In Germany, “Dueling Breasts” Join the Ad Campaign in the Run-up to the September Election

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

There’s beem some stuff around the internet implying/stating that to criticize Hillary Clinton’s recent words and demeanor in Africa is an obvious case of “sexism.”

Well, I guess this makes me a sexist as I criticize this woman pol in Germany.  From the BBC World Service:

Merkel’s party in low-cut controversy.

Vera Lengsfeld of the Christian Democrats, who is campaigning in the east of Berlin, has billboard-sized pictures of herself in a low-cut dress next to a picture of Chancellor Angela Merkel in an even more revealing number.

The poster’s strap line reads “We have more to offer”.

The image has been dividing opinion in Germany.

more

So, what does the picture look like?  It was on the BBC site, but I copied it from Spiegel Online, which has a full article on the campaign now going on in Germany leading up to the September election and a picture gallery of all the advertising.  (See:  ‘Merkel Is Planning a Campaign with Nationalistic Undertones’ which asks if these first ads are “any good”…)

Here’s the one in question:

GERMANY/

Vera Lengsfeld, a member of Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), has already raised eyebrows with a campaign poster displaying the chancellor's ample cleavage alongside her own, together with the slogan: "We have more to offer." She did not ask the chancellor for approval before using her picture.

I’ll answer that question posed about whether this ad, in a particular, is any good.

I think it stinks!  First of all, Vera Lengsfeld didn’t ask Angela Merkel if it was OK to use Merkel’s picture.

The bigger question is: What the hell is Lengsfeld trying to prove? Does the “humorous” reference to cleavage make it OK to bring her body into the campaign?

What kind of judgment does this woman have?  You’d think a woman politician would want to leave gender aside and stick to the issues for the sake of her own credibility.  And why play into the hands of a global culture which zeroes in on a woman’s appearance first instead of her intellect and other qualities? A global culture which pretty much demeans women non-stop.  Even here in the U.S. of A. in the person of Barack Obama and his finger and his speech writer Jon Favreau who likes to grope Hillary Clinton’s chest even if it is only cardboard.  You know, the same country where the media went bonkers over a ‘”hint of cleavage” that Clinton “displayed” at one point?

Is Lengsfeld trying to emulate the sex queens of Italian politics?

Poor Angela Merkel was probably photographed at a function with no intent of being plastered all over a billboard.  Maybe her dress was a bit too much for any public appearance, but who knows when it was taken? Maybe it was before she was elected Chancellor.  No matter…Merkel has never used cheesecake in her political campaigns as far as I can tell.

Until now.  But not because she wanted to.  Lengsfeld has completely cheapened this political season in Germany.   Merkel has been dealing with an economic mess and has had the guts to not get on the Obama bandwagon. She’s tough and smart.   But now she’s used in a “dueling breast” ad at the hands of another woman from her own party, no less.

And I have to laugh that it’s a “Conservative Christian Democrat” who’s dishing out this stuff!  Sort of conjures up images of those family values Republicans, one of whom recently dashed off from the governor’s office to South America for trysts with his mistress…

Men may compare their “packages” in their leisure time chat, but I’ve yet to see an add displaying a male pol’s crotch on a regular basis.  Of course, there is one exception, though not in exact parallel:  Our beloved leader showed off his crotch to a gaggle of women reporters on his campaign plane.  but he did NOT run an ad comparing his crotch to John McCain’s.  Even he didn’t go THAT far…

Women undercutting other women is nothing new, but this little escapade sure takes it to a lower level than usual.

So, am I a sexist for criticizing Lengsfeld?  If you are even considering such a thing, you should have your head examined!

The point is that women who are assholes in public are fair game for criticism, just like male assholes.  It’s not always sexism that’s in play…

Forget the Mainstream Media “Business Analysts”: Economics Prof Explains Obamanomics and Conducts Experiment That Proves His Point

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

American Lassie forwarded this little ditty which does what the mainstream media can’t won’t do–explain what extreme government control can do to a country’s get up and go.

