Some conservatives have started laying into the Oscar-winning movie 12 Years a Slave for creating an unfairly negative portrayal of slavery. You see, the movie portrays slaves being made unhappy by slavery. But that negativity is merely anti-slavery “propaganda,” according to James Bowman in conservative magazine The American Spectator:
If ever in slavery’s 250-year history in North America there were a kind master or a contented slave, as in the nature of things there must have been, here and there, we may be sure that Mr McQueen does not want us to hear about it. This, in turn, surely means that his view of the history of the American South is as partial and one-sided as that of the hated Gone With the Wind.
…Yes, there was much cruelty and hardship in the slave-owning South, as there has been in most of the rest of the world most of the time, and Mr. McQueen’s camera is all over that. But it strains ordinary credulity to suppose that there was nothing else.
We are wondering, was Bowman equally aggrieved by the lack of happy Jews in Schindler’s List?
Rand Paul Says U.S. Should Drill in ‘Every Possible, Conceivable Place’ to Address Ukraine Situation
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Sunday that the situation in Ukraine should be an impetus to ramp up oil and gas drilling in the United States and clear the path for exports.
“I would immediately get every obstacle out of the way for our export of oil and gas,” said Paul in an appearance on “Fox News Sunday.” “And I would begin drilling in every possible, conceivable place within our territories in order to have production that we can supply Europe with if it’s interrupted from Ukraine.”
Russia’s state-owned energy company, Gazprom, has been threatening to cut off gas supplies to Ukraine, citing unpaid bills from February. But the ongoing political standoff between the two countries has Europe bracing for the possibility that this could lead to gas shortages.
Alas, our next generation of conservative leaders are not chanting, “Amer-i-ca! Amer-i-ca!” They are, instead, chanting, “F**k O-bama! F**k O-bama!”
And I hang my head.
So, now, children at the hotel, parents, staff, tourists - both foreign and domestic - and every other conceivable variety of guest who happens to be staying at the Gaylord National hotel during CPAC 2014 has a skewed, and likely irreversible, first impression of America’s conservative movement.
Or is it skewed?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m certain that the vast majority of CPAC attendees, both young and old, are as appalled and embarrassed by these drunken yuck monkeys as am I.
But I think the very fact that these blazer-clad, Cro-Magnon morons could even imagine, for a moment, that it’s somehow cool to publicly chant “F**k Obama!” - or “F**k” anything for that matter - speaks to a much larger problem, not just within the conservative movement, but, more importantly, within our entire culture.
Conservative talk radio personality Rush Limbaugh has some thoughts about Academy Award Best Picture winner “12 Years A Slave”:
“If it was the only thing that movie won, it was gonna win Best Picture. There was no way. It didn’t matter if it was good or bad. I haven’t seen it (Of course not. Why do that when you already know everything about it). It was going to win. It had the magic word in the title, ‘slave.’”
We’ve run the data.
The data shows that exactly one movie with the word “Slave” in the title has been nominated for best picture and won. Yup, that would be the one that won this year.
Once again, Rush shows himself to be a totally ignorant ass.
Earthlings, fasten your seatbelts. You’re in for a spectacular journey through spacetime.
More than 30 years since the original series, Cosmos will once again find its way into people’s homes, this time led by Neil deGrasse Tyson. The new series—called Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey—premieres this Sunday, March 9, at 9:00pm ET/PT on FOX.
The show will air in 45 languages across 123 FOX-branded channels in 125 countries and 90 National Geographic Channels in over 170 countries. According to the producer, this constitutes the largest-ever global launch for a television series. I don’t know about you, but the fact that the world’s largest TV series launch is for a science show is pretty exciting to me.
I had the opportunity to watch a preview copy of the first episode, “Standing Up in the Milky Way,” which was sent to me by National Geographic. If you’re wondering if you should tune into this show, then the answer is a resounding yes.
