of fascism, and I'm glad to see public vigilance continue under Obama. The power of the Chief Executive must be carefully guarded and watched.

Bush and Obama have both been charged with fascism, each for different reasons. They are both valid accusations. Nowadays, it is unnecessary to explain Bush's charges--one need only visit any progressive blog. Bush bashing is still a popular sport, particularly among the intellectually dishonest who blame Bush for every present malady of the world.

The charges against Obama do require some explanation, particularly to those on the left who, as is often the case, have a poor grasp of the history of fascist regimes. Conservatives love freedom. We therefore have a tendency to study the history of fascism in some detail, both to appreciate our own freedoms in America, but also to know the enemy. The left, sadly, tends to have little interest. Perhaps because the leftist principle of pacifism is historically inconsistent with freedom? Who knows.

Bobby does not see, or does not want to see, that Obama's short time in office has been marked with unprecedented trappings of fascism. Each increment alone seems harmless, but cumulatively the result transforms a public office into a cult of personality. Before continuing, the meaning of "public office" should be elaborated. Even the President of the United States is a servant of the public. It is an office held by someone who volunteers, for relatively little compensation, to steer only the executive branch of government for four years. The people set the course of the ship, not the President. You, yes you, Joe Citizen, can look the president in the eye, wag your finger and say, "You work for me, buddy."

In a fascist state, the role of El Presidente, Der Fuhrer, etc. is quite different. He tells you what to think, and knows what is best for you. His modus operandi is to appeal to the masses as a benevolent father, a philosopher king, or as divinely chosen to the task. Instead of allowing the people to naturally resolve their political differences, the fascist meddles. He uses the power of his office to empower his minions, encouraging and supporting their proxy attacks against his opponents. The fascist uses his supporters as an extension of his will, encouraging the demonizing of all who oppose him. He appeals to primitive tribalism by propagating symbols, logos and standards. He seeks control of the media.

Obama's short time has been accompanied with all the trappings of fascism, at an alarming rate:

1. The disturbing use of government resources to compile and and deride political opposition. The latest "snitch line" is un-American. Consider the following sentence from the whitehouse.gov page, "These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation." Yes, if a co-worker mouths off against Obamacare at the water cooler, you are encouraged to report it. Interestingly, the left seems unconcerned by the government doing this. Even though the left was deeply distrubed by Bush's use of wiretaps to fight terrorism. Although there are technical differences between the two programs, the essence remains the same: Big Brother is listening. Conservatives might defend Bush's use of wiretaps as a matter of national security. Obama's snitch program is unjustified. What is the government doing with the names of those reported? (Here is the response--comforting?)

2. The massive branding and symbolism spewed by the Obama presidency is unprecedented in US history. But it is prevalent in nearly all fascist regimes. The US has historically had only one primary symbol, the Stars and Stripes, and to a lesser extent, the eagle. We are now bombarded with variations on the "O" everywhere, including at taxpayer expense: click here to see recovery.gov's logo. This "O" was affixed to public works signs at taxpayer expense. Why? Why, why, why? Harmless in and of itself (except for the wasted taxpayer $ on paint), but a symptom of the larger problem. Beyond the public sector, Obama's "O" symbol is everywhere, as is his portrait. It becomes a two-way street. Citizens under fascism develop a form of cognitive dissonance where they justify their compliance with the leader's will by attributing it to love, instead of fear, much like a battered wife. Like heart-throb posters on a teenage girl's bedroom walls, they plaster their cars and homes and streets with His images.

3. Disturbingly close ties between the media and the White House. This is of course, nothing new. But Obama has taken it above and beyond. The media worships him, dotes on his wife's outfits, and continue to promote him as a false messiah. Again, typical hallmarks of fascism.

4. Indoctrinating youth. Look here, here, and here. Here's Obama's version. And his chief of staff's version.

The left is myopic (as was the right under Bush) because they are still drunk with satisfaction that Obama is not Bush. And, of course, they agree with some of Obama's policies. Nonetheless, a true liberal ought to recognize the danger. The office of the President of the United States is becoming a throne.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Idol Worship

Bob Norman is the best journalist in town. Nobody else comes close. He's the kind of old-school journalist every town should have. Why? Because he's irreverent of power. Power corrupts. When a local politician gets too big for their britches, Bob Norman puts them in their place.