Now, I, personally, believe in a strong social safety net, so I’ll NEVER be a Republican.  I’m not far over on the other side of the spectrum which seems to put unfettered business and profit above everything else.  Sadly, we’re in a situation now where pandering to business combined with the autocratic streak of the extreme left, is playing into GOP hands for the future.  When they get back in control on the back of their OWN misinformation and scare tactics, their own autocratic stamp will be put on our lives…the table will have been set for extreme cuts to the social services we need.  The GOP have blocked anything that even tries to help strengthen the social safety net in the past and I think they’re salivating right now at the thought of having a carte blanche in the future to wield a harsh and punitive knife so Medicare, Social Security, etc.  And many workers will suffer, as usual, at the hands of employers, as they have done for eons.

Of course, IF we actually have a sane Democratic Party that fights this in the future, we may survive, but at this point, we don’t have a sane Democratic Party, so all bets are off!

So, here is the current state of affairs explained simply. You may want to pass it around to anybody you know who is confused and needs a basic primer…Of course, things are way more complicated in real life.  After all the big banks are TOO BIG TO FAIL, so that sort of skews the curve…

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had once failed an entire class.

Economics Prof in Action

Economics Prof in Action

——————————————–
That class had insisted that Obama’s socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.
The professor then said, “OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama’s plan”.
All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A.
After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B.
The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.
As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.
The second test average was a D!
No one was happy.
When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.
The scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.
All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.
Could not be any simpler than that.

A.P. Clamping Down on Bloggers; New Stance Will Stifle “Even Minimal Use” of News Articles Online

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Gee, do you think this will hurt the blogging community and our efforts to disseminate important news that we’re not seeing  on the TeeVee???

The Associated Press isn’t exactly shy about how they slant their stories, but down in the last paragraphs  you can often find the real meat of an issue that they’re reporting on.  But we won’t be able quote any of it.

From the New York Times, before the hammer falls (my highlighting):

A.P. Cracks Down on Unpaid Use of Articles on Web

Tom Curley, The A.P.’s president and chief executive, said the company’s position was that even minimal use of a news article online required a licensing agreement with the news organization that produced it. In an interview, he specifically cited references that include a headline and a link to an article, a standard practice of search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo, news aggregators and blogs.

Asked if that stance went further than The A.P. had gone before, he said, “That’s right.” The company envisions a campaign that goes far beyond The A.P., a nonprofit corporation. It wants the 1,400 American newspapers that own the company to join the effort and use its software.

“Software”-what kind of software? Something for the newspapers to use or tracking software to chase down bloggers?

And then comes those fighting words:

“If someone can build multibillion-dollar businesses out of keywords, we can build multihundred-million businesses out of headlines, and we’re going to do that,” Mr. Curley said. The goal, he said, was not to have less use of the news articles, but to be paid for any use.

Does that last comment about the “goal” make complete sense? So much for the “Fourth Estate“!

And have no fear– “aggregator” sites like The Huffington Post will continue to inform us, although the rest of us small guys sure will be cut off  (did you know that The Huffington Post is being called a “news aggregator”?):

Some popular news aggregators like The Huffington Post and Google News have licensing agreements, paying The A.P. for the use of its material. But no comparable agreements cover general Internet searches that turn up news articles with a variety of other results.

Years ago I worked for ETS writing reading comprehension tests for the TOEFL exams (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and one of the hardest tasks was to find usable sections of articles and books that met ETS’ standards.  We had copyright rules to follow.  Out of a certain number of pages in a chapter or book, we were limited in the amount that we were allowed to extract.  That seem to satisfy the law for print materials at that time.

Now, it looks like we can’t even use a LINK to an A.P. story! For all the “communications” technology and TV channels we have, the reality is that, especially for those without computers or those with computers but who have no time,  the information that we want to have is getting harder and harder to locate.

But, I guess, that’s the way the Media Borg wants it to be, right?

