New Improved Friday Open Forum!

The “new improved” trope was an amusing Madison Ave. tradition when I was a kid. I always wondered if it worked: I suppose it worked on idiots. I remember an “Ice Blue Secret” TV commercial in which “Katy Winters,” the fictional women’s deodorant shill stunned her friends by saying, “Yes, it’s true: I’m through with Ice Blue Secret!” as she tossed a jar of the stuff into a waste basket. After the staged gasps, she then whipped out a newly designed jar and said, “I’ve switched to new improved Ice Blue Secret!”

When Richard Nixon had his big political comeback in 1967 as prelude to winning the Presidency in 1968, wags called him the “new improved Nixon.”

But I digress.

Let’s see if the New Improved Open Forum lives up to its name….

29 thoughts on “New Improved Friday Open Forum!

  1. Would it be considered “ethical” for a prominent national blogger that chooses to use their real name to blog then choose to be an anonymous commenter when posting comments and interacting with others in discussion on the blog?

    I ask this because I just confirmed to myself, after some previous suspicions, that this is happening on a blog.

    I have no problem with people choosing public anonymity as a general commenter but this seems different to me.

    • Anonymous commenting on OTHER blogs would be fine but sockpuppeting on their own is deception, they’re giving the impression both of being someone else and of there being more traffic than there really is, a two-fer.

      Ethics jail, ethics jail 1000 years.

        • It’s something of a meme.

  2. When Richard Nixon had his big political comeback in 1967 as prelude to winning the Presidency in 1968, wags called him the “new improved Nixon.”

    Sock it to me?

  3. Candidate for unethical comment of the month — Liz Cheney:

    “Let me also say this to the little girls and to the young women who are watching tonight – these days, for the most part, men are running the world and it is really not going that well.”

    Where to begin? Well:

    – This is blatant sexism, something I thought women were fighting against.
    – She is entitled to her opinion, but is she really saying that men made the world this way, and women would do better?
    – How is an impressionable young girl supposed to hear that and reconcile it with how she perceives her father and mother? Mommy good, daddy bad?
    – What does this have to do with the January 6th investigation?

    Can anyone look at Hillary Clinton’s corrupt public life and hold that up as an example of improvement? How about Cheney’s own unethical behavior on the January 6th committee? Hey, Liz, show me some examples of exemplary female leadership. I know — New Zealand, where Jacinda Arderen has effectively abolished gun rights, locked down the country under threat of arrest without legal authority to do so, crushed dissent, and created what appears to be the Leftist dream of a two-tiered society.

    Yeah, no. Maggie Thatcher is not walking through that door, and Liz Cheney is a good example of what not to do if you want to be an ethical politician (oxymoron, I know…).

    • Once upon a time I put women on a pedestal above men. I actually thought they were superior beings. I was programmed that way. However, life experience has shown me that is not true and that women are just as fucked up as men. It may manifest somewhat differently but given enough power and time the end result behavior will be equally destructive as with men. It is a human thing not a chromosome thing.

  4. I’ve always gotten a kick out of “Improved!” and “New and Improved!” Of course, there’s “Unconditional Satisfaction Guaranteed!” But then again, “Slightly Imperfect” is likely my favorite. You rarely get advertising types commenting on the human condition.

  5. Lamont links abortion access to economic development, inviting businesses to CT, abandon states with restrictive policies

    Gov. Ned Lamont and Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz are linking abortion rights with economic development, issuing an invitation Friday to businesses to leave states with restrictive policies and move to Connecticut where access to abortion has been law for 32 years.

    “Now more than ever is the time to look at Connecticut as the future home of your business,” they said in an open letter that opened with the salutation, “Dear business owners.”

    The open letter was sent as a news release to members of the press in states where abortion has been banned or restricted, according to Max Reiss, Lamont’s spokesman.

    https://www.courant.com/business/hc-biz-abortion-economic-development-20220701-zxocbqitgje35jxkpqp3jvh7nu-story.html

    Never mind stifling taxes, fees & “surcharges”, and regulations… your employees can “choose” to abort their unborn children here!

    • Looking back, I’m beginning to think CBS News was the original Axis of Unethical Conduct, all the way back to the sainted Edward R. Murrow. All those guys were lefty wolves in sheep’s clothing. Surely, they were the Democrats’ mouthpiece.

