Video-Philes: February 2008: Archives

February 27, 2008

William F. Buckley, Jr.: 11/24/25 - 02/27/08 genre: Happy Remembrances & Video-Philes

William F. Buckley, Jr. has died at the age of 82. I always found it fascinating to listen when Buckley spoke. Much of what he said, for me, walked the fine line between intellectual genius and laugh out loud temerity. Given the breadth of his intellect, I often wondered how often he made comments simply for the sporting value they might afford.

Some time ago, I did a posting that was intended to mimic Buckley's expansive use of language and to satirize current news and events. At the time, I chose the President's questionable handling of the war in Iraq as the topic. Basically, I created a question and followed it up with my tongue-in-cheek version of an answer William F. Buckley might have given.

With that said, the following was my imaginary question:

What would Bill Buckley say about the apparent inability of President Bush to acknowledge mistakes made in the execution of the war in Iraq and his unwillingness to move forward with evaluating alternative plans?

And my fabricated answer was:

The President, while seemingly embrangled in a sempiternal belligerency, appears to be ensnared by the conflation of narcissistic ideation and a religiose neocolonialist predisposition.

In truth, Buckley did conclude that the war in Iraq was a failure and stated the following in that regard:

"One can't doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed - different plans have to be made. And the kernel here is the acknowledgement of defeat."

With Mr. Buckley's passing, we'll only be able to imagine his responses to the issues that may confront humanity in the future. Regardless of one's political persuasion, that will certainly present a measurable void.

The following is a compilation of some of Buckley's notable quotations:

William F. Buckley, Jr., Gratitude:

Materialistic democracy beckons every man to make himself a king; republican citizenship incites every man to be a knight. National service, like gravity, is something we could accustom ourselves to, and grow to love.

William F. Buckley Jr., Up From Liberalism:

I mean to live my life an obedient man, but obedient to God, subservient to the wisdom of my ancestors; never to the authority of political truths arrived at yesterday at the voting booth.

Sep. 08, 1964 - from his column in National Review:

I profoundly believe it takes a lot of practice to become a moral slob.

Nov. 01, 1997 - from a speech delivered to the International Conservative Congress, as quoted in National Review Magazine:

We are so concerned to flatter the majority that we lose sight of how very often it is necessary, in order to preserve freedom for the minority, let alone for the individual, to face that majority down.

William F. Buckley, Commentary in The National Review, April 29, 1983, p. 495:

Narcotics police are an enormous, corrupt international bureaucracy ... and now fund a coterie of researchers who provide them with 'scientific support' ... fanatics who distort the legitimate research of others. ... The anti-marijuana campaign is a cancerous tissue of lies, undermining law enforcement, aggravating the drug problem, depriving the sick of needed help, and suckering well-intentioned conservatives and countless frightened parents.

"All that is good is not embodied in the law; and all that is evil is not proscribed by the law. A well-disciplined society needs few laws; but it needs strong mores."

"If all difficulties were known at the outset of a long journey, most of us would never start out at all."

"Life can't be all bad when for ten dollars you can buy all the Beethoven sonatas and listen to them for ten years."

The following video offers a sampling of Buckley's many appearances on the Charlie Rose Show.

Charlie Rose: A Retrospective On William F. Buckley, Jr.

Tagged as: Charlie Rose, Death, Drug War, Humor, Iraq, Jr., National Review, Up From Liberalism, William F. Buckley

Daniel DiRito | February 27, 2008 | 12:34 PM | link | Comments (2)
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The Onion: Gays Too Precious For Military Service genre: Gaylingual & Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

The Onion chimes in on gays in the military with a fuax general explaining that gays are too special to be placed in combat. According to General McBrayer, each gay individual is worth seven soldier's lives.

While the video is a spoof on the policy of Don't Ask Don't Tell, the actual rationale to prevent gays from serving in the military is also a joke...though not nearly as funny...or coherent.

Tagged as: Comedy, DADT, Gay, Gays In The Military, Homophobia, Humor, The Onion

Daniel DiRito | February 27, 2008 | 9:32 AM | link | Comments (0)
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February 23, 2008

Iraq Alternatives: What Could We Buy With That Money? genre: Just Jihad & Video-Philes

In all the back and forth over the merits of the war in Iraq, we often hear about the money being spent but we're rarely presented with the specific items that could be purchased with that same cash.

The following video does just that. It provides a laundry list of the things that could be purchased for the American people with the money it costs to prosecute the war for one single day.

When one thinks about the war in this way...not to mention the many other costs including the loss of life...it is an astounding contrast and a stark reality check.

However, what ultimately amazes me is the arguments we have endured and will continue to endure during peace time...you know...the arguments that we can't afford health care, we can't assure that Social Security will survive, we can't afford to address poverty or homelessness, we cant assure that a college education is available to all of our citizens, and many more.