A great example is his post about a certain high-and-mighty Deerfield Beach mayor. It seems that certain mayor forgot that she serves the public, not the other way around. I hope that Mr. Norman's piece contributed to the resolution. Henceforth, (hopefully) the Deerfield Beach employees won't be required to worship her majesty the mayor.

Norman also does great work dismantling and exposing Stacy Ritter. I tuned into her radio show once, it was around the time of the 2008 election. Ritter is/was literally fanatic about Obama. She simply could not engage in civil conversation with any call-in to the show that challenged her view. She flat-out worshiped him. Little did I know, she was actually vying for a Washington job in his administration. I hope it was Norman's journalism that caused Obama to think twice.

But then I hopped over to another local blog, and politician-worship reared its ugly head again. "Classy" is, like "beauty", all in the eye of the beholder. In this case, the beholder found it "classy" that Obama shared birthday cake with a reporter. How odd. That blogger is also a law professor, which first struck me as strange--that a law professor even bothered to notice such irrelevant news. I just assumed law professors occupied themselves with deep thoughts about, well, the law.

To me, there were several aspects of Cake-gate that defied my definition of "classy." For one, it was Obama's birthday. I guess that there are 50,000 kids in the Washington DC school system, meaning that about 140 share his birthday. He couldn't find one of them to go drop in on, or invite to the White House for cake? I know, its just a corny idea, but I'm sure a much "classier" co-celebrant could have been found by the White House p.r. machine. My point is that "classy" would have been sharing the day with the regular folk Obama supposedly serves, as opposed to an elite press correspondent.

And then there is the matter of that correspondent. It was a poor choice, as her reputation is clouded with accusations of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic bias. But even if one dismisses that cloud, in the end it was, simply, a shared piece of cake. It hardly demonstrated "class".

Idol-worship magnifies trivialities like a piece of cake. Obama has done some very un-classy things that his worshipers simply won't acknowledge. The worst such incident was Special Olympics-gate. It was an unscripted moment, and shed light on who Obama really is. What is it about his character that allowed him to say it? Or to think, even for a moment, that a joke at the expense of the handicapped was okay? Unanimously unclassy.

Is it possible this kind of thinking, if even on a subconscious level, might creep into a health care system that will very likely have to ration care? Are we going to have a health care system that marginalizes the handicapped, elderly and infirm? What does our president really think about weaker members of society? Well, after all, we're not a Christian nation, and from a scientific standpoint, it would make utilitarian sense to serve young, able-bodied citizens first.

So enough with Obama-worship. If you really feel passionate about some of his proposed policies on a substantive level, good for you. But if you give a rat's ass about who he eats cake with, what kind of dog he has, or where he and Michelle go on a date--then you have a problem. Go read Bob Norman, and remind yourself never to fawn at power. Be suspicious, critical, skeptical, and vigilant.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Obamanomics of Education

A local blogger published a brief post on the current state of America's education system. I find the post is particularly timely, and the comments diverse and insightful.

Jewel raises an interesting point. Given the massive and unprecedented levels of federal spending embarked on by the Obama/Bush administrations, what percent of stimulus spending is targeted towards education? Does the Obama administration recognize that education is a long term engine of economic growth? In terms of potential for economic stimulus, where does education rank with respect to other areas, such as green technology, the automotive industry, and others?

Consider that Broward has seen hundreds of teachers laid off this year. Has any serious consideration given to the long term economic effects of teacher layoffs versus Detroit auto workers? Do we really need to spend billions of dollars to retire otherwise roadworthy private vehicles? Exactly how does the "cash for clunkers" program solve the long term problem, which is the simple fact that the Japanese build better cars then we do? Would we not receive a similar, if not superior, short and long term economic benefit by investing in education? Why is an employed Detroit auto worker better for society than an employed teacher?

Back to school spending is expected to drop close to 10% this year. Unlike other slumps, this one has a two-fold impact. For one, all the jobs associated with school supply production and distribution are at risk. But secondly, and arguably more important, children will have fewer of the tools they need to learn. In the long run, that economic impact is much worse for us. So why are we bailing out failing automakers instead of at-risk education-related industries?

Is it just a simple fact that the auto-worker's union does a better lobbying job than the teacher's union? Didn't Obama promise that lobbyists weren't going to run Washington anymore? So I don't get it. Where is all the money to buy new computers, high-speed internet, remodeled classrooms, and (where needed) increased security for public (and/or private) schools?

I agree wholeheartedly with one of Jewel's commentators that money can't solve all our country's education problems. Parental attitudes need some serious shaping up, as education begins at home. But money does play a role in the quality of education that any system, private or public, is capable of delivering, particularly with respect to children with special needs.

Very likely, the fact that education was overlooked as a priority in the recent round of stimulous spending means there's going to be less money for it down the road. After all, someone has to pay for our new government health care programs. The "rich" can only be milked for so much, its unlikely Obama can tap them as a source to overhaul the US education system as well. The problem is, if we don't start educating America's young minds, there won't be anybody "rich" enough in the future to tax.

Friday, July 31, 2009

South Florida Bloggers on Obama's Beer Diplomacy

A local blogger recently shared his thoughts on Obama's attempt to diffuse racial tensions through arranging for Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., and Sgt. James Crowley of the Cambridge Police Department to share a beer at the White House. His thoughts were subsequently adopted and expanded by another local blogger.

Their writings are evidence of a shift in posture among progressive bloggers. Whereas months ago Obama-friendly blogs were aggressively promoting him in all ways, the tone has shifted to defending Obama's serious mistakes. The intellectual dishonesty is obvious, and I have yet to read any local blogger admitting to Obama's imperfection.

Obama's calling for the so-called Beer Summit demonstrates exactly what his detractors and opponents warned of during the 2008 campaign. Specifically, that Obama is inexperienced. The denial of this truth is evident in "Mustang Bobby's" writing, wherein he acknowledges that:
some saw [the Beer Summit] as just another photo op on the White House lawn -- like when Arafat and Rabin shook hands -- that papered over the real differences between the parties and nothing's really changed;

That snippet is the full extent of the analysis and thought Bobby devotes to the comparison. In fact, the "paper[ing] over the real differences" between the Jews and Arabs in form of the handshake between Arafat and Rabin had dire consequences. For one, Rabin was assassinated by a Jew two years after the Clinton-brokered handshake. The well publicized political motives of his assasin leave little doubt that his participation in the handshake was a motivating factor. Secondly, the handshake legitimized Arafat's terrorism, and terrorism generally. Terror organizations are now quick to form deceptive "political wings" and immediately expect equal standing in world politics. The current state of middle east "peace" speaks for itself.

The intellectually honest recognize Clinton's mistake. For a moment, consider that Obama says this about science:
“It’s about listening to what our scientists have to say, even when it’s inconvenient – especially when it’s inconvenient,” Obama said. “Because the highest purpose of science is the search for knowledge, truth and a greater understanding of the world around us. That will be my goal as president of the United States ...”

Albert Einstein, a scientist, defined insanity as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Yet for all his talk, Obama chose to ignore the historical failures of "papered over" photo opportunities. History is, after all, a very powerful social science.

A younger social science, considered by some a subset of economics, is "game theory". Consider that Obama has now introduced a new possible outcome to anti-social and possibly illegal racist behavior. When considering the possible consequences of abusing a position of power, or falsely accusing another of racism, a summit-like resolution immunizing the act is possible. The disincentive to commit the act is lessened. Further, a punishment harsher than a summit reconciliation will be perceived as a deviation from precedent. The next officer deprived of the opportunity to toast with a minority citizen he abuses, and instead punished by suspension or termination, will cry afoul. The over-racting citizen legitimately sanctioned for disorderly conduct will feel similarly deprived of the rule of law when no summit is offered. The unintended consequences on human behavior caused by this Beer Summit can be variably postulated, but unlike Bobby and Rick, the intellectualy honest recognize that not every consequence will be good.

Mustang Bobby rushes to Obama's defense with vague hopes:
Staged events like this rarely accomplish anything in themselves, but it does set an example...-- it may get the cop and the prof in other places like Toledo or Albuquerque or Miami to sit down and talk.

Rick writes:
Getting people to talk to each other instead of shouting at each other is a noble goal no matter what beer is sipped or how many photos are taken.

Neither Bobby nor Rick cite to any historic precedent of harmonizing a festering social tension through similar staged events. Numerous historical examples exist besides the Clinton-brokered handshake. Surely Chamberlain and Hitler sipped wine or cognac as they prevented the outbreak of WWII. Rushing to defend their false idol, Bobby and Rick offer only "hope" and "nobility".

