This is part two of the series “2011 Year in Review: The Good, the Bad, and the Ridiculous.” These are the things that were bad, but didn’t quite make the ridiculous list. (In many cases, though, they were close.)
Japan’s Handling of Fukushima
The tsunami that hit Japan in March of 2011 was bad - really bad. Nearly 16,000 people lost their lives because of it, and estimates on the damage it caused was over $200B. The enormity* alone would have been enough to land it on this list. However, the nuclear angle of the tsunami sent it right to the top.
Initially, the Japanese government declared a state of emergency. Then, they said that they had everything under control, and did not need to take any further steps. Some people familiar with reactors were not comfortable with this, and sadly, they were proved correct. The government of Japan admitted, little by little, how dire the situation was, which ended up with a complete meltdown of three reactors, and several hydrogen explosions. The contamination was likened to Chernobyl; thankfully, that disaster has not produced the ill effects that were forecasted for it. Hopefully we will see the same at Fukushima.
While there is no guarantee that any other nations’ aid could have prevented these meltdowns, it underscores the need for honesty and transparency in government, particularly during times of disaster. Thankfully, the myriad armchair nuclear scientists have moved on to other pursuits, and Japan has cleanup well underway. However, the effects of this disaster will be felt for many years to come.
On January 8th, 2011, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was holding a constituent meeting in Tucson when she was shot at point-blank range. The shooter then turned and sprayed bullets into the crowd, killing several people. Miraculously, Rep. Giffords survived the shot, though she spent the majority of 2011 in the hospital or in rehab facilities. As the year closed, she was nearly ready to resume her regular schedule in Congress. While she was in the hospital, her husband flew on one of the final Space Shuttle missions. The shooting was bad, but her recovery has been one of the good news stories of 2011.
The man who shot her was a troubled individual, an anarchist who believed in “nothing” according to his friends. However, this did not stop the rush-to-judgment speculation of many media members. The first meme was that this was a deranged right-wing lunatic, acting out a map produced by Sarah Palin’s PAC in 2010. This map showed vulnerable seats with a cross-hair icon; of course this was the dog-whistle for the loonies to assassinate Democrats! Well, when that fell though, they still stuck with the right-wing narrative, until finally recanting when it was clear that this was not the case. Their rush to judgment gave us a window into their hearts, and what we saw was not pretty. (It also wasn’t news to many of us; just confirmation.)
Finally, many used her shooting to condemn the “violent” rhetoric (AKA firearms metaphors) that had become a part of the political system. This civility proved to be short-lived, and gave rise to the #NewTone Twitter hashtag, used by conservatives to retweet some of the vitriol directed at them.
These reactions illustrate the value of freedom of speech. Should these people have reacted the way they did? Of course not. But, without free speech, we wouldn’t know who the moonbats are. There are “journalists” who I simply will not patronize based on their behavior during this terrible tragedy.
US Credit Downgrade
In August, Standard and Poor’s downgraded the credit rating of the United States from AAA to AA. They did this in response to the failure of our country to address our looming deficits. When you look at our economic policies from 2006 forward, including 2009 being the last year with a Senate-passed budget, it’s hard to fault them for doing so. Our nation is ignoring the signs that tell us we should change; this year, the debt eclipsed our annual GDP. We cannot continue to spend money we do not have, while ignoring debt we have already accrued. Austerity is probably not going to get anyone elected, but it’s what we need; the world economy is no better than ours, so we cannot base our recovery on exports to other nations. We should position ourselves to ride out this contraction, so we will be ready to take advantage of the next expansion.
The Cain Train Derailed
I was on the Cain Train. I really liked Herman Cain’s plans for our nation. He was not a Washington insider, he has proven results with taking indentured businesses, making them live within their means, and growing them. His 9-9-9 plan attacked the sacred cow of tax code, proposing a much more fair solution. I wrote about him at length. However, as he rose in the polls, women began coming forward claiming sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior. These were bad, and he sadly put himself in the position of being vulnerable to those claims. His response, through his lawyer, was even worse; it sounded like something out of the Clinton administration.