Finally, there was the Donald—who was vastly less overwrought than LaPierre but also vastly less coherent. Trump started off babbling about all the celebs he’d just been hob-nobbing with down at his Miami hotel that morning. Next thing you know, he’s talking about how much Vladmir Putin respects him. How do we know this? Because Putin gave the Donald a present when they were hanging out in conjunction with The Miss Universe pageant, which Trump owns. You know who else really respects Trump? The Chinese. Trump has lots of rich Chinese pals, and they just love him. Plus, Business Week asked some question about the Top 10 things the Chinese want, and you know what they said? Trump stuff. Ties. Hotels. Apartments. Anything with his name on it. They’re crazy for the brand. The biggest bank in China is a tenant in one of Trump’s buildings, and they tell him, “We’ll never leave! We love you! We love the building!” Why? Because they respect Trump. Unlike that Obama schmuck, who they regard as a total loser. (How many hotels does Obama own? Zero! How many reality shows has he starred in? Zero.) And don’t even get Trump started on immigration or Afghanistan or how America should have seized Iraq’s oil after kicking Saddam’s ass.
WASHINGTON D.C. — You have to hand it to the conservatives here at CPAC. They’re a forgiving lot. They believe in second chances, even for felons. Why, just this morning, I heard a speech by a guy who sold missiles to a government that sponsored terrorism, lied about it, got convicted, and then dove like a scalded rat through a loophole. I watched a panel including a guy who, while working as police commissioner in New York, entangled himself in such baroque corruption that he ended up in the federal sneezer for 36 months. And, this afternoon, on a panel entitled “After Obama,” we will be treated to the views of a guy who helped out a covert CIA agent, lied about it, got convicted, and then got pardoned.
There is no crime on the Right that cannot be forgiven — except, maybe, supporting something this particular president proposes.
More: The Crooks at CPAC
All continues to not be well in the world of Bitcoin and related cryptocurrencies. Another exchange has been hacked, with the perpetrators making off with 76.69 bitcoins (a little under $50,000 at current trading rates).
On Tuesday, the owner of the Poloniex exchange admitted on the Bitcoin Talk forum that around “12.3 percent of the BTC on Poloniex” was stolen. Poloniex did not immediately respond to Ars’ request for comment.
Poloniex owner Busoni explained that the hacker found a flaw in his site’s code that processes withdrawals. The hacker discovered that multiple simultaneous withdrawals are processed essentially at the same time and that the system’s software doesn’t check quickly enough for a negative balance, so they are still processed.
The site’s owner went on to add that the “major problem here is that the auditing and security features were not explicitly looking for negative balances.”
So what’s next? The company can’t cover the losses, so its users will.
Hmm. He reminds me of someone. I just can’t quite put my finger on who.
Christopher Ruddy, 49, the chief executive officer and founder of conservative media company Newsmax Media, is giving a tour of his neighborhood in an Acura driven by his chauffeur, Hector. The car heads south on I-95 from West Palm Beach to Boca Raton. It’s the heart of Florida’s Red Belt. Ann Coulter lives a few blocks away—Ruddy spent New Year’s Eve there. Rush Limbaugh is just across the bridge. Donald Trump, David Koch, Patty Mellon Scaife, and a host of other Republican power brokers have homes across the lagoon in Palm Beach. To live among such conservative heavyweights is one reason Ruddy settled in West Palm Beach; the other is that Florida has no state income tax. The headquarters of Newsmax is here, too, off Okeechobee Boulevard; virtually every Republican presidential candidate makes an obligatory visit.
Newsmax, which had revenue of $104 million in 2013, up from $85 million the year before, is perhaps best known for its namesake, 200,000-circulation monthly magazine. A conservative reimagining of the traditional newsweekly, Newsmax publishes political stories such as “President Obama’s Outrageous Power Grab” and ads for gold coins and hearing aids. For conservative politicians, making a Newsmax cover is an important stamp of validation. Newsmax.com, launched in 1998, before the magazine, is the most trafficked conservative site on the Web, with more than 11.5 million visitors in January, according to ComScore (SCOR). On a recent morning, the featured posts on the home page were “Obama Intel Reforms Threaten US Security,” “GOP Poised to Retake Senate as Disillusioned Democrats Depart,” and “Bomb-Strapped Islamists Threaten ‘Present’ at Olympics.” Ruddy has amassed a 5 million-person e-mail list, one reason Republican presidential candidates stop in to see him.