Thursday, October 15, 2009

Munchausen by Obama

It was just a typical, hum-drum Tuesday at a Burlington Coat Factory in Columbus, Ohio. Then an unnamed woman rolled up in a limousine and said, "Hey everybody! Free coats!"

In the video, that cop's nervousness is palpable when he has to go in front of that crowd and tell them, "sorry, but...scram." It's not clear whether this was before or after the point where the angry mob on the inside of the store trashed the place and looted merchandise.

There was a TV news crew on the scene when the woman announced the shopping spree and started writing rubber checks to people for their rent. Why is her face pixeled out? I smell a conspiracy. Was this Elvis in blackface and a high-pitched voice? Obama in a fat suit and fright wig?

Well, no. It was just a crazy lady who has a history of phony 911 calls and creating disturbances.

"She's not a crazy type of person who goes out and causes trouble," said the lady's daughter. Wait a minute. I mean no disrespect, and I have all the compassion in the world for crazy people, but isn't "a crazy type of person who goes out and causes trouble" specifically what your mom has been for quite a long time, according to your own account and by the eyewitness testimony of Burlington Coat Factory employees and the angry mob who trashed and looted the store? If the camera crew had bothered to ask a customer his opinion of your mother as he put a coat rack through a plate glass window, he might well have said "she's a crazy type of person who goes out and causes trouble!" SMASH!!

This woman will, in all likelihood, face jail time and/or confinement in a mental institution. Her supposed good intentions ("she wanted to help people, she just didn't have the means to help") won't matter a bit to the state of Ohio or to Burlington Coat Factory's attorneys.

But this poor lady was just following the lead of another great philanthropist, who never let a lack of "the means to help" stop him.

Of course, some might say that his methods of helping (particularly given that his favored engine of charity lacks the means) don't really help. Some might even say that he has no real interest in helping people to begin with. They might even say that his desire to "help" has more to do with a disordered impulse toward self-aggrandizement and need for attention and approval, even if such attention and approval can only be had on borrowed time, until everyone realizes that he didn't really win the lottery.

And that's really the point. What happens when some of these same people realize that the government doesn't have any money after all, and that their coats aren't free?

I guess it's likely that they won't ever know, which, under the circumstances, isn't all bad. I suppose if our schools had any interest in producing free citizens (as opposed to cowed and compliant proles), the uprisings would take place a lot sooner. And they wouldn't have the nearest inanimate object (like the Burlington Coat Factory) as their target.

Back on the Job! (sort of)

I apologize to my readers for being AWOL for the past couple of weeks. I've had several things going on (including a fabulous vacation, which I may be lucky enough to write about soon) that have prevented me from corresponding with you lately.

On the other hand, most of my readers already realize this, because you were on the trip as well. This is an organ with a very small circulation.

Thanks for your patience. There is much more in pipeline, I promise.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Saturday Night/Sunday Morning TV Nostalgia

When I was about five years old, I thought this ...was the coolest dude...I had ever seen:

"We have met the enemy, and he is us!?" Wow. That would just confuse TV watchers today. Sure enough, in 1998, the state had this PSA remade almost shot-for-shot, with updated music, a new guy portraying Tennessee Trash, and without the environmentalist variation on the Commodore Perry quote which nobody gets now but which apparently was commonplace in the late '70s.

Which leads me to another bit of generational gappage. The state did a follow up depicting a couple of senior citizens doing their civic duty and confronting Mr. Trash:

When I was a kid, threatening to tell his mother got Tennessee to clean up his act. Nowadays, if Elrod and Elvira tried this, ol' TT would blow them away with the snub-nosed .38 he keeps beneath all the Hardee's bags under his seat.

And I sat through a lot of this type of thing on bitter January and February mornings, waiting to find out if I would have to go to school:

Friday, September 18, 2009

Yaaaay!! Peace in Our Time!!

And this happened yesterday, the 70th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland in World War II.

Tuck in Your Sheet, Jimmah

racist n 1: One who believes that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capabilities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. 2: Anyone who is winning an argument with a leftist.

I grew up with a more or less received perception of Jimmy Carter as a kindhearted and honest man who had been an utterly incompetent president.

