Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster has become a symbol for far right extremists after he was used to help recruit children, according to German police.
In the latest incident Neo Nazi Steffen Lange, 31, dressed as the popular children’s TV character, walked into a school in Senftenberg, in the German state of Brandenburg, and together with another Neo-Nazi handed out pamphlets to children.
The Monster and his accomplice were arrested after a teacher complained to police about the contents of the leaflets.
The whole notion of attempting to hand out neo-Nazi pamphlets to kids young enough to care about Cookie Monster utterly baffles me.
It’s disturbing and weird. But it’s also misguided.
My son, who is almost four, would be very excited if Cookie Monster turned up at his school. But he cannot read, so he would likely dismiss the racist pamphlet completely. Or, he would ask me to read it and I would tell him it was just junk that needed to be thrown away. And then he would forget all about the pamphlet we never read and he would talk all about how Cookie Monster came to school. And I would say to him, “Yes, Cookie Monster is very nice and he likes everyone in the world.” Kids who are old enough to figure out the pamphlet likely don’t care much about Cookie Monster. And it’s not as if parents whose little kids bring home neo-Nazi pamphlets are suddenly going to say to themselves, “You know, I wasn’t sympathetic to the neo-Nazis before … but this Cookie Monster makes some pretty compelling arguments.”
So I guess what I’m saying is that neo-Nazis aren’t very smart. Also, water is wet.
(Source: Daily Mail)
A few mornings a week, I wake up to a comment on my blog that’s so outlandishly stupid or offensive that I think to myself, “This is obviously spam or trolling.” So I delete it.
Amazingly, nine times out of ten, the commenter publishes an identical comment almost immediately after I’ve deleted the original comment. This lets me know that it’s not spam, that somewhere out there is a veritable army of trolls with no appreciation for decency or the English language, and that these trolls are so accustomed to having their comments blocked that they copy their comments so they can just paste them back in after they’ve been deleted. I’ve learned that they’ll continue to do this until they’re banned from commenting because, apparently, this is what they do with their time.
The internet is an wondrous place.
In candor, I have been a dirty old man ever since I was a very young man. Except, that is, when it comes to my daughters (and other young women that I care deeply about). And that brings me to the amusing debate about how (mostly) young female lawyers dress these days.
That’s Richard Kopf, a Senior U.S. District Court Judge here in Nebraska, writing on his blog earlier this week.
Kopf explains to female lawyers that they should dress more conservatively, giving the example of a young lawyer who draws a great deal of attention to herself — very positive attention from men and very negative attention from female law clerks — as a result of her physical attributes and her clothing choices:
“She is brilliant, she writes well, she speaks eloquently, she is zealous but not overly so, she is always prepared, she treats others, including her opponents, with civility and respect, she wears very short skirts and shows lots of her ample chest. I especially appreciate the last two attributes.”
In the comments, when challenged by someone who said that at least three female law clerks had no idea who this young lawyer might be, Kopf argued that he wasn’t really referring to a specific person but to “an amalgam,” though he begins his description of the woman with the words “True story.”
Not surprisingly, the blog post has garnered a lot of negative attention. In a follow-up post, Kopf doubles down:
I honestly don’t care how you (or others) remember me.* I do care passionately that federal trial judges be seen as individuals with all the strengths and weakness (baggage) that everyone else carries around.
If, on balance, you think the post was harmful to the image of the federal judiciary and truly treated women as objects, I am very, very, very sorry for that, but I would ask you to pause and reread it. I hope you will find upon objective reflection that the mockery I make of myself and the hyperbole and somewhat mordant tone I employed, made a point worth considering.
In the rough and tumble world of a federal trial practice, it is sometimes necessary to see and react to that world as it is rather than as we wish it would be.
In other words, there are lots of men in the world of federal trial practice (and in the world, generally) who are sexists, who leer at women, who care less about the work done by a women than about her physical attributes. And the reality of this situation, the judge believes, obviously necessitates that women need to change their behavior and pay careful attention to the choices they make.