The Past Week: July 19-25, 2009 (The Journalism School Named after Walter Cronkite; Poor Economy, Cash-Strapped Families = Unclaimed Bodies of Loved Ones)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

The passing of Walter Cronkite resulted in lots of solemn eulogies in TeeVee-land, and I have to say that woman I saw one afternoon on CNN exclaiming that he “wasn’t just a newsreader” made me chortle…she obviously thought SHE wasn’t a newsreader and spoke with some authority on the matter as she conversed with somebody who was reminiscing about Cronkite’s tremendous experience.  What a joke!  This young chippy chit-chatted her way through the “news” as if she were doing an infomercial…

Cronkite, of course, was the man everyone watched during the moon landing back in 1969.  And, I’m also old enough to remember his reporting on the Kennedy assassination (and Dan Rather, who was local in Dallas back then.) By accident, while noodling around the web during the moon landing anniversary, I came across the website of the Cronkite School New Media Academy | The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication which is at Arizona State University.

It produced Aaron Brown, among others. But who knows if it is really living up to the expectations espoused in the “Welcome” message. For example, the connection to ABC news doesn’t exactly inspire.  And where do really good journalism students go lately even IF they do get a decent education in journalism? (And that’s a big IF, to assume any really good journalists are coming out of journalism schools these days.)  Do they go MSBNC? CNN? NBC? FOX? etc., etc.

Don’t think so…

***

Signs of the times… From the Los Angeles Times:

More bodies go unclaimed as families can’t afford funeral costs

According to the story, “The poor economy is taking a toll even on the dead, with an increasing number of bodies in Los Angeles County going unclaimed by families who cannot afford to bury or cremate their loved ones.”

The victims of homicide and suspicious deaths are being cremated at taxpayer expense because people can’t afford services, so are leaving bodies of loved ones unclaimed.

And the L.A. county  is so much busier that they are no longer accepting bodies from the coroner. That office is now contracting private crematories to handle the load.

Apparently the situation in L.A. isn’t unique:

Coroners and funeral directors around the country say they are seeing the same trend as cash-strapped families cope with funeral costs. Just claiming a body from the L.A. County coroner costs $200. Once a body is claimed, private cremations usually run close to $1,000, Smith said. Funeral homes charge an average of $7,300 to transport and bury a body in a simple grave, according to the National Funeral Home Directors Assn.

…Can’t even rest in peace these days…

THE PAST WEEK

*By KenoshaMarge

*VOTING IN LOCKSTEP IS NOW A GOOD THING? (Not According to SOME Democrats in Congress…)

Chicago Suburb Hosts Hizb ut-Tahrir Conference; Organization Aims to Re-Establish an International Islamic State (Caliphate), Supports Jihad

The Past Week: July 12-18, 2009 (Energy-Saving Porch Project; “Full Plates Full Lives” Food Campaign; JFK, Jr.)

CNBC (Among Others) Caught in the Act “Reporting” Nouriel Roubini’s Comments on the Economy…He Responds

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Yesterday morning (Thursday, July 16), I tuned into CNBC with my usual jaded eyes and ears and was amply rewarded by the total misrepresentation of Nouriel Roubini’s comments on the economy.

The talking heads were almost giddy as the “news” flashed across the bottom of the screen almost non-stop:

“Roubini says the worst is if over for the financial (sector) and the economy.”(sic)

The  talking heads opined that the gains in the market were because of this comment.

Something didn’t sound right, not right at all. I had just seen a video of a Bloomberg panel featuring Roubin and Robert Shiller (who forecasts the housing market, among other things).  The panel discussion was on July 9. Here’s the story with the video which is up at Roubini’s RGE Monitor site,under the title “Roubini Says U.S. Recession Will Last Six More Months.”  Roubini also said that whatever recovery occurs will be “shallow.”  And, he added more grim analysis of the economy and our present state of affairs as the discussion progressed.

So, now it seems that Roubini has issued a statement to counter the reporting of his views:

Roubini: Views on Economy Unchanged Despite Reports

Published: Thursday, 16 Jul 2009 | 5:51 PM ET

By: CNBC.com

Nouriel Roubini, the economist whose dire forecasts earned him the nickname “Doctor Doom,” said after markets closed Thursday that earlier reports claiming he sees an end to the recession this year were “taken out of context.”

Nouriel Roubini

cnbc.com


“It has been widely reported today that I have stated that the recession will be over ‘this year’ and that I have ‘improved’ my economic outlook,” Roubini said in a prepared statement. “Despite those reports … my views expressed today are no different than the views I have expressed previously. If anything my views were taken out of context.”