For many years, including my own five- to seven-year flirtation with the politics of the Left that began in high school, my subsequent rejection of those politics, and the few years I passed in political apathy, I never encountered much to make me rethink my opinion of the man. I, and just about everyone I knew, could see clearly that here was a guy "too nice for his own good," a man who, by the time I came of age, was a grandfatherly, charitable figure who built houses for poor people and traveled the world on missions of peace to brutal foreign dictators. His soft-spoken Georgia accent and his gentle demeanor seemed to be proofs of his turn-the-other-cheek Christianity, if also of his Henry VI-like unsuitability for power.

This is hardly a flattering picture. But I'm beginning to think that it's the best of all possible pictures of himself that Carter has a right to expect. Because when you start to pay attention to his record and read up on him even a little bit, that picture starts to change dramatically. Carter's history turns out to be more one of unwanted diplomatic interference (through which he has generally misrepresented the aims and aspirations of tyrants the world over at the expense of his own country), of joining the chorus of left-wing hyenas mindlessly baying at Pres. Bush and the U.S. generally over the past eight years, of acceptance of the paradigms of open anti-Semites and insulting comments about those who oppose the totalitarian inclinations of the current president. To my way of thinking, all this merits a reexamination of Carter's past and his present. A good place to start is this piece in Commentary by Joshua Muravchik. That will take you a while, but when you're finished there, you can move on to this shorter editorial in National Review Online.

All this has been quite an education for me. I no longer believe that Jimmy Carter is a bumbling good Samaritan or a quixotic missionary for world peace or that he was a prototype anti-segregationist. He's just another grasping, narcissistic left-wing ideologue, trying to shame his opponents in the current policy debates into ceasing their scrutiny and their thoughts about the Left's proposals.

It's Florida-UT Weekend!

Rep. Corrine Brown, via Six Meat Buffet:

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Epidemiological Correctness Run Amuck

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius hassles NBC head White House correspondent Chuck Todd about sneezing the right way:

Yeah, but sneezing in the crook of your arm runs the risk of having the snail trail effect on your suit coat. Now if the guy had been a newspaper reporter, he probably would have slept in his suit coat the night before, but still...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It Takes a Big Man to Bully a Little Girl

It would appear that Kanye West doesn't care about Hendersonville people.

If the levies burst and Hendersonville were under water, would Kanye West lift his little toe to save all those innocent Hendersonvillians? (A purely academic question, I know, since Hendersonville, it's founders having been competent to select construction sites, doesn't require levies to protect it, and, if it did, those levies would be maintained properly and well-built to begin with, and even if they weren't, Hendersonvillians would leave once it became clear that the cat-5 monster hurricane was bearing down on Hendersonville, and even if they didn't, the mayor and governor would have some sort of plan in place to save lives, instead of doing nothing and blaming it all on Kanye West.)

Before rushing the stage, Mr. West and his girlfriend, Mr. Clean, were seen partaking of some liquid courage, as the prospect of speaking truth to Taylor Swift was apparently making them nervous.

It's interesting to note that Kanye had no particular desire to confront some other country music performers like Toby Keith, Mr. Keith having some well-publicized views about what constitutes the American Way.

The president, similarly averse to letting a crisis go by without barging in and wrestling the mic away, delivered a stinging public rebuke to Kanye, calling him a "jackass" or "knucklehead" or some other such weak epithet that doesn't even begin to cover it, but not before this little bit of unpleasantness took place:

Friday, September 11, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Al Capone? Sammy the Bull?

Total amateurs in crime, compared to ACORN.

Capone's criminal empire never got $4 billion from the taxpayers.

Here's the story with video from Breitbart's Big Government.


I've been trying to straighten out some thoughts I've been having lately about civility in American politics enough to create a blog post or two on that subject. You can look for that in the near future, if you care to.

On a related note, the political world is abuzz this morning because of the decidedly uncivil outburst last night by Rep. Joe Wilson (R.-SC) during the president's address to a joint session of Congress on health care reform.

Wilson's episode came at a particularly misleading portion of the president's speech. What little health-care legislation that the public has been able to see absolutely does provide for abortion on demand to be covered and absolutely does not require that people be U.S. citizens to qualify for government-run health insurance. Amendments meant to fix these particularly atrocious parts of a bad House bill were shot down in committee--indicating that they're in there by malevolent design rather than gross negligence.

At any rate, Obama was purring right along, smoothly, glibly and, as always, indirectly mischaracterizing what others have said so that he can conveniently call them liars or call their objections "scare tactics," when up pipes a lone voice:

"You lie!"

