Category Archives: US Navy SEAL Team 6

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“My father was a statesman, I am a political woman. My father was a saint. I am not.” — Indira Gandhi

POL IN CHIEF

Natch, I’m heavy on liberals and progressives in my Facebook friends list. They were all abuzz over Bill Clinton’s speech at the Democratic National Convention last night. Here it is, in case you missed it:

Hindsight is 20/200 (yes, 20/200 — no typo there), of course, but even while it was happening I knew Al Gore was blowing the 2000 election by not having Clinton campaign for him. Damn you Al Gore — we could have avoided eight years of the Bush League!

HOW MANY WAYS CAN THEY SAY THEY HATE HIM?

Barack Obama has never been tempted to run and hide from Clinton simply because old Bill suffers from his peculiar form of priapism.

Guess What I Have Under This Desk

In fact, the Prez frustrates the bejesus out of the Right because he, apparently, has no sex skeletons in his closet. Oh, how the GOP and its mouthpieces would love to tear down Barry with some juicy sexual misconduct charges.

Can you imagine the barely-coded racial messages we’d be getting if Obama couldn’t keep Little B under wraps in his Fruit of the Looms?

You know how newspapers have obituaries pre-written for celebrities while they’re still alive? Guaranteed, the Fox News squealers and other pathological snarlers have headlines pre-written for the Obama sex scandal of their wet dreams.

Once you go Barack, you never go back.

or

Barack the Buck

Yeesh. And if his correspondent party or parties would be white, female? Heavens, pasty men would be roaming the streets carrying assault rifles.

Fear Of A Black Presidential Penis

Oh wait, they already do.

Anyway, nothing seems to satisfy the anti-Obama crowd. If Obama was a nail-biter, they’d figure a way to condemn him for it. As it is, that deep thinker Hank Williams, Jr. recently upped his topple-the-Nazi-dictator rhetoric by proclaiming his conviction that Obama hates cowboys and cowgirls.

This latest episode of Right Wing projectile verbal vomiting proves Jon Stewart’s point that “There is a President Obama that only Republicans can see.” It’s been many years, Hank, since any fraction of the population could write Cowboy or Cowgirl on the Occupation line of the their tax forms.

Perhaps Hank has inside info that Obama is not partial to secretaries and plumbers by day wearing cowboy drag at night. And isn’t even that a dated demographic? Urban Cowboy is now a +30-year-old meme.

I Thought This Movie Was Made Before The Invention Of Cameras

And line dancing went out soon after the Zoot Suit, didn’t it?

Even soldier boys can’t seem to resist getting a jab in on the CinC.

Among the spate of new Obama-is-the-antichrist books being released this late summer, is the tale of the Osama bin Laden raid writen by a Navy SEAL team member who participated in the operation. The book, “No Easy Day,” is bylined by someone named Mark Owens, who doesn’t exist. That’s the nom de plume of one Mark Bissonette, who swears he’s doing nothing wrong by blabbing the raid’s secrets even though he thought it wise to assume an alias.

Bissonette writes that neither he nor the rest of his SEAL confreres has ever liked Obama. Joe Biden, either. Which must be important to his narrative — just don’t ask me how.

How weird is that? I mean, can you imagine the boys in that famous Iwo Jima photo telling reporters, “Yeah, taking the island was a tough job but we did it. And by the way, none of us likes that FDR. He’s a socialist and a jerk. And Truman? He’s like someone’s drunken uncle at Christmas dinner.”

Down With The President!

WHAT TO DO? WHAT TO DO?

If you’re having withdrawal pains for The Pencil’s GO! events listings, just keep your shirt on.

I’m told now that the rollout for the Ryder magazine’s new website — which will carry the EP’s events listings — may come as early as today. Which probably means sometime next week.

JAMBALAYA

The old man was 72 times better than the kid anyway.

Here’s how I waste my time. How about you? Share your fave sites with us via the comments section. Just type in the name of the site, not the url; we’ll find them. If we like them, we’ll include them — if not, we’ll ignore them.