It begs an important question -- Why can we afford limitless spending on death and destruction and so little on the basic needs of the American citizenry?

H/T to The Bilerico Project

Tagged as: Deficit Spending, Education, Health Care, Homelessness, Iraq War, Military Spending, National Debt, Poverty, Social Security

Daniel DiRito | February 23, 2008 | 5:19 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Bill Maher: New Rules 02/22/08 genre: Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

This week Bill tackles the endless "My Friends" mantra of John McCain, the connection between hesitating to put a DVD in the player and a sexless marriage, the absurdity of chasing wild animals around, and his dislike of red meat...at least the edible variety.

He goes on to offer Hillary Clinton a campaign suggestion...go get drunk with the voters. He then puts to rest the comparisons of Lindsey Lohan to Marilyn Monroe, and he closes by suggesting America follow the example of Cuba and put a "brother" in charge.

Tagged as: Barack Obama, Bill Maher, Cuba, Fidel Castro, George Bush, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Lindsay Lohan, Marilyn Monroe, New Rules, Raul Castro, Red Meat, Vegetarian

Daniel DiRito | February 23, 2008 | 4:34 PM | link | Comments (0)
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February 21, 2008

Hillary's Stellar Debate Moment genre: Polispeak & Video-Philes

Favor who you will in the Democratic nominating process, but one of the finest moments of this campaign season was delivered by Senator Clinton at the close of tonight's debate in Austin. It was both magnanimous and uplifting and it warrants an acknowledgment.

It's a shame that the Senator is unable to show this side of herself on a regular basis. Nonetheless, it certainly affirms the opinions of those who know her best - that she is a warm and thoughtful individual who sincerely cares about her country and its citizens.

For the life of me, I've yet to figure out why she elicits such vitriol from so many in the media as well as with a segment of the voting public. Unfortunately, such is the nature of politics.

However it turns out, the Senator will always be able to reflect back upon this stellar demonstration of her decency and her dignity. You go girl!

Tagged as: 2008 Election, Austin Debate, Democratic Nomination, Hillary Clinton

Daniel DiRito | February 21, 2008 | 8:47 PM | link | Comments (14)
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February 19, 2008

BBC: Baby Bible Bashers - A Look At Child Evangelists genre: Hip-Gnosis & Video-Philes

The BBC documentary, Baby Bible Bashers, may be one of the most disturbing examples of children being abused by the misguided religious beliefs and manipulative ambitions of their parents. The documentary chronicles three child "evangelists" who are being touted by their parents as virtual crusaders for God. Two reside in the United States and one lives in her native country of Brazil.

The story of Samuel Boutwell, a seven year old boy from Mississippi, was the most troubling of the three. He reportedly gave his first sermon at the age of three and he frequently protests outside an abortion clinic. His father, a self-confessed sinner who has been "born again", travels with his son to preach to people on the streets of major metropolitan areas including Washington DC and New York City.

It seems that the common denominator of the parents of many of these children centers on their own troubled lives. As with so many born agains, they operate under the belief that goodness can only be found in fear of God and the punishment he will meet out to those who sin against him. Unfortunately, God serves as the only means by which they believe they can keep their "sinful" inclinations in check. From there, they project those fears and insecurities onto their innocent children...supposedly turning them into the model citizens they were unable to become.

These children are being set up for tremendous disappointment. It is obvious they have begun to internalize their parents grandiose visions and they are well on their way to actually accepting that they have been chosen to speak on behalf of God.

Sadly, each of them is being taught their trade by the adults in their lives...trained like circus animals to perform to the crowds for the benefit of their handlers...and there can be no doubt that these adults seek to profit from their efforts.

If you aren't able to watch the entire documentary, I highly recommend taking the time to view part five. In that segment (from about 2:30 to 4:50 into the video) you will see Samuel Boutwell break down under the pressure being applied by his father. It's heart wrenching to witness...and I can't imagine the damage being done to this poor child. Watch his actions as he begins to cry. It's obvious that he tries to suppress his emotions. When he starts to glance around, it struck me that he was worried his tears might elicit a scolding from his father on the need to be strong. So much for Christian values.

Baby Bible Bashers - Part One

Baby Bible Bashers - Part Two

Baby Bible Bashers - Part Three

Baby Bible Bashers - Part Four

Baby Bible Bashers - Part Five

Tagged as: Ana Carolina Dias, Born Again, Child Abuse, Christianity, Evangelism, Fanaticism, Fundamentalism, Religion, Religious Right, Samuel Boutwell, Terry Durham

Daniel DiRito | February 19, 2008 | 4:03 PM | link | Comments (52)
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February 18, 2008

Mo Rocca Makes His Own "Obama Girl" Music Video genre: Polispeak & Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

Who knew Mo Rocca could carry a tune? In the following clip, Mo tears it up with his own Obama music video. The premise of Mo's little ditty is that Barack needs to win the Hispanic vote...so Mo decides some salsa is in order.

