Video of the Day – Debating “extremist rhetoric” on Al-Jazeera

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Ed Morrissey – Yesterday I made my first appearance on Al-Jazeera’s English-language channel to discuss the Tucson massacre and the attempt to pin the blame on Sarah Palin and the “heated rhetoric, particularly from those on the Right and the far Right,” as the host put it. He presses repeatedly on this point, while I point out that there is absolutely no evidence that the shooter had any connection to the “Right,” or any other rational political movement. When he asks why we shouldn’t tone down our political speech on the off chance a lunatic might be listening, I explain that we can’t calibrate our political debate to the lowest common denominator of sanity — and that it isn’t the job of politicians to do that anyway. Read more

Picture of the Day – Blame Photos of Political Figures Holding Guns? Gabrielle Giffords did the same.

Are we really to believe that if a politician poses in a photo, aiming a gun at a target, that they are ipso facto contributing to an atmosphere of hatred and violence?

In that case, are advocates of this argument willing to blame the victim? Because Gabrielle Giffords did the same.

Of course, Gabrielle Giffords did nothing to contribute to the actions of her attacker. Nor did Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck or the Tea Parties or anyone else other than the gunman. Read more

Video of the Day – Slain girl’s father says attack the price of “a free society”

Hot Air – If you want to see heartbreaking grace and tremendous courage in the face of unspeakable tragedy, you don’t want to miss this segment from the Today show this morning with John Green, the father of the 9-year-old victim of the shooting in Tucson, Arizona. Christina Green was born on 9/11 and died in another act of nationally-covered violence, which her father says are “bookends” to her joyful life. Instead of lashing out, which would be entirely understandable for a heartbroken father, John instead offers us an amazing example of poise and perspective that puts many to shame:

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Picture of the Day – Obama: ‘If They Bring a Knife to the Fight, We Bring a Gun’

Sen. Barack Obama talks at a town hall meeting at Radnor Middle School in Wayne, Pa., Saturday, June 14. (AP)

Mobster wisdom tells us never to bring a knife to a gun fight. But what does political wisdom say about bringing a gun to a knife fight?

That’s exactly what Barack Obama said he would do to counter Republican attacks “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” Obama said at a Philadelphia fundraiser Friday night. “Because from what I understand folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans.” Read more

Today in History 1/7/1894 – The earliest surviving copyrighted motion picture: Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze

The earliest surviving copyrighted motion picture, the Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze is a short film made by W. K. L. Dickson in January 1894 for advertising purposes. Often referred to as “Fred Ott’s Sneeze,” this is is one of the world’s earliest motion pictures and America’s best known early film production. The star is Fred Ott, an Edison employee known to his fellow workers in the laboratory for his comic sneezing and other gags. This item was received in the Library of Congress on January 9, 1894, as a copyright deposit from Dickson.

Two other Edison experimental films on the Library’s YouTube site – DICKSON GREETING (May 1891) and NEWARK ATHLETE (May or June 1891), predate The Sneeze. The Sneeze was submitted for copyright as 45 frames from the motion picture printed as positive prints on paper rather than as a reel of film. The prints were mounted on cardboard and submitted to the Copyright Office in this form. The video of the Sneeze on loc.gov and YouTube was later rephotographed and turned into a moving image from these mounted frames.

Video of the Day – First Clear Video of Chinese Mystery Plane

The clearest video footage yet of what appears to be a Chinese stealth fighter prototype has been posted online.

The footage shows what appears to be the J-20 fighter moving around an airfield during ongoing tests at the Chengdu Aircraft Design Institute in the western city of Chengdu.

The first clear still images of the aircraft were posted online in late December, suggesting that China is making faster-than-expected progress in developing a potential rival to the U.S. F-22 –- the world’s only fully deployed stealth fighter.

Like the still images and a few blurry video clips, the new footage appears to have been shot clandestinely and posted by Chinese aviation or military enthusiasts on unofficial local defense-related websites, blogs and microblogs.

However, Western experts say Chinese authorities may have leaked them deliberately to suggest progress in their stealth fighter program, without officially confirming anything. Read more