Now, it's not as if no one has expressed disagreement with this president. It's not as if there weren't smatterings of disgruntled groans (I assume mostly among Republican lawmakers) during the president's speech.

But for someone to up and announce what needed no announcing, to loudly proclaim with his mouth what everyone in the room and what anyone listening--whether he cares to admit it or not--can see with his own eyes and hear with his own ears...well, that was either a bold act of political courage or a disgraceful act of nearly unimaginable rudeness.

If you're in the former camp--and I admit I am--you have to stop and think about what it means for stating the obvious to be considered an act of courage. It's not like Obama hasn't said everything he said last night before, ad nauseum. We've heard all these same vague platitudes, silky-smooth insults and straw men from him before. Yet those politicians who disagree with him insist on doing so so tentatively that sometimes it's hard to tell that they disagree at all, and when they do, they take issue only with the driest matters of policy. Certainly, they never have called him out on his insulting tone and dishonest poses before. But I guess the setting--a joint session of the U.S. Congress--and his slightly more sarcastic tone and his just a whit more noticeable air of entitlement last night made his nonsense just that much more execrable than before, and just a little more impossible for at least one obscure southern politician to smile and nod his head through.

So the naive child in "The Emperor's New Clothes" has been replaced by the angry South Carolina congressman. And surely the little kid can be forgiven for disregarding the rules of polite behavior more than the middle-aged man. I'm pretty sure it's considered out of order for a member of the House to shout "you lie!" at the head of state while he's trying to make a speech.

Yet consider the context and (yet again) the setting: Vice President Joe Biden said that Wilson's outburst "demeaned the institution" of the U.S. Congress. Under normal circumstances, I'd have to agree with him.

But these circumstances are far from normal. A president has the constitutional prerogative to call a joint session of Congress. The tradition has been, though, for each house of Congress to decide separately when it will meet, with the president delivering his "State of the Union" address before a joint session once a year, only calling any additional joint session in the direst of emergencies.

Obama has said at different times in the past that 5o million or 45 million Americans are without health care. Last night he cited that figure at 37 million, I suppose because he found it convenient to temporarily stop labeling illegal aliens as "Americans" (the actual figure is closer to 13 million actual Americans who want to buy health care but can't), and that is, officially anyway, his paradigm of an emergency.

But the real emergency here is that Obama's political bacon is getting burned up in the fire that he ignited. Public opposition to health-care reform that he wanted to be a done deal before Congress' August recess has been growing for two months now. The more he opened his mouth, the more that "conversation" among equal citizens began to look like a peasant revolt against an entitled elite.

So Obama had to go before the cameras to work his charm...again. And to lend some gravitas to what basically amounts to a glorified publicity stunt, he turned the show into a joint session of Congress. Then he preceded to tell the same old smooth, glib story he has been since he assumed power ("The time for talk is over; the time to act is now." "We can't wait." "Shut up and do it now," etc., etc.), only with just a little more edge to it.

If doing all that doesn't amount to "demeaning the institution," I don't think that Joe Wilson can hurt it any more by being rude.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!


Of course I'm talking about the beginning of football season! What did you think I meant?

We don't have cable at my house, and this is the hardest time of year to deal with that. That's why I like to watch the little snippets of Sports Center available at the ESPN website. You can catch some of the highlights you might've missed from yesterday there. You may not be able to see coverage of your favorite team but I suspect that you sometimes have the same problem even if you have 100+ channels.

There's only one real David & Goliath story to report: Oklahoma was upset by BYU last night after OU quarterback and last year's Heisman Trophy winner, Sam Bradford, had his throwing arm crunched by a BYU linebacker.

  • On a more important note, Memphis and Ole Miss play this afternoon.
  • On a much more important note, Michael Crabtree, a 2009 draftee and very important part of my fantasy team's wide-receiver picture, still hasn't signed with the 49ers, according to his unofficial spokesman/agent, who is none other than Deion Sanders. A talented rookie who is acting like a prima donna turns out to have Neon Deion for a close advisor? Shocking. Maybe Mr. Sanders thinks you can get more, but $20 million still seems like a lot of money to me, kid.
  • On a much, much more important note, the Titans open their season Thursday night in Pittsburgh against the hated Steelers. NBC is carrying the game at 7:30/8:30.

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