Character matters. Even if every one of these claims were false, his inability or refusal to deny them outright gave us pause. A legal response that it was none of our business sounded fishy. Learning that he gave these women money unbeknownst to his wife just made me hang my head. Now, I realize that this comparison I’m about to make isn’t really apples to apples, but bear with me. When the Bible lists qualifications of a pastor, two of them are “husband of one wife” and “manages his own house well.” The first is important because fidelity to one’s spouse is an indication of fidelity to the rest of what they claim to believe, and the lack of it the same. The second lets us know that this person can work with people with whom they are close without letting them dissuade him from doing what it right. We’re not electing a pastor - I get that; the character required, however, is very similar. Mr. Cain did not manage his own house, could not refute these charges, and thus was drummed out of the race for Barack Obama’s job.
While there were plenty of bad things that happened, we can generally learn from them. May we learn, and not repeat 2011’s mistakes in 2012.
p.s. Intentionally left off this list is the Jerry Sandusky / Penn State scandal. Such unspeakable horror - may anywhere else this may exist be exposed, and the perpetrators be punished to the full extent of the law, and then some.
* Word nerd tip - “enormity” is not a synonym for “size,” but carries a negative connotation as well; in other words, it’s not just big, it’s big and bad. Its use here is appropriate; its common use elsewhere usually is not.
This is the first (or last, depending on how you’re reading these) entry in the series “2011 Year in Review: The Good, the Bad, and the Ridiculous.” 2011 may go down in history as one of the craziest yet. It’ll be tough to narrow it down to just a few things to keep this at a reasonable length - but, we’ll try.
Occupy Wall Street
For me, this was an easy pick. This movement, starting in the fall and continuing in some cities to this day, stands for… well, that’s part of it. They claimed inspiration from the Arab Spring, but had the minor detail that they weren’t under an oppressive regime. They boldly proclaimed that they were the 99% of income earners, railing against the income inequality between themselves and the top 1%. The phrase “I am the 99%” became one of their rallying cries. The main problem with the movement, however, was the absolute lack of a goal. What did they hope to accomplish? A list was posted online, but then others said that this list was not right. I addressed some of the issues surrounding that in my #OWS, Educate Thyself series, so I won’t re-hash that here.
Some claimed that this was the liberal’s response to the conservative Tea Party movement of 2010. However, their rap sheet grew rapidly, including rape, homicide, public indecency, and disturbing the peace. Public health concerns grew over these encampments, evidenced by a tuberculosis outbreak in Atlanta and “Zucotti Lung” among New York’s occupiers. This was no Tea Party. As some within the group tried to organize, others worked against organization, which led to confusion all around.
Then the time came to evict these protesters, which led to even more ridiculousness. Some mayors were more adamant than others, and some even spoke against their own police forces. Pepper spray flew in many cities, and on the campus of the University of California Davis. Occupiers in Portland are trying to shut down ports. As winter sets in, many of the camps have closed, but the aimless angst continues. The needed conversations regarding ridiculous executive compensation and police tactics will likely be drowned out by the shouting.
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)
This is a late-breaking entry, but it still happened in 2011. This bill gives the US Government the right to redirect Domain Name Service (DNS) entries for sites that host or participate in software piracy to a different site, similar to the ICE domain seizures that have been happening for a while now. There are many problems with this idea (which may sound good to some, on the surface). First, this breaks the DNS system, particularly the upcoming DNS Secure (DNSSec) protocol, which aims to prevent the DNS cache poisoning attacks that are becoming quite prevalent. Secondly, the concept of seizing an entire domain over suspected (not proven) activity circumvents due process; many large sites are approaching common-carrier status, and apart from DMCA take-down notices, aren’t able to police or censor their content. It completely misses the point of how the Internet works. Creating a system like this just invites abuse, which is ironic, considering the law purports to be trying to fight it.
The main forces behind this legislation are the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), two organizations who have shown themselves clueless as to how the Internet works time and time again. This brings in the biggest problem of all. This is the equivalent of the horse-and-buggy lobby writing laws against cars, to ensure their continued existence. There were many fine buggy crafstmen, I’m sure, who were put out of work by these new horseless carriages. Those craftsmen who chose to adapt and learn new skills were successful; those who sat on the sidelines were not.
The RIAA and MPAA have fought tooth and nail against technology for decades. (Anyone remember DAT?) They are slow to adapt. It was said that FM radio was going to kill record sales, because people wouldn’t buy them when they could hear the music for free. The cassette recorder would kill album sales, because people could record music themselves. The VCR would kill movie sales, because people could record movies from TV, cable, and LaserDiscs. They’ve proved themselves on the wrong side of technology at nearly every turn, and they’re wrong here. Their current efforts are doing two things - frustrating people like Tom Merritt (Update: Google+ is gone, and so is the link), who want to comply with the law, and encouraging piracy.
