Monday, December 14, 2009

Tiger-love: Or How America Learned to Stop Thinking and Love Celebrity Gossip

Visit nearly any current event webpage today, and you will hear the same message. That Tiger Woods is an adulterer. That Tiger Woods is a very bad man. Recently, as the women step up to be counted among his mistresses, we are even hearing stories about him having crazy weekends blowing $40K in Vegas on huge drinking binges, and having his way with 10-15 woman at any one time. (1)

Now let’s take a step back and breathe, America, because it’s gone well past the point of ridiculous. What began as a simple celebrity affair has become more like a series of opulent orgy scenes from Caligula.

So I would just like to explain a few things. Call it a last-ditch effort before he’s implicated of some completely untrue bondage fetish and people really lose their minds about Tiger.

Yes, Tiger obviously cheated on his wife, and that’s bad. If he’s divorced, maybe he should give her the millions she’s entitled to according to their pre-nuptial agreement. And maybe his impeccable character was manufactured. But let’s be honest. To most golf fans, it might have well been an arranged marriage. To us, she wanted money and to be with the best golfer in the world. He wanted a smoking hot blonde wife. I didn’t think the relationship went too far past that, and if it did, we didn’t need to know.

But in the wake of the recent news, American women are claiming some kind of curious affinity to Elin Nordegren, the victim housewife who was wronged, although they know nothing about her and her lifestyle is anything but something the common woman can relate to.

Even more curious, the public is all too eager to start casting stones at Tiger. The dreadful hypocrisy here is that the same people that crucify Tiger as a whore are viciously defending the whores he allegedly had sex with, even to the point of vocally supporting them in litigation against Tiger. Why? Do the American people really think Tiger took some kind of precious innocence from the loose women that are coming forward, who “maybe” had sex with him and are now chomping at the bit to publicize that fact and take his money?

Maybe. Or maybe these Americans want to see Tiger punished so badly that they'll claim a moral alignment with the likes of these cocktail waitresses, escorts, porn stars, or worst of all, would-be reality television divas.

And as ridiculous as that is, many Americans will never get past it. That is because most Americans have attention spans that can be measured in microseconds, and celebrity gossip-hounds are the worst. Therefore, most people won’t take the time to think anything other than the message they hear on the news: that Tiger is a real bad guy, a sex-fiend and adulterer. And I fear he will never win a spot in their good graces again.

But to the sports fans that are not yet a lost cause buried in a sea of TMZ, and whose evening schedules are not contingent on the progress of American Idol: let’s compare him to other athletes for a moment.

If he were single, would this even be an issue? No, probably not. So his marriage is the spark inciting most of the public rage. However, we know of numerous baseball and football players that are well-known for this kind of activity, and yet they are not nearly as vilified by the media. Furthermore, baseball players who allegedly took steroids have more peace of mind than Tiger, and Tiger’s crimes have nothing to do with his sport; it’s entirely personal.

So let him work out his personal life, either by repairing the marriage and moving on, or by a divorce and a fiscal pounding. And let him play some golf for God’s sake, without condemnation campaigns from the soulless media trying to get rich from his tragic fall. He is not a celebrity because he is a beacon of moderation or morality, though some people chose to paint him that way and even Tiger himself embraced that image. He is a celebrity because he is quite possibly the best golfer to ever live, and these are the years where he can take the "quite possibly" out of this sentence forever.

Golf needs Tiger Woods on the PGA Tour. And don’t worry, he’ll still have legions of fans. They’ll just be less fickle and judgmental, and will simply appreciate his contribution to the sport rather than gawk at the fact that he is super-rich and in the sacred media limelight. And that’s going to have to be enough for him.

William Sullivan
Houston, TX


Monday, December 7, 2009

Al Gore: Environmentalist, Politician... Poet?

Step aside Shakespeare, Whitman, and Dickinson. Embrace the work of the prophet and Savior, Al Gore.

One thin September soon
A floating continent disappears
In midnight sun

Vapors rise as
Fever settles on an acid sea
Neptune's bones dissolve

Snow glides from the mountain
Ice fathers floods for a season
A hard rain comes quickly

Then dirt is parched
Kindling is placed in the forest
For the lightning's celebration

Unknown creatures
Take their leave, unmourned
Horsemen ready their stirrups

Passion seeks heroes and friends
The bell of the city
On the hill is rung

The shepherd cries
The hour of choosing has arrived
Here are your tools (1)

It's a very pleasing poem to the global warming advocate, and your average English undergrad may even find it pleasing to the ear, delighted that such language is still used. The problem is, it’s not a very good poem. It lacks depth, is utterly blatant, and unjustifiably implies parity with classical poetry. As for its substance, its purpose is the same as his film's: to scare the hell out of people about global warming.

Yet Gore is somehow collecting idiotic accolades. Mark Hetzgaard, from Vanity Fair, praises him for his contribution, saying of Mr. Gore’s poetic lines: they are visually specific and emotionally arresting even as they are scientifically accurate. (2)

Mr. Hetzgaard should impart his Vanity Fair wisdom about what is so "scientifically accurate" about this poem. It seems much more like a collection of outcomes to an outlandish doomsday prophecy, every bit as "scientific" as the Book of Revelations.

Even more frustrating, of the final stanza, Mr. Hetzgaard has this to say: "Is Gore himself that shepherd? No matter. What counts is that the hour of choosing has indeed arrived." Mr. Hetzgaard can delude himself about the intention, but Al Gore most certainly likens himself to a shepherd in the final stanza, warning his flock about the coming disaster. It is difficult to cast aside his egotism, and even harder to ignore his use of the allegorical "shepherd" imagery to establish himself as a Christ-like figure. But if we push these criticisms of his arrogance aside, we can approach the "scientific accuracy" of his predictions with one question that Mr. Gore repeatedly ignores:

If his predictions are “scientifically accurate,” then why is there a schism in the scientific community between those who believe in anthropogenic global warming and those who believe in naturalistic climate change? There is a consortium of scientists saying that changes in anthropogenic activity will have little effect on future climate patterns. Since the "science" is in contention, perhaps rather than saying Gore is "scientifically accurate," Mr. Hetzgaard would be more truthful to relate that "Mr. Gore is scientifically accurate according to the science that he and I subscribe to."

This poem has little literary value and no scientific merit whatsoever, and should be referenced only as a piece of propaganda espousing man-made global warming. It merely provides a picture of the elaborate Armageddon of the environmentalist's Faith. Given that global warming alarmism is the creed of choice for many liberal arts patrons, I will not be surprised when Gore claims a Pulitzer.

But Gore’s poem is brilliant in one specific way, insofar as his intent. He seems as if he’s channeling masterful poets, almost as if written in emulation of classical poetry. This is evident in William Petrocelli’s account in the Huffington Post. In an effort to receive self-validation, Gore jovially suggested to his editor that William Butler Yeats had written the poem to see if it was believable. (1) He even references Poseidon, god of the sea, in his Roman name of Neptune. Invoking historical gods of the Greeks is a common theme in classical poetry, and this reference's unnecessary inclusion is meant to give the poet the credibility of a well-read author. This way, if Gore’s poem is negatively critiqued, Gore and his supporters can just say that the naysayer is too unsophisticated and uneducated to understand the value of it.

So Gore will know well how to spin any criticism. After all, he is highly experienced in admonishing cynics as ignorant primitives; it has been his one and only response to those who challenge his ideas on anthropogenic global warming.

William Sullivan


Monday, November 30, 2009

America on Iran: Where do we stand?

As of November 30th, 2009, the Iranian parliament has approved earmarking $20 million to fund anti-Western terrorists. (1) This money will inevitably supply weapons and bombs for the likes of Al Qaeda and Hamas, compensate the families of suicide bombers, and provide recruitment propaganda for terrorist units. The fruit of these earmarks will undoubtedly be vicious attacks upon the United States and its allies.

But this is only one instance of Iranian rebelliousness aimed at challenging the resolution and grit of Western culture. Recently, we witnessed the surfacing of one particular Iranian enrichment facility, in construction, that had been meant to remain shrouded from the international eye. In response to their blatant deception, the UN has demanded that they halt its production. Displaying staunch defiance, Iran has now announced the plans to construct ten more of these facilities rather than comply. (2)

Why would they do this? Don’t they want to grasp the olive branch that America has coaxed the Western powers to extend?

Absolutely not, nor have they ever. Iran has simply deemed Obama’s elegant political candor impotent, and his resolve empty. Therefore, they no longer feel they should pay lip-service to the international community, whose idle threats do not impede their goal of nuclear proliferation. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran has bluntly told the world what he thinks of the international sanctions by proclaiming, “If they want to continue with that path of sanctions, we will not be harmed. They can issue resolutions for 100 years.” (3)

Apparently, Iran does not respect sanctions or UN resolutions. So it is rather suspect that every trip to the international drawing board yields the same feeble offerings for policies to engage Iran: resolutions, and possibly more sanctions.

This would not be so dangerous if we could say that Iran is nothing more than a rogue nation, but that would imply isolation and a lack of concerted efforts with other enemies of America. Quite the contrary, their unchecked insolence has spurred enemies of the United States to publicly announce support for the rabid nation. (4) This gives the Iranian powder keg a global blast radius.

And there is more than sufficient evidence of Iranian intent to spark a detonation. Given that international political posturing has drawn lines in the conflict, along with the heralded intent of the Iranian regime, it does not take clairvoyance to understand that current events portend the ominous signals of a global conflict.

The most horrifying of these signals lies in the simple fact that the rhetoric of Iranian leaders is in the very vein of Adolf Hitler. Take, for example, a 2005 decree by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: “There is no doubt that the new wave in Palestine will soon wipe off this disgraceful blot from the face of the Islamic world.” (5) This is one of his many calls to reference genocide as an acceptable solution to destroy the Jewish nation. If one correlates these statements with both their nuclear endeavors and the fact that a nuclear Holocaust would be the most efficient means to dispatch Israel’s existence, Iran’s aims should not be ambiguous. Yet, in a recurrence of the historical mistakes committed by those who failed to recognize the evil suggestion of Mein Kampf, our vigilant media refuses to see the genocidal overtones. Rather, most often one finds politically correct terms for the language, like “anti-Zionist rhetoric.”

Ahmadinejad spouts this hateful dogma regularly. So we must ask ourselves why this government and the UN believe that somehow Iran is vying for peace, and that its nuclear production is meant for peaceful ends. It is a tremendous stretch when the entire world is privy to the infallible source of the horse’s mouth, which screams to the contrary. Yet somehow, Obama’s soothing tenor convinces America that Iran, like the rest of the world, wants peace. Pure naiveté, but it sounds pleasing to American sensibilities, nonetheless.

Despite the diplomatic façade, it is impossible to conclude that Iran wants peace with Israel, and highly unlikely to perceive their nuclear program is a peaceful enterprise. So this leaves America with a harrowing question regarding America’s insistence on dialogue with Iran: on which side of the conflict do Barack Obama’s interests lie?

Either willfully conniving or idealistically incorrect, I fear that the answer to that question becomes more apparent with each day that Obama ignores the security of Israel in favor of forging a diplomatic relationship with a genocidal despot.

William Sullivan






Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Election Eye Opener

As every media outlet and political website and blog have headlined, the GOP won two very telling victories on November 3rd. Bob McDonnell won the governors race in Virginia by 18% and Chris Christie won the New Jersey governors race by 5%*. The Christie victory, while still surprising, is not as cut and dry as it might appear. Christie is a moderate Republican, and Corzine was extremely unpopular in New Jersey. Nevertheless, both victories are sending shock waves through the political community and, hopefully, a message to all incumbents.

The reason that these two races have received so much attention is due to the fact that Obama carried both states in the 2008 election and had campaigned for both Democratic candidates. This could easily be viewed as a direct showing of disapproval of the Obama administration and democratic congressional policies. The sway Obama and the democrats seemed to have over both states appears to have faltered but the GOP should only look at this as a small stepping stone going into the 2010 elections and even Republican incumbents should be paying attention.

When the Democrats took control of both the House and the Senate in 2006, a Democratic political adviser warned on CNN that the majority of the country still leans fiscally conservative, and that the newly elected Democrats would be wise to keep this in mind if they want to remain in office. He went on to say, that prior to 2006, the Republicans in power had drifted away fiscally conservative principles. Their constituents were unhappy and it showed at the polls. This remains true today and the two governors races might just be a warning to all incumbents that listening to the electorate is job one.