The intellectual dishonesty is glaring when one considers the simple, time tested method of resolving the conflict: Truth. To borrow a phrase from Bobby, the Gates incident is indeed "like [a] Rorschach test; you take away from it what you want to see." Some see the violation of an innocent citizen's civil rights. Others see a noble man in uniform falsely accused.

One need only examine the Dreyfus affair to see how poor Obama's decision was. If Sgt. Crowley is a racist, then let it be exposed. If Gates was the true "reverse-racist", then let it be exposed. If Obama really wanted what was best for America, "even when it’s inconvenient – especially when it’s inconvenient," then he would have instead sought Justice and Truth. As it stands, it now appears unlikely that any of us will ever be comfortably informed as to exactly what transpired between Gates and Crowley.

The consequences of Obama's "papering-over" of the Truth are predictable. If history is any guide, tensions between races are likely to worsen as a result of this incident. The question is, do progressive bloggers understand this? I think some do, and for them my charge of intellectual dishonesty is proven. Others who continue to apologize for Obama and defend the Beer Summit are simply as naive and hubristic as Obama. Or, as Einstein would call them, insane.

Friday, July 24, 2009

SFDB: Mystery continues

As I previously blogged, a certain local blog piqued my curiosity as to whether the political digressions posted thereon were at the behest of a political organization, or if they are the genuine musings of the average Joe they purport to be.

I'm still not sure. On the one hand, that blog recently perpetuated the progressive boogey-man of right-wingers that want America to suffer in order to spite the half of America that voted for Obama (post here). I envisioned "Rick", author of the blog, as someone intelligent enough to see how silly that boogey-man is. Are there folks who, for example, believe that Obama's presidency will invite terror attacks? Of course. Does it mean they literally value the worth of an "I told you so!" more than the lives of fellow Americans, and actually want an attack to happen? Come on, "Rick" seems smarter than that.

So lo and behold, "Rick" goes and posts a rather lengthy discussion of the incident near Harvard involving a black professor. His conclusion echoes sentiments I expressed while commenting on another blog. Namely, that we ought not rush to conclude that the incident was racially motivated. Now, that is thinking consonant with what I would expect from the mind that does so well putting together the daily digests posted on the blog. Certainly, such an opinion breaks ranks with the progressive blogosphere, in stark contrast to the short blips on politics "Rick" usually posts that are lock-step with the progressive blogosphere.

So the plot thickens. Is "Rick" just lazy about how he assembles his opinions? Does that explain the longer than usual political post on the Harvard incident, where he finally shows some gray matter? Or is there still another explanation for the (seemingly) thoughtless political posts that seem so out of place on that blog?

The world may never know.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Politics: All in the family?

A post by a Florida blogger got me thinking about politicians' families. "Mustang Bobby" of Bark Bark Woof Woof had the following to say about the firing of a Fort Myers Beach employee over his marrying a porn actress:

I'm not going to make any judgments about Ms. Janke's profession and whether or not she contributes to the exploitation and objectification of women. That may easily be, but in this instance -- her husband being fired because of her profession -- it is breathtakingly irrelevant.

The city may have been within its legal rights to terminate Mr. Janke without cause, but sure makes them look like ignorant tight-asses.

The message I take from "Mustang Bobby" is that family issues are irrelevant as to whether not a person in public office gets the job done. His comments got me thinking about Sarah Palin and Michelle Obama. As a reader of "Mustang Bobby", I would say he practices what he preaches, criticizing the skewering of MO and SP here.

But as we know, inordinate attention is paid to the families of people in government. After all, there is some truth in judging a person, in part, by the company they keep. So I don't think its as simple as "Mustang Bobby" lays it out to be.

First, I don't accept Mustang's premise that we ought not judge Mrs. Janke. Pornography is a troubling paradox to society. We recognize some marginal mental health benefits in its consumption, but not all of us can turn a blind eye to the troubling circumstances surrounding the production of nearly all of it. Mrs. Janke is paid to have sex with strangers, plain and simple. Under certain circumstances such arrangements are illegal, artistic license being a limited exception. But the disturbingly troubled lives of people in that industry are well documented. When computer animation advances to the point of photo-realistic portrayal of live people, I'm not sure society wouldn't be better off outlawing most porn production utilizing real actors.