Mo doesn't stop there...take a look at the shirt he's wearing...now that's bedazzling...and he probably used his own BeDazzler! Unfortunately, he forgot to put on his pointy toed Old Gringo Valentino cowboy boots.

The funniest thing about the video is the fact that Mo sings his song with the same perfect syllabic enunciation he uses when he speaks. Regardless, he does a killer job of rolling his R's. You go Mo!

Tagged as: Barack Obama, BeDazzler, Hillary Clinton, Hispanics, Humor, La Bamba, Mo Rocca, Obama Girl, Old Gringo, Salsa, Spanish

Daniel DiRito | February 18, 2008 | 2:31 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Beyond Belief With Sean Hannity: 23 Minutes In Hell genre: Hip-Gnosis & Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

This video is an amazing demonstration of how far people of faith will go in their efforts to substantiate their beliefs. The fact that Sean Hannity narrates the piece is just icing on the cake.

In this video, a man recounts falling asleep and finding himself in hell for 23 minutes. Never mind that he is simply describing his dream. Apparently we are supposed to believe that the images in this man's dreams are a real representation of hell and proof that there is a God and a heaven and hell. Yea...I know I'm convinced.

I guess this is a good example of Fox's "we report, you decide" mantra. Suffice it to say that I've made my decision...these people are loons.

By the way, I had a dream last night that I went to hell and Fox News was the only available television station...and the programs of Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly were played on a continuous loop 24/7. Now that's one hellacious nightmare I wouldn't want to live.

Tagged as: Bill O'Reilly, Faith, Fanaticism, Fox News, Heaven, Hell, Humor, Religion, Sean Hannity

Daniel DiRito | February 18, 2008 | 1:58 PM | link | Comments (6)
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Bill Maher: New Rules 02/15/08 genre: Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

The writer's strike is over...finally...and Bill Maher's New Rules is back. Given the number of New Rules, it's clear that the writers were doing more than walking the picket lines.

Maher takes on the baseball steroids scandal, the 2008 election, the recent killing of a Hezbollah terrorist (who happens to look like Rob Reiner), the cost of the war in Iraq, Mitt Romney's five sons and magic underwear, John McCain's age, and he closes with my favorite...the fact that we've only had one Catholic president, one bachelor president, and one retarded president.

Tagged as: Barack Obama, Bill Maher, George Bush, HBO, Hezbollah, Humor, John McCain, Mitt Romney, New Rules, Rob Reiner, Roger Clemons

Daniel DiRito | February 18, 2008 | 1:41 PM | link | Comments (0)
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February 14, 2008

God Tube's Guide To Creationism genre: Hip-Gnosis & Video-Philes

Creationists spend an inordinate amount of time crafting simplistic arguments aimed at undermining the theory of evolution. If one wants to see some of their best work, one need only navigate over to GodTube. It's a YouTube knock off...because they also love to copy and co-opt every popular phenomenon in their never ending quest for cultural relevance.

The following videos are some of the more intriguing attempts to disprove the theory of evolution. Never mind that they fail to address the actual science. You see, skirting the actual evidence has always been a preferred strategy with religious institutions.

They prefer their followers know just enough to find their way to church on Sunday. Once there, these master manipulators endeavor to instill just the right amount of fear to keep the money flowing. A little reminder of the fires of hell goes a long way towards dislodging those twenty dollar bills.

The videos are short except for the fourth one. I'm partial to the second and fifth video. If you like firecrackers and peanut butter, you'll probably agree with me.

Evolution Is Impossible - Fish Can't Breathe

The Big Bang Can't Make A Baby

Stop Monkeying Around With Mankind's Maker

Forget The Science - Evolution Is Anecdotal

Not Until My Peanut Butter Gives Birth

Tagged as: Big Bang, Church & State, Creationism, Darwin, Evangelicals, Evolution, Fossil evidence, Religion, Science

Daniel DiRito | February 14, 2008 | 10:03 AM | link | Comments (3)
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February 11, 2008

McCain - Yes We Can...But Would We Want To? genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation & Video-Philes

If you haven't seen the video touting Barack Obama and his message of "Yes We Can", you can view it below. I've also included a parody of that video (John.he.is) that is intended to illuminate John McCain's unfavorable contrast.

Given the reach of YouTube and other similar sites, the hype surrounding the 2008 election will be unlike any other. What remains to be seen is whether these messages reach individuals who haven't already chosen a candidate or if they simply provide an outlet for the enthused partisans.