Back in 2008, a young girl named Caylee Anthony disappeared in Florida. Her mom reported her missing, and a half a year later, her remains were found. Through the police investigation, the clues they found all pointed toward one conclusion - her mother Casey had killed her and hidden her body. I won’t recount all the details for that - you can see them at that link. It’s not ridiculous, it’s just sad.
The ridiculous parts of this, though, were plentiful. The first was the “Trial of the Century” hype; this was, to some extent, a self-fulfilling prophecy. The media should cover the story, they should not be the story. The trial should have been covered, but the circus that was the trial was absolutely ridiculous. The second was Casey’s behavior. Her daughter is dead, she knows about it (according to her testimony), yet she’s out partying like there’s no tomorrow. Even if that were her regular M.O., I can assure you that if one of my children is missing, I wouldn’t be occupying my usual schedule. The third was her defense - Caylee died in the pool, and she was too scared to call the police, instead dumping the child’s body and instigating a huge manhunt for this child. Really? And her parents supported her in these claims! The fourth was the verdict - not guilty. There was so much wrong with this case, even if there wasn’t enough for capital murder, there were lesser charges that were also found not guilty.
The narrative is drama-filled, Casey is an attractive young lady, so this story is probably not done. I wish it were. I hesitated on putting her on this list, because attention to people like this only encourages them.
This seemed to be the year when many folks found out how Twitter works the hard way. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) tweeted a picture of his (let’s just say “namesake”) to a follower. Instead of using a direct message, which is private, he simply typed an @ symbol followed by the follower’s name, which is public to whoever views his timeline. He claimed to have been hacked; these claims were refuted, and he admitted to sending the message, as well as to many indiscretions against his newly-pregnant wife. He resigned his seat in the wake of this.
Other celebrities had trouble with the filter that’s supposed to sit between the texting fingers and the brain. Gilbert Gottfried tweeted jokes about the Japanese tsunami, and was dropped as the voice of the AFLAC duck. Ashton Kutcher tweeted his support of Penn State’s Joe Paterno in the wake of Paterno’s firing, which he later clarified once he learned the reasons behind. Alec Baldwin explored a New York mayoral run via Twitter, and ended up canceling his account after being booted from an airline flight for failing to turn off his iPad. His reason? Words with Friends. And, early in the year, Twitter was one of the places where Charlie Sheen’s epic breakdown unfolded, giving birth to the hashtag #WINNING.
As with all of these reviews, this is nowhere close to an exhaustive list; but, that’ll do. Some of these are ongoing; we’ll hope and pray that if they make next year’s list, it’ll be on the good list due to their dissolution.
There’s something about liberals. Sure, they believe pretty much the opposite of everything I do, but the way they go about things really puzzles me, especially the public ones that get a lot of press. Morgan K. Freeberg over at House of Eratosthenes has once again proved why he was one of the first ever “Daily Reads” I put out here. He’s the sort of person who, once an idea takes hold, will noodle it out until he gets it. Today, he’s analyzed the phenomenon where something we can do is declared impossible (ex. win in Iraq), while something we can’t do is declared as their goal (ex. eliminate poverty - see Matthew 26:11; the poor aren’t going anywhere).
I’d been trying to come up with a good way to illustrate the projection the liberals show (assuming that their latent feelings are the up-front feelings of their political opposites). In fact, there is a great example in all of the hype surrounding Barack Obama’s clinching of the Democrat nomination for President. It’s only historic to people who focus on race - and those are the same people telling us that we shouldn’t be focusing on race. The most historic thing about Barack Obama’s nomination is that he’s the first person in history to defeat the Clinton war machine (and, to give him his due, that is a significant accomplishment).
Morgan also covers the over-compensation angle - you know, the stereotypical guy who buys a muscle car to substitute for lack of anatomical size. I forget where I heard it, but there’s a saying that “if you have to tell someone you’re generous, you probably aren’t.” Back to Jesus talking about the poor, He said that our left hand should not know what our right hand is doing. (Matthew 6:2-3)
Go check out his post - he thoroughly dissects and analyzes this phenomenon.
I know, that really surprises you regulars… But, via Hugh Hewitt, we have a perfect illustration with what I believe is wrