Archive for August 5th, 2009

August 5, 2009

‘Former Palin Staffer Shopping Book’!?

“Diva moments, when Palin actually first heard from John McCain (not when she claimed), and how Palin believes she’s ‘the chosen one.’ We’ll post what we can when we get it.”
— Dennis Zaki, AlaskaReport.com, 8/1

“AlaskaReport has learned that Todd Palin and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin are to divorce. Multiple sources in Wasilla and Anchorage (including a former Palin staffer) have confirmed the split.”
— Dennis Zaki, AlaskaReport.com, 8/5

Wow, if Sarah Palin’s lawyer Thomas Van Flein is the omnipotent Rove-like svengali that Jeanne Devon says he is, then it shouldn’t be too hard to deduce the identity of that source.

Really: How many Palin-hating former Palin staffers would have a bozo like Dennis Zaki on speed-dial? So add that one to your deposition list, Mr. Van Flein.

August 5, 2009

Note to the Immoral Minority

One of “The Best Friends in the World” says:

The pro-Palin crowd have got to be the most ignorant, hypocrtical, un-Christian people you will find anywhere in America.
Venom and hate just drip from their bloody jaws.
What would Jesus do? He’d tell them to STFU!

Three relevant points:

  1. Don’t Blame Me, I Voted For Bob Barr!
  2. Did Jesse Get Fired Tuesday?
  3. “Gryphen”/Griffin In His Own Words

Because I’m not a divorced gym-buff kindergarten assistant, and given that I’m so ignorant, maybe you can help with this thing I found in my two-volume 1967 World Book (Thorndike-Barnhart) Dictionary:

minority . . . 3. the condition or time of being under the legal age of responsibility.

Based on the general crudeness of Griffin’s prose, it would seem to me quite far-fetched to think him clever enough to have crafted such a fiendishly brilliant double-entendre, signifying “immoral youth” while also playing on the name of the defunct Falwell coalition. Still, given some of the things he’s written on the blog and . . .

Well, “Griffin”/Griffin was fairly clever — alternate spelling of a mythical beast and all that. So, as one of the “Best Friends in the World,” maybe you could say whether Jesse Griffin is smart enough to dream up “Immoral Minority” as a sort of inside joke of more than coincidental meaning? Surely his friends don’t think Jesse’s stupid?

The only reason I ask is that I was taught, “If Your Mother Says She Loves You, Check It Out,” So I wouldn’t want to rule out stupidity as possible evidence of innocence. Which is kind of problematic, considering that Griffin is so insightful as to be an amateur obstetrician who has “absolutely no doubt” that Trig Palin is not Sarah Palin’s son.

Is it smart or stupid to have “absolutely no doubt”? Alas, I’m too “ignorant” to answer that question!

Have a nice day! 😀

August 5, 2009

THE GRYPHEN FILES: Real Facts, Riehl Theory

Did Jesse Griffin get fired or suspended from his Anchorage kindergarten job Tuesday? The school itself can not comment on personnel matters. It’s quite unusual for Dan Riehl to publish speculation or theory:

Does he have a personality so weak he can’t afford to lose face under any circumstances, going to any length to try to prevent it?

On the other hand, because “Gryphen”/Griffin published an “exclusive” from “one of [his] best sourcces,” yet he was just making stuff up . . . well, Dan says:

This is all speculation, of course. But then, so are Jesse Griffin’s alleged news reports on Sarah Palin. No harm in experimenting with his form of journalism for a change, right? It isn’t like he has any grounds to complain.

Read the whole thing. And keep checking back at Riehl World View, on the outside chance that Link“Gryphen”/Griffin decides to give straight answers some of the questions Dan e-mailed him.

PREVIOUSLY:

August 5, 2009

THE GRYPHEN FILES: When You Catch A Liar Lying

Sunday, an anonymous source e-mailed the identity of “Gryphen” to Dan Riehl and I. In ensuing days, the same source has also sent along quotes (with screen-capture JPEGs) from Jesse Griffin’s Immoral Minority blog.