Yes, on the surface, the number of views is amazing...but further consideration may simply tell us that the internet is merely replacing the mainstream media as our preferred means of communicating with like minded individuals. Clearly, the lack of limitations on the content found on the internet currently provides for sharper critiques and the creation of more unfiltered "swiftboating" strategies.

The belief that communication serves a worthy purpose in its ability to connect us may actually be morphing into a medium that provides the means to form even more narrow affiliations with even more ability to carry out pointed attacks and to push targeted agendas.

Time will tell if we've unleashed progress or simply advanced the progression of heightened partisanship. One thing is certain, every individual now has the opportunity to participate, to pontificate, and to promulgate. Whether that's good or bad remains to be seen. In the meantime, good luck with separating the wheat from the chaff.

h/t to Joe Gandelman at The Moderate Voice

Yes We Can - Barack Obama Music Video

John.He.Is - A Parody Aimed At John McCain

Tagged as: 2008 Election, Barack Obama, John McCain, Partisanship, YouTube

Daniel DiRito | February 11, 2008 | 3:58 PM | link | Comments (0)
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February 8, 2008

The Daily Show: Mittens, Marriage, & Massachusetts genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Polispeak & Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

If you didn't see Mitt Romney's announcement that he is suspending his campaign, you missed the coup de grace of Mittens' prolific pandering. It seems that on the heels of contributing 35 million dollars to his campaign, repositioning himself on virtually every issue, and attempting to wipe away his record as the governor of Massachusetts, Mittens chose to feed all the red meat he could muster to the rapacious CPAC crowd.

I must say that Mittens "Not-Knute-Rocked-Me" right out of my knickers when he offered his illogical linkage of all that ails America with none other than gay marriage. Not only does Mittens connect gay marriage with moral decay, he infers that it is the final piece in the long progression from a responsible citizenry to a society filled with lazy welfare gamers who do little more than watch pornography while engaging in wanton sexual escapades that bear illegitimate children...and they do all of this without ever having to pay taxes.

All he needed to complete his cockeyed soliloquy...and what has to be viewed as the epitome of a compassionate Christian clusterfuck...was to assert that same-sex marriage is also responsible for the acceleration of illegal Mexican immigration. Poor Mittens...always one conservative criteria short of a trifecta.

Here's Mittens in his own words:

ROMNEY: In the 1960s, there were welfare programs that created a culture of poverty in our country. Now, some people think we won that battle when we reformed welfare. But the liberals haven't given up.

At every turn, they tried to substitute government largess for individual responsibility. They fight to strip work requirements from welfare, to put more people on Medicaid, and remove more and more people from having to pay any income tax whatsoever.

Dependency is death to initiative, risk-taking and opportunity. Dependency is culture killing. It's a drug. We've got to fight it like the poison it is.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: The attack on faith and religion is no less relentless. And tolerance for pornography, even celebration of it, and sexual promiscuity, combined with the twisted incentives of government welfare, have led to today's grim realities: 68 percent of African- American kids born out of wedlock, 45 percent of Hispanic kids, 25 percent of white kids.

How much harder it is for these kids to succeed in school and in life. A nation built on the principles of the founding fathers cannot long stand when its children are raised without fathers in the home.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: The development of a child is enhanced by having a mother and a father. Such a family is the ideal for the future of the child and for the strength of the nation.

I wonder how it is that unelected judges, like some in my state of Massachusetts, are so unaware of this reality, so oblivious to the millennia of recorded history.

It's time for the people of America to fortify marriage through a constitutional amendment, so that liberal judges cannot continue to attack it.

Fortunately, Jon Stewart has done a yeoman's job in deconstructing Mittens' moribund manifesto. Stewart focuses on Mittens assertion that he's withdrawing from the race in order to keep America safe from the terrorist onslaught that would result from a Democratic president's rush to admit and accept defeat> Mittens just can't allow himself to empower and encourage the terrorists...he loves America too much...not to mention that he loves his money and hasn't a chance in hell of winning the nomination.

In the end, I think Mittens should have run as an independent candidate...perhaps a Reconstructionist Republican? After all, who can name another politician with the ability to reconstruct his positions at the drop of a hat? Let's just hope that Mittens doesn't try to reconstitute himself into one of his remaining eight political identities. I'm of the opinion that it's best to let sleeping dogs...err...Mittens...lie. He does it so well!

Jon Stewart On The Mittens Appearance At CPAC

A Daily Show Classic On The Impact Of Gay Marriage

Tagged as: 2008 Election, Conservatism, CPAC, Humor, Immigration, Jon Stewart, LGBT, Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, Religious Right, Same-Sex Marriage, Terrorism, The Daily Show

Daniel DiRito | February 8, 2008 | 1:25 PM | link | Comments (0)
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