But even if I pass judgment on Mrs. Janke, should that affect my view if I were a taxpayer of Fort Myers Beach? Without much need for thought, I can say that if Michelle Obama were a porn starlet, presently, Barak Obama would never get my vote. I would form the conclusion that he approves of not only porn's consumption, but also its production, which to me would demonstrate poor judgment. Further, as hinted at by Mustang, I would consider such a First Lady an atrocious role model for American girls. Lastly, as a practical matter, America would be a laughing stock.

But the office of President of the United States is not quite the same as town manager of Fort Myers Beach, population 6, 500. But why should the principles involved be any different?

Unlike Mustang, I can't go by a black and white rule on this. I certainly think a person in public office is entitled to a private life. But like all things where other people in society are affected, there have to be limits. I think the bounds of those limits are exceeded when a person in public office decides to marry a "whore" (legal or not). Particularly where the marriage occured after his taking the job, the tax payers aren't exactly getting the public figure they bargained for.

Are some South Florida bloggers actually paid political operatives?

Dictionary.com defines the word "shill" as:
"a person who publicizes or praises something or someone for reasons of self-interest, personal profit, or friendship or loyalty."

I had to look up the meaning of the word after a commentator on South Florida Daily Blog (SFDB) accused the blog's author of being one. I'm not sure whether "Rick", the blog's author, actually denied the allegation. Their exchange took place on this post, the relevant portions being:
"Truther": I won't bother to read your response, because I've seen you do little more than personally attack anybody that posts a comment disagreeing with you. I kind of suspect you're (sic) political blogging is paid for, and you're a shill.

"Rick": As far as your other comments go, you get what you give here, Truther. Use words like "shill" and make spurious allegations and I can guarantee you that the next time you poke your nose in here, using whatever pseudonym you choose that day, you'll be treated accordingly.

I am not sure whether "Rick" intended "spurious allegations" to serve as a denial of his being a paid political operative, or rather as reference to "Truther's" doubts regarding President Obama's place of birth.

The reason I found the exchange so interesting is that I also harbor some doubts as to the motivation for the political posts on SFDB. SFDB, at its core, is a thrice daily digest of South Florida news, aggregated at "Rick"'s discretion. According to the site, "The South Florida Daily Blog sifts through and reviews most of the blogs based in South Florida and highlights those posts that stand out from the rest of the day's traffic." "Rick" does his job well, and I enjoy the stated purpose of the blog. Judging by the discretion he employs when selecting posts for inclusion in his digest, he/she seems to be a well-rounded individual with diverse interests and broad general knowledge.

"Rick" diverts from the stated purpose of the blog several times a week, and takes up certain political topics. This habit of his/hers appartenly caught "Truther"'s attention, as well as mine. These posts seldom relate to local politics, the majority are national in focus.

The political posts are, in my opinion, strikingly dissonant with the rest of the blog. They are inconsistent with the diverse, liberal-minded and educated picture of "Rick" the rest of the blog paints. Instead, they are painfully simplistic left-wing talking points, seemingly harvested directly from sites like Media Matters (cited to and discussed in comments by "Rick" here) and other (allegedly) partisan-funded outlets. It is difficult to believe that the "Rick" who assembles the daily digest could possibly be the same "Rick" who authors the political posts.

I simply dismissed the situation as strange, but "Truther" may be on to something. Is SFDB a sham "astroturf" blog? I use software to block ads in my browser, so I can't say for sure there are no ads on SFDB, but could the regurgitation of left talking points be a source of income for "Rick"? Why not? If he's getting traffic for his well-assembled daily digest, why not sell some of that traffic to political PR buyers?

If its not already what is actually going on, then it certainly would be a brilliant strategy for marketers of all kinds, political or commercial. Either buy "posts" on blogs, or create a franchise of blogs, unrelated to politics. For example, you create a blog devoted to [INSERT CITY HERE] dog owners, where you blog about dog parks, local dog events, etc. Then out of the blue, once a week, the "blogger" goes off on a political tangent under the guise of "just making conversation." Its a beautiful idea, if I do say so myself.

That being said, let me announce to the world that this blog is damn sure for sale! Sign me up! "Rick", if you're out there, please give me the name of your agent!