At some point, I have to assume, we’re going to move past this kind of nonsense as a society. But in 2014, when a federal judge feels totally confident about expressing this sort of opinion publicly for the good of women everywhere … well, we’re pretty clearly not there yet, are we?
Well here’s an inventive idea: Homicide Insurance.
If you “have to” use your weapon in Florida, this company's “hand picked lawyers will represent you in any legal proceeding (criminal or civil), for zero additional attorneys’ fees.”
And, best of all, it only costs you $10.95 a month!
It costs a bit more if you’d like to add family members (including minors!) to your plan. There’s also the multi-state option, in case you “have to” use your weapon in a state other than Florida.
WIth all the anger directed toward those poor unfortunates who “have to” use their guns, you can’t afford not to buy into the Firearms Legal Defense Program!
Now you can feel safe about standing your ground and firing your weapon at anyone, whether he’s walking home from the store, having a BBQ in his own backyard, texting his kid at the movies, or listening to music too loudly in his car.
You shouldn’t have to ask yourself about the repercussions of shooting someone before you open fire and, thanks to this affordable program, you don’t have to!
Tom Perkins is doing anything he can to stay in the news:
"The Tom Perkins system is: You don’t get to vote unless you pay a dollar of taxes," Perkins said.
"But what I really think is, it should be like a corporation. You pay a million dollars in taxes, you get a million votes. How’s that?"
The audience at the Commonwealth Club reacted with laughter. But Perkins offered no immediate indication that he was joking. Asked offstage if the proposal was serious, Perkins said: “I intended to be outrageous, and it was.”
Perkins seemed to be aware that he was courting controversy, saying that his voting proposal would “make you more angry than my letter to the Wall Street Journal.”
In all seriousness, though, an undergrad wrote up this idea a year and a half ago and his peers in my class laughed about it for about twenty minutes. If Perkins is looking for more ideas to make people angry and pay attention to him, he should consider getting in touch with that undergrad, since virtually everything he writes gets lampooned all over the internet.
Alternatively, Perkins can just see what else he can compare to the Holocaust.
The most pressing questions of the day:
Do you think you could spend 10 minutes talking to these people? What makes you think so?
Today in things I just don’t understand:
People are paying attention to a “debate” where one of the parties is absolutely certain that the creation story in the Hebrew Bible is what literally happened.
Apparently Americans who don’t know how to use contractions also don’t much care for commericals in which the lyrics to songs about America are translated into a variety of languages.
USA! USA! USA!
In what might be the most poorly thought-out letter to editor I’ve seen outside of a student newspaper, venture capitalist Tom Perkins foresees a coming Holocaust of rich people in America:
Writing from the epicenter of progressive thought, San Francisco, I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its “one percent,” namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the “rich.”
From the Occupy movement to the demonization of the rich embedded in virtually every word of our local newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, I perceive a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent.
Everything is Nazism all the time … especially the way rich people are treated in America.
BREAKING: Woman who has nothing better to do with her days than post inflammatory nonsense on Facebook refuses to understand history or anyone’s experience other than her own; also refuses to go away.
Well, this a pretty clear example of how gun control advocates can’t ever win an argument with people who believe the hype churned out by the gun lobby.
Someone asserts that “Every family man should own a pistol” and I say, “The statistics demonstrate that your pistol is more likely to harm your family and others than to protect them” and then the other guys says, “That’s all well and good, but who’s going to protect your family in a crisis? My family ain’t going out without a fight.”
In other words, the facts absolutely don’t matter.
I can’t win an argument if facts don’t matter.
There’s nothing I like more than people explaining to me that cold weather in January is evidence that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by Al Gore and other liberals in order to enrich themselves.
So this weekend I’m going to be loving it.
Rather than arguing about what climate change means, though, I just ask them what time Rush Limbaugh comes on again and I explain that my skin starts itching after about an hour without him.