I Love ChartsLife as seen through charts.

XKCD — “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.”

SkepchickWomen scientists look at the world and the universe.

IndexedAll the answers in graph form, on index cards.

Science Is Awesome (formerly I Fucking Love Science)A Facebook community of science geeks.

Present/&/CorrectFun, compelling, gorgeous and/or scary graphic designs and visual creations throughout the years and from all over the world.

Flip Flop Fly BallBaseball as seen through infographics, haikus, song lyrics, and other odd communications devices.

Mental FlossFacts.

SodaplayCreate your own models or play with other people’s models.

Eat Sleep DrawAn endless stream of artwork submitted by an endless stream of people.

Big ThinkTapping the brains of notable intellectuals for their opinions, predictions, and diagnoses.

The Daily PuppySo shoot me.

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“You mustn’t always believe what I say. Questions tempt you to tell lies, particularly when there is no answer.” — Pablo Picasso

TELL ME SWEET LITTLE LIES

It’ll be a year tomorrow that a posse of Navy SEALs cornered that varmint Osama bin Laden and plugged him in his bedroom.

President Barack Obama had large enough cagliones to order the secret assault on ObL’s hideout in Pakistan and the raid paid off big time — sort of. Had a Republican president been in charge there would have been daily parades in his honor in every big city since the al Qaeda boss’s take-down.

The President Watches The Operation Unfold

But because Obama is a Muslim mole whose goal is to transform our holy land into a commie/Nazi gulag/stalag, he hasn’t exactly been showered with laurel leaves since his big night.

Funny thing is, almost within minutes of the announcement that ObL had been executed, the conspiracy theorists leaped out of the woodwork. Chief among them, sad to say, was Cindy Sheehan, the California mom whose son was killed in the Iraq War and who channeled her grief into highly publicized anti-war activism.

Literally within hours after the news of bin Laden’s death broke, Sheehan famously wrote on her website, “I am sorry, but if you believe the newest death of OBL (sic), you’re stupid.” She went on to detail some very iffy evidence that the whole operation was a hoax.

Poor Sheehan lost whatever credibility she had left after that.

Cindy Sheehan

Fringe-y organizations both left and right jumped on the ObL Death Hoax bandwagon for the next several weeks, then fell silent. A brief scan of the internet shows that no one has said much about such hoax claims since about June last year.

Which is odd because conspiracies and hoaxes usually seem to have the staying power of a bad cold in January.

Here’s a list of the ten top conspiracy theories in the US, as compiled by LiveScience.com:

  • 10) 9/11 was an inside job (2001)
  • 9) Princess Diana was murdered (1997)
  • 8) Subliminal advertising (1973)
  • 7) The Apollo moon landings were faked (1978)
  • 6) Paul McCartney died (1966)
  • 5) All the people and organizations who killed JFK (mid-1960s)
  • 4) The Roswell UFO crash (1947)
  • 3) “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” (1905)
  • 2) The epidemic of satanic cults (1980s)
  • 1) Big Pharma (1990s-2000s)

Leave It To The Onion

As you can see, a good conspiracy/hoax theory can last a century or more. But today’s technology and the mass media bombardment of us with deception and myth has turned us into ever-more credulous suckers.

Journalist/polemicist Matt Taibbi has a nice explanation of the phenomenon in his book, “The Great Derangement: A Terrifying True Story of War, Politics, and Religion.” On pages 183 to 189 (paperback edition) he lays out the ways advertisers, pols, and charlatans have inundated us with phony claims, distortions, spin, subterfuge, and outright lies. Here, I cherry-pick the key points from his thesis:

“How many lies are too many? How much bullshit is the human organism designed to tolerate before it starts to malfunction? Is there a breaking point?

“Mainstream American society has never been designed to confront difficult or dangerous truths. In fact, our mass media has corrupted the idea of objective truth so badly in the past five or six decades that it is now hard to tell when anyone is being serious about anything — the news, the movies, commercials, anything….