      • One of my longtime Usenet allies made this point about the media back in 1994.

        Well I have to look that up for myself. I’m just going by what I
        see/read in the news media.

        – Darryl Hamilton

        That’s an interesting approach, kind of like trying to determine the actual
        intelligence and character of Black people by watching “Birth of a Nation”….

        – Christopher Charles Morton

        The past twenty-eight years have reinforced what Chris wrote.

  6. Here is Robert Reich.

    • That Constitution can be a real bitch when your hand-picked liberal judge can’t twist it like putty to say whatever you want it to say.

    • I was fortunate enough to meet him once about a month and a half after the VA International Tattoo where he appeared with some later MOH winners. He said “wasn’t that a show?” The people were lined up to meet him.

    • The numbers move lower, inexorably, but this loss was special.

      Read the link and render the salute he rightly deserves.

      Rest in Peace.

      MB

  7. Harriet Beecher Stowe died on this day in 1896 at the age of 85.
    John Stonestreet and Dr. Glenn Sunshine-

    In 1832, Harriet’s father became president of Lane Theological Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio. The city was booming at the time, but competition for jobs between Irish immigrants and runaway slaves often erupted in violence, with the Irish attacking the black community. In 1834, the seminary held debates about slavery that, won by abolitionists, may have helped spur anti-abolitionist riots in 1836 and 1841. It was by witnessing these events that Harriet not only became interested in the issue of slavery, but also began to interview runaway slaves.

    Harriet and her husband Rev. Calvin Stowe relocated to Maine in 1850. That same year, Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Law, which prohibited aiding runaway slaves, even in free states. As ardent abolitionists, the Stowes ignored this law. In fact, they made their home a station on the Underground Railroad.

    After losing her 18-month-old son, Stowe’s sympathy for slaves separated from their families on the auction block deepened. Inspired by a vision of a dying slave, which she claimed to have experienced during Communion at her church, Stowe began to write the book for which she is now so well known. It is a book that can truly be said to have changed the world.

    Uncle Tom’s Cabin was originally published as weekly installments in the anti-slavery journal The National Era, between June 5, 1851, and April 1, 1852. It was first published in book form in March of 1852, and sold an unprecedented 300,000 copies within its first year. By November of that same year, it was made into a play in New York. By 1857, the novel had been translated into 20 languages. Eventually, Uncle Tom’s Cabin would become the second bestselling book of the 19th century after the Bible.

    While the main theme of the book is the evil of slavery, it also includes significant reflections on the nature of Christianity, Christian responsibility, and Christian love. In the end, Stowe clearly and compellingly presents slavery as incompatible with Christian theology. In this, she followed the mainstream of Christian tradition since the Middle Ages.

    Stowe hoped her book would show how slavery affected, not just those directly involved, but everyone in society. She also hoped to document the horrors of slavery which she had learned directly from escaped slaves. In each of these aims, the book succeeded admirably. Its popularity energized the abolitionist movement in the North, and prominent abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass promoted it as a vital tool in the battle against slavery.

    Not surprisingly, Uncle Tom’s Cabin generated significant backlash in the South. Southerners complained the novel was slanderous and accused Stowe of not knowing what she was talking about. Some Southern authors responded with novels of their own that defended slavery, but none that approached the success of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Stowe received hate mail from defenders of slavery in both the North and the South, including one package that contained the severed ear of a slave, ironic evidence for the accuracy of her description of slavery’s horrors. In response to her critics, Stowe wrote A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin, in which she documented the sources used in her novel, as well as the accounts that corroborated her descriptions.

    During the Civil War, Stowe was invited to the White House. Lincoln is said to have greeted her with the words, “So you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.”

    Altogether, Stowe wrote 30 books, including novels, travel memoirs, and collections of articles and letters. As important as she was as an author, she was equally famous for her public stands on the important social issues of the day, from slavery to women’s rights. Her courageous life is a profound example of someone using their calling to engage the world around them. By obeying God’s calling on her life, using her God-given talent in the time and place in which He called her, she changed her world and continues to influence ours. May we also have the courage to do the same with our own skills in this cultural moment.

    See BLM; not all white people are evil and out to get you…

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