Several business news outlets, picking up on a report initially from Reuters, earlier Thursday cited Roubini as saying that the worst of the economic financial crisis may be over.

(MORE)

Yeah, “several business news outlets” means YOU, CNBC!

Roubini’s unfiltered statement is up now at his site.

Roubini Statement on the U.S. Economic Outlook

Nouriel Roubini | Jul 16, 2009

“It has been widely reported today that I have stated that the recession will be over ‘this year’ and that I have ‘improved’ my economic outlook. Despite those reports – however – my views expressed today are no different than the views I have expressed previously. If anything my views were taken out of context.

“I have said on numerous occasions that the recession would last roughly 24 months. Therefore, we are 19months into that recession. If, as I predicted, the recession is over by year end, it will have lasted 24 months with a recovery only beginning in 2010.  Simply put I am not forecasting economic growth before year’s end.

“Indeed, last year I argued that this will be a long and deep and protracted U-shaped recession that would last 24 months. Meanwhile, the consensus argued that this would be a short and shallow V-shaped 8 months long recession (like those in 1990-91 and 2001). That debate is over today as we are in the 19th month of a severe recession; so the V is out the window and we are in a deep U-shaped recession. If that recession were to be over by year end – as I have consistently predicted – it would have lasted 24 months and thus been three times longer than the previous two and five times deeper – in terms of cumulative GDP contraction – than the previous two. So, there is nothing new in my remarks today about the recession being over at the end of this year.

And then he gets to the real core issue:

“Also, as I fleshed out in detail in recent remarks the labor market is still very weak. I predict a peak unemployment rate of close to 11% in 2010. Such a large unemployment rate will have negative effects on labor income and consumption growth; will postpone the bottoming out of the housing sector; will lead to larger defaults and losses on bank loans (residential and commercial mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, leveraged loans); will increase the size of the budget deficit (even before any additional stimulus is implemented); and will increase protectionist pressures.

“So, yes there is light at the end of the tunnel for the US and the global economy. But as I have consistently argued, the recession will continue through the end of the year, and the recovery will be weak and at risk of a double-dip, as the challenge of getting right the timing and size of the exit strategy for monetary and fiscal policy easing will be daunting.

That sounds a whole lot less open and shut than the message being broadcast by CNBC, doesn’t it?

200,000 Hits!…Some of the Stories that Made it Happen: Obama’s Handwriting; Nation of Nincompoops, Obama’s Associates; Sharia Finance; The Fed; Reality Check from Chicago

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

I knew we were close to 200,000 hits but we blew past that mark a lot sooner than I had anticipated.

A few days ago I came up with the idea of doing “Our Greatest Hits” as a way of marking the occasion. I emailed the troops to see if they had any preferences about which of their stories should be given a second look.  Well, they decided to defer to ME!   GRRR!!  So, at the risk of missing their best, here goes!

Of course, if, Kenosha Marge, Grail Guardian, American Lassie or Chicago Correspondent Leslie have other ideas, they can post the links of anything they find in the archives that they want to highlight. It’s not too late!!  LOL~

First, I’ll start with something I wrote. It has to be:

Obama–A Look at the Personality Behind the Handwriting

Believe it or not, I actually received an email from an aide to one of the authors whom I cited at the end of the piece. This author really like the article and requested a copy!

Kenosha Marge was the first on board as a contributor and she has written some marvelous rants!  Which to choose?  This one if from a couple of months ago and seems to cover a lot of bases:

A Nation of Nincompoops

Grail Guardian arrived a bit later and has written some amazing pieces, both personal and political.  But this is the one that immediately came to mind. Actually, there were two separate posts which we combined into one for easy reference:

Parts 1 & 2–The Lineup: A Who’s Who of The Associates of Barack Obama

American Lassie hopped on board and has been digging around money and Shariah issues. Here’s another recent post that seems to warrant another look:

Sharia Finance: Rapidly Increasing Inroads Via American Banks…With the Help of Our Treasury Department

And this one:

Eustace Mullins’ “Secrets of the Federal Reserve”: Read About what Ezra Pound Called “The Great Betrayal”

Last, but definitely not least, Chicago Correspondent Leslie has dropped little nuggets our way on a regular basis. Nearly every “Past Week” post in the archives has something from Leslie.  But here’s something she emailed to me which merited an entire post!