“Somehow ordinary people were supposed to keep track of all this, make their own sense of it. Decades after Watergate, Vietnam, and the Kennedy assassination, Americans were forced to rummage for objective reality in a sea of the most confusing and diabolical web of bullshit ever created by human minds — a false media tableau created mainly a s a medium to sell products, a medium in which even the content of the ‘news’ was affected by commercial considerations….”

“This was too much for the people to handle….”

“America by the early years of this century was a confusing kaleidoscope of transparent, invidious bullshit, a place where politicians hired consultants to teach them to ‘straight talk,’ where debates were decided by inadvertent coughs and smiles and elections were resolved via competing smear campaigns, and where network news programs — subsidized by advertisements for bogus alchemist potions like Enzyte that supposedly made your dick grow by magic — could feature as a lead story newly released photos of the Tom Cruise love child, at a time when young American men and women were dying every day in the deserts of the Middle East.

“The message of all of this was that Americans were now supposed to make their own sense of the world. There was no dependable authority left to turn to, no life raft in an increasingly perilous informational sea. This coincided with an age when Americans now needed to understand more of the world than ever before…. Now… Joe American has to turn on the Internet and tell himself a story that makes sense to him.”

Cindy Sheehan reached the breaking point when Barack Obama held his historic midnight news conference a year ago. Of course, she was pushed toward that snap by the death of her child. But the rest of us are under strain as well, if not so heart-wrenching.

We’re living in an age when fiction and reality are interchangeable. That’s why George W. Bush could lie us into a war and Barack Obama could sell himself as a man who would change government.

So I’m surprised the Osama bin Laden Death Hoax stories didn’t last. It doesn’t mean we’re becoming more rational and sophisticated — probably only that the vast majority liked the the story of the Navy SEAL Team 6 operation a year ago too much.

REAL NEWS

WFHB‘s Alycin Bektesh, Ryan Dawes, and Chad Carrothers lugged home a lot of hardware after Friday night’s Society of Professional Journalists annual awards dinner in Indianapolis. The Firehouse broadcasters won 19 awards for excellence, going up against news departments from around the state.

The WFHB Gang Friday Night In Indy

Bloomington’s community radio station consistently puts out the best local news and special programming in the region. No commercial station nearby can hold a candle to the news department that current GM Carrothers started about a decade ago.

Carrothers took a chance, donating his time and considerable energies for no pay at first, just to get the operation off the ground. Now WFHB News puts all those for-profit radio news departments to shame.

LIAR, LIAR

The 1965 hit by The Castaways.

Electron Pencil event listings: Music, art, movies, lectures, parties, receptions, benefits, plays, meetings, fairs, conspiracies, rituals, etc.

Monday, April 30, 2012

IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibits, “Blended Harmonies: Music and Religion in Nepal”; through July 1st — “Esse Quam Videri (To Be, Rather than To Be Seen): Muslim Self Portraits; through June 17th — “From the Big Bang to the World Wide Web: The Origins of Everything”; through July 1st, 9am-4:30pm

From “Esse Quam Videri”

IU Grunwald (SOFA) GalleryMFA & BFA Thesis 3 exhibitions; through May 5th

IU Kinsey Institute Gallery — Exhibit, “Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze”; through June 29th, 1:30-5pm

IU Asian Culture CenterHenna 101; 4pm

Bell Trace Health & Living CenterSession 2 of a 4-part class, “Life in a British Period Drama”; 6:30pm

IU CinemaStudent film, “Mudcity”; 7pm

IU Department of Folklore & Ethnomusicology, Performance & Lecture Hall — Students perform Ghanaian music, drumming, and dance, directed by Bernard Woma, guest artists: Evelyn Yaa Bekyore and Joyce Bekyore; 7pm

Bernard Woma

The Player’s PubSongwriters Showcase; 8pm

The Bluebird — Dave Walters Karaoke; 8pm

The BishopDJs, The Vallures; Film, “Brick and Mortar and Love”; both at 8pm

Bear’s PlaceArchie Powell & the Exports, Sandman Viper Command, Deadghost, Keeping Cars; 9pm

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