The current congress has one of the lowest approval rating in history. The amazing thing about this statistic is that their approval rating is about the same now as it was in 2005. So despite the Democrats winning the majority in 2006 and taking even more seats and the presidency in 2008, Americans are still unhappy with the job that congress is doing. This has always been a hard concept to grasp considering that Americans can simply "vote out" who they are unhappy with. Apparently the overwhelming belief held by citizens has been one of being somewhat satisfied with their personal representative and not as pleased with those from other districts or states. This unfortunate trend seems to be fading. As of right now, both the senate majority leader and the Speaker of the House are experiencing problems on the home front. Pelosi's approval ratings have dropped significantly as have Harry Reid's. And although Pelosi's district may be a lost cause to conservatives, Reid's position could very well be up for grabs in 2010.

The American political system is supposed to be a relatively simple concept. A given district or state elects an individual to speak on their behalf. Now, as seen in the stimulus, health care and cap and trade bills, this does not always occur. When the so called "blue dog democrats" were holding out on the health care vote, due to discourse from their respective constituencies, Pelosi and Reid held closed door meetings with the holdouts. In these meetings the "blue dogs" were basically told that if they wanted any kind of future in the democratic party, including appointments to any important committees, then they should drop their objections. This is by no means a new trick, nor is it one that is party exculsive, and it worked at the time. However, on November 4th, not even 24 hours after the election, Reid himself stated that he did not believe that health care would be passed this year like the president had wanted. Before the election, some thought that a vote could come as early as November 5th. Many politicians are rethinking being linked to a bill that, so far, is wildly unpopular with the majority of people. This is also the reason that cap and trade has floundered thusfar. Not many people in congress want to explain to their electorate why they voted for a bill that is guaranteed to raise their energy costs, especially in a recession. Being guaranteed a future in any party by party leaders is worthless if you are bound to lose the next election. Hopefully this election has shown politicians on both sides of the aisle that their sole purpose is to do as their constituents would have them do. Otherwise, these constituents have shown that they will find someone who will.

*According to the AP

Calvin Parker

Friday, October 23, 2009

Assault on Amendment 1

There is a reason that our forefathers did not pen the "freedom of speech, or the freedom of the press"(1) clause as the second, third, or tenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States. There is a very direct meaning in its placement as the first. And that is because it is this one right, above all others, that guarantees the influence of the People in governing this nation. Very specifically, this right is granted to keep the People abreast of any possible legislative wrongdoings, so that a government must always be made to defend why its actions are the execution of the People's will. This is, quite simply, a formula to prevent tyranny.

Few Americans would argue with that logic. So why are Americans complacent about the government's attempts to seize the power to regulate the most prolific forums of free speech? We encountered this months ago, when Congress presented options for "internet neutrality." Now, the FCC is attempting their own version of this travesty, this time calling it an "open internet" initiative. (2)

The internet is the most essential podium for free speech the world has seen. Never have so many been able to voice their opinions in a meaningful and widely viewed manner. Considering television and print mediums provide little more than bias and political slant in scripted fashion, what better way would one have to feel the American pulse than to hear it directly from the public's mouth in a spontaneous discussion where one must defend his position, without the luxury of a teleprompter or a pre-prepared volley of questions? It is now only in live talk radio and the internet that this interactivity with citizens is seen. Therefore, it is only in these two mediums that dissent is trumpeted.

And that, dear friends, is the very reason why this administration has targeted the internet for regulation. If the government is allowed to stifle the information relay on the internet, it will have effectively silenced the ability of the People "to petition the government for a redress of grievances."(1) If this occurs, we can expect nothing short of tyranny. Any person that expects a different outcome is ignorant of history. Any person who feels this is not a stepping stone on the path to socialism or statism knows nothing of those ideologies or their principles. And if any person says such an action would coincide with the ideals of our founding fathers, he admits that he knows nothing of them.

In the immortal words of our wise colonial:

Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.
-Thomas Jefferson

William Sullivan

(1) Excerpts from the 1st Amendment

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Climate Change Fanaticism: Cap and Trade on Humans?