Reality Check from Our Chicago Correspondent: University of Chicago & Its Hospital “Terminating” Jobs Like Crazy (Michelle O., Guess Shuffling All Those Indigent Patients Elswhere Didn’t Help the Bottom Line That Much? Your “Plum” Job is Going, Too!)

These last two pretty much sum up the craziness we’re in these days:

Williamette, Oregon Weekly’s HILARIOUS/Scary Portrayal of Obama (UPDATED 3x and Now Just Plain SCARY)

and the first part of this post:

BREAKING: El Paso Man Commits Suicide, Leaves Note to Obama “Take Care of My Family”; Other NM News–VOTING Problems, Giuliani in So. NM Tonight (Saturday)

We’ve covered a lot of ground these last 14 months and have written on a wide variety of topics, from politics, to international news, to health and animals and pets.  Not to mention the media and manipulation…

So, although we’re posting a little less frequently these days, if you mosey around the archives you’re sure to find some interesting background info and even some stories that are off the radar of most blogs…hey, what’s that about that 3rd largest port in Mexico and Citicorp?

About Sarah Palin…

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

I was at the gym on the Wave when I saw the news about Sarah Palin’s resignation. My first reaction was “Oh, this is bad!  They’ll call her “a quitter.” I listened patiently to the patter on FOX and later at home and, of course, the term “quitter” was brought up, as well as speculation about her not having a thick enough skin,” her family concerns, and maybe how having a Downs child demands more time than she originally thought.  Or maybe she she was just “fed up.” I was informed that she had been acting “bizarre.” I heard the radio news playing back the Katie Couric interview about what Palin read. (Frankly, she said she read everything, which sounds just about like how I would answer on the fly…I’m sure if she had specified at the time, people would have criticized her even for that!)

I can only speak for myself but as I heard more of what she actually said today, especially the part about working for Americans in the future, I actually began to feel good about all this. I love that she focused on the political climate in Alaska. I loved that she didn’t consult with the Congressional delegation.

The “elite” have been out to get her since Day 1 and the Letterman crap didn’t arouse much passionate defense. (The late comments by NOW were just that–late and rather pro forma to save their image after they got an earful, most likely.)  Frankly, the Republicans don’t seem to want her either.

You know what? I would love it if she left the Republican Party and traveled around speaking, pointedly, about the political climate in this country. I’d love if she began saying point blank that the media is garbage.  I would love it if she mused out loud about the criticism about her “stupidity” and lack of “experience” and compare that to this fraud in the White House’s experience and his need for a teleprompter. I would love it if she starting hanging around with a Ron Paul or some of those Democratic reps who don’t approve of a lot of the Obama Adminstration’s crap, the GOP and the demise of this country.

I would love it if she spearheaded a third party.  Basically, I’d love it if she essentially started campaigning against Obama by going after the creeps around him, some of whom have been going after her in Alaska. She can also talk about the Republicans who join in the game.  She can without any problems call out the elites in D.C.  I think the harsh attacks on Palin belie a great deal of fear…She has nothing to lose, so I would love to see her really unleashed on her own terms.

However, if she chooses not to, that’s OK…because I don’t want to see her go down in a small plane “accident”…

Right now the punditry and the elite are rather shocked, it seems. Well, screw them!  We’ve been inspired by the women of Iran recently and maybe here in the U.S., we can be inspired by a woman who isn’t afraid to go out there and be herself and speak her mind.

Whatever she does, it will be interesting.

For now, I’m hoping she goes on every damned talk show and simply unloads.  I hope she gives Obama and the rest of the Villagers some nervous moments.

And maybe she can provide the spark that gets this country to wake up…

Just a couple of days ago she let this drop:

Palin says she’d beat Obama in long run

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said she’d come out ahead if she went one-on-one with fellow jogger President Barack Obama in a long run, according to an interview published online Tuesday.

“I betcha I’d have more endurance,” she told Runner’s World magazine.

snip

“Sweat is my sanity,” Palin told the magazine.

Somehow, I don’t think Palin is a quitter. She’s playing the game her way.  Whatever her plan is, I say:

GO, SARAH!!