Griffin is not only a liar, but an extremely stupid liar, who arrogantly believed that no one else could ever possibly be smart enough to discover his “Gryphen” deception. For three days now, Griffin piled up lie upon lie in an effort to explain that deception. And all the time, there were those quotes the source had sent:

GIVE JESSE ENOUGH ROPE
STRONG LANGUAGE WARNING: Please note that the juxtaposition of quotes at that post is intended to highlight the vast difference between (a) what he wrote when he thought his anonymity was secure, and (b) what he wrote once his deception was exposed, and it was learned he was “an assistant teacher in a room full of five year old children.”

An interesting development discovered while compiling that post: At some point since Monday, Jesse Griffin changed the banner motto at Immoral Minority from this:

“What is morality? Who decides? Are we in charge of our own destiny? What is right? And what is wrong? Are these questions which can be answered? You betcha.”

To this:

“Morality is not determined by the church you attend nor the faith you embrace. It is determined by the quality of your character and the positive impact you have on those you meet along your journey.”

Question: Why the change? Why now?
Answer: The first quote was a blunt statement of moral relativism, in which each individual decides, without reference to any enduring and acknowledged standard, what is right or wrong.

Or, as the serpent said: “Ye shall be as gods!”

Remember that mysterious delay Monday? Last night someone found the answer to a question I’d been asking since Sunday night. Which is why I took some poetic advice Angela McGlowan’s father taught her: I burned the midnight oil.

Previously, “Gryphen” had declared himself an atheist. He is, in fact, his own god. Let him save himself from the consequences of his own freely chosen actions. The banner motto at this blog, meanwhile, remains unchanged:

“One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up.”
Arthur Koestler

Hmmm. Didn’t some commenter tell me to “STFU”?

As bloggers say, READ THE WHOLE THING and look for further updates at RIEHL WORLD VIEW.

Once more all readers are warned not to threaten anyone. LEAVE JESSE GRIFFIN ALONE!

August 5, 2009

Midnight Oil:A Renewable Energy Source

The heights by great men reached and kept,
Were not obtained by sudden flight.
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

August 5, 2009

THE GRYPHEN FILES: GIVE JESSE ENOUGH ROPE

WARNING: This post contains content from the Immoral Minority blog, written by “Gryphen,” a/k/a Jesse Griffin, who has been a kindergarten teaching assistant in Anchorage.

“[T]he school has done extensive background checks on me and I am squeaky clean.”
— “Gryphen,” A/K/A, Jesse Griffin, Aug. 4, 2009

“You know the reason that many people enjoy adult movies is that it is sexy to watch people making love. . . . I think that this trend toward real people having real sex is definitely the way to go. I always had a little guilt watching an adult movie and wondering if the female performer was a drug addict, or victim of molestation, just prostituting herself to make a buck. I am not Jewish, so guilt and sex don’t really go together for me. But when you see a video of an amateur couple having sex you can tell that they are simply doing it for the sheer excitement of sharing their passion with a bunch of middle aged pervs who are going to wank off to their sexual exploits. Well great here comes that guilt again.”
— “Gryphen,” a/k/a Jesse Griffin, June 3, 2007

“Yes I DO work in a Kindergarten class during the school year. My main job affords me some time during the day and I have chosen to use it teaching children to read, and helping them to become more independent.”
— “Gryphen,” a/k/a Jesse Griffin, Aug. 2, 2009

“Having somebody reveal your “secret identity” can be a little unsettling . . .”
— “Gryphen,” A/K/A, Jesse Griffin, Aug. 4, 2009

“What is morality? Who decides? Are we in charge of our own destiny? What is right? And what is wrong? Are these questions which can be answered? You betcha.”
banner sllogan at Immoral Minority blog (changed after Aug. 2, 2009)

“All of the fun of sex is drained by making all of these rules and labels. If sex is not naughty then it is almost not worth doing. I love kids, but in my opinion they are just a side effect of a healthy sex life.”
— Gryphen,” a/k/a Jesse Griffin, June 14, 2007

“But just where did Trig Palin come from? As of today, as of this minute, and after over a month of searching I cannot tell you. I simply do not know for certain. I do know however where he did not come from. He did not issue forth from Sarah Palin. . . . He was not conceived in her uterus. On that one fact I have absolutely no doubt.”
“Gryphen,” a/k/a Jesse Griffin, June 6, 2009

“And your penis will respond more readily if you take it out and put it through its paces more often. Duh! So the next time your girlfriend/wife/mother bust you for watching porn on your computer, simply tell her that you are exercising and you would appreciate some privacy.”
— “Gryphen,” a/k/a Jesse Griffin, July 7, 2008

“That’s right I am promoting self pleasure. Does that really surprise anybody?” — Gryphen,” a/k/a Jesse Griffin, Oct. 17, 2007

“I do it because it brings me joy to work with these children and I believe, and have been told, that I am very good at it . . .
“[Y]ou now know my dirty little secret. I am an assistant teacher in a room full of five year old children. . . .”
— Gryphen,” a/k/a Jesse Griffin, Aug. 2, 2009

“I am teaching my boys to wear dresses and swish when they walk because being ignorant or drug addicted is no longer a guarantee of being passed over. If your not willing to suck cock then pack up your going to Iraq.”
“Gryphen,” a/k/a Jesse Griffin, June 10, 2005

“[A]s of right now I have every confidence that I will be vindicated.”
— Gryphen,” a/k/a Jesse Griffin, Aug. 2, 2009

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August 5, 2009

VIDEO: Censorship on Capitol Hill?

Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) says — surprise! — the Democrats are trying to shut down opposing viewpoints:

(Via Washington News Observer.)

August 5, 2009

Dr. Barbara Oakley: ‘Why MostJournalists Are Democrats’

OK, I spent 22 years in the newspaper business, the first nine as a Democrat, but I’ll set aside my know-it-all attitude and listen to this:

Unsurprisingly, self-selection plays an important role in choosing a job. People choosing to do work related to prisons, for example, commonly show quite different characteristics than those who volunteer for work in helping disadvantaged youths. Academicians have very different characteristics than CEOs—or politicians, for that matter.
Harry Stein, former ethics editor of Esquire, once said: “Journalism, like social work, tends to attract individuals with a keen interest in bettering the world.” In other words, journalists self-select based on a desire to help others. Socialism, with its “spread the wealth” mentality intended to help society’s underdogs, sounds ideal.
Most journalists take a number of psychology, sociology, political science, and humanities courses during their early years in college. Unfortunately, these courses have long served as ideological training programs . . .

Read the whole thing. To young people, I would say, if you have a “keen interest in bettering the world,” and are looking for a job with low pay and little prospect for career advancement, how about you join the freakin’ Peace Corps and stop messing up the news business?

Dr. Oakley’s observations about self-selection are right on target. So what explains me? Why am I not “bettering the world”? My original career plan was to become a multimillionaire rock star, but my Dad insisted I go to college, just in case I needed “something to fall back on.”

After college, I was a nightclub DJ for about six months, then got fired from a job — honestly, how was I to know that blonde dancer was the bouncer’s girlfriend? — and signed up with a temp agency, doing warehouse work on Fulton Industrial Boulevard in Atlanta. That led to a full-time job for nearly 18 months as a forklift driver, paying the bills and saving up money for a P.A. system.

Falling Back
In college, I’d been entertainment editor and rock-music columnist (“Flock of Seagulls: Threat Or Menace?”) for the student paper. The faculty advisor urged me my senior year to do other assignments — sports, news, features — so I’d have a more “balanced” portfolio of clippings. But I hadn’t been able to land a newspaper job right out of school, and didn’t really look for one after that. Before the Internet, you see, the business of looking for a job was much more time-consuming, and the rock-star thing was my real passion anyway.

One day, a buddy of mine, an amateur photographer, was out at Sweetwater Creek State Park and it just happened there was a radio-controlled model sailboat club having a regatta. He got some pictures and thought it was pretty cool, and said he talked to the club members and they’d asked him to send the pictures to them for the club newsletter. He was pretty excited about this.
Well, it happened that, driving through the nearby town of Austell the past few weeks, I’d noticed a new sign on a building downtown: “Cobb News Chronicle.” That Austell could be a two-newspaper town was explained by the fact that a local businessman had gotten mad at the publisher of the town’s original weekly tabloid (The Sweetwater Enterprise) over ad rates and decided he’d start his own paper.

Seeing this sign while driving through Austell en route to see my girlfriend (who lived in Marietta), I’d been thinking maybe I should see about getting a job there. Compared to forklift driving, being a newspaper writer might be more useful to my rock-star ambitions. And here was my buddy with these model sailboat photos, excited about having them published in a club newsletter.

“Hey, cool, but I tell you what. There’s a brand-new newspaper that just opened up in Austell. If you’ve got these photos, I could do a freelance article to go with it, and maybe we could get paid.”
Well, I wasn’t going to write for “spec,” see? I was first going to find out if they would pay me before I would bother writing the article.

Two Big Things I Never Forgot
So the next day, I put on the blue pin-stripe three-piece suit my grandmother had bought me for my mother’s funeral in 1977 — hey, bell-bottoms were cool! — took my portfolio and the photos, and drove down to the Chronicle office. Walked in the front door, with my blue suit and rock-star hair, and the green-eyed girl at the front desk had a spectacular rack. (Forgot her name long ago, but I never forget a great rack.)

So I tell the green-eyed girl with the spectacular rack I’d like to speak to the editor. She goes back and gets Chris Barker, the news editor. He walked me back to his cubicle, where I showed him my photos and the clips and pitched the idea of doing a freelance photo feature. What would they pay for that?

Well, he wasn’t so interested in this feature idea, but my clips looked pretty good . . .

“Tell you what,” he said. “There’s a city council meeting tonight. You want to go cover that for us?”

“What does that pay?” I asked.

“If it’s any good, $4.50 an hour.”

That was in April of 1986. The story needed a good bit of editing — Chris Barker was both a great editor and a great teacher — but I got $4.50 an hour for four hours’ work. When we were through with the story, Chris offered a full-time job at the same rate. A couple weeks later, they’d hired my buddy as a photographer, too.

Rock On, With Boy Howdy!
So the point of that story is this: My career in journalism had nothing to do with any “keen interest in bettering the world.” I was just looking to make some money until the rock-star career took off. Bounced around a bit, then met my wife in the fall of 1987, had our first kid in 1989 and . . well, if the rest isn’t history yet, it’s only because I’m not finished yet.

I never wanted to be Woodward and Bernstein. Maybe I admired the late, great rock critic Lester Bangs (does anyone remember the old Creem magazine?) and I’d been a Hunter S. Thompson junkie since I was 19, but it never occurred to me, in 1986, that I’d end up as an award-winning political journalist in Washington. (Hey, Jesse, how’d you like that pony?) Far less did I expect to become a top Hayekian public intellectual.

Here’s the thing: When I was starting out, nobody offered to pay me to write political opinions, and I didn’t have any interest in doing that egghead pundit crap anyway. Al Gore hadn’t invented the Internet yet, so we hadn’t reached the glories of the Information Age, when every random loser with a laptop can tell the world their opinions of stuff they know nothing about. I didn’t go to Harvard, so it wasn’t like National Review would ever offer me an internship to go skinny-dipping with Bill Buckley.

So I made my living by skill, not opinion. And because of that, I realized the only way to get ahead was to work hard every day to improve my skills.

I like the blogosphere, especially when regular people do real journalism (Look, Jesse, Santa brought you a pony!) and as a means for regular people to talk back to the media. But merely having an opinion wasn’t worth $4.50 an hour even in 1986. You can’t succeed merely by having an opinion — much less by trying to “better the world” — whether it’s in blogs or newspapers or anything else.

Well, that’s my story. Dr. Barbara Oakley’s article is also excellent. Read the whole thing.