On Oct 14 2009, NY Times reporter Andrew Revkin participated via webcam in a climate change conference titled “Covering Climate: What’s Population Got to Do With It?” which was held at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. There he stated that one of the greatest things that an American could do to reduce their carbon footprint was to have less children. He even went on to suggest that in doing so, couples who have less or no children should theoretically be eligible for some kind of carbon credit(1). This sounds like a cap and trade system on human life. Would this mean, theoretically, that a couple wanting to have more than the government allotted number of children would have to buy these carbon credits away from people having less than the government allotted number of children?
This is fanaticism and all fanaticism is dangerous. Now I know Revkin is not a politician and has no legislative power, but he is still an environmental journalist for one of the nations biggest newspapers. Through his articles, he tries to push an agenda that is not only based on highly debatable and so far unproven science, but one which also encroaches on the most basic of human rights. The fact that he wasn’t laughed out of the conference says a lot about the “climate change” movement in general. I applaud energy efficiency as a personal choice. That is exactly what it should be, a personal choice. There should be no governmental mandate telling a person how to live their life and no government plan that rewards or punishes people for living a certain way, as long as that way of life does not infringe on the rights of others. The type of people that would conceive of or support such initiatives are inherently dangerous. These types of people do not believe that we should keep and maintain the planet so that our future generations can enjoy it. They believe that the future generations will be a hindrance to our planet. They believe that all animal life on the Earth, including humans are poisoning the planet irreversibly by just breathing. There have been initiatives in Europe to put carbon taxes on livestock due to methane production. If humans never even existed, there would still be methane producing cattle. So would the planet still be in trouble, or is it just an excuse to raise money for governments whose domestic social policies have put too heavy a financial strain on the governmental coffers?
This is just another example of how the “activists” in this movement want complete and total control of how you live your life. As asinine as this “human cap and trade” idea sounds, these people are serious and that is why everyone else should take it seriously as well.

Calvin Parker

Monday, October 19, 2009

Taking His Time

According to recent news(1), it has now been 76 days since General McChrystal has submitted a request to supply more troops to bolster American efforts in Afghanistan. President Obama has refused to come to a decision on the matter.

Which makes the observant American invariably ponder... why the sudden deviation from his MO? We passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act before the bill was read by Congress, on the pretenses that the economic bottom would fall out if we did not. Cap-and-trade passed through the House before any representatives read the bill, because Obama and his ilk told us that, somehow, unless we tax carbon emitters our grandchildren will die of famine on a scorched earth. He has been adamant that we must act now on health reform, and casts aside any suggestion that we slow down to design a well-crafted bill that Americans can agree on.

As Americans, shouldn’t we ask ourselves why he coaxes us to act with all haste to fight intangible phantoms, but then coaxes us to be patient when there is a very real and hostile threat to our soldiers in Afghanistan?

Whether he decides to send more troops or to begin a withdrawal, this is truly something to be prompt in addressing. But our president seems to be more focused on propagandizing his healthcare package, attending late-night talk shows, stepping out to swanky restaurants, promoting Chicago in an Olympic bid, etc. You know, all of the really important issues and actions that made him a mysteriously unaccomplished Nobel Prize laureate.

The Taliban surge, the American lives being lost, how our defeat could affect national security and position in the Middle East: to him, it seems, that stuff can wait.

William Sullivan

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Welcome to Political Palaver. This blog was started as an outlet for political thought and commentary primarily focused on current events. As of right now there are two contributing authors, William Sullivan and Calvin Parker. We both enjoy writing about and debating political ideology and discussing how these ideas and actions effect the world around us. Until now our writings have been limited to group e-mails, political chat rooms and editorial responses in newspapers and magazines. By starting this blog, we hope to have a place not only to express our ideas, but also to reach a wider audience and receive feedback. Comments and feedback are a vital part of what we hope to accomplish here. After all, debate is healthy. We pride ourselves in being well researched when discussing a topic and whenever possible, we will provide figures and sources to reinforce our opinions. We do ask that the same care is given when commenting or providing feedback. We will try to write between 2-5 articles a week and respond to any feedback as soon as possible. We hope you enjoy whats to come and thanks for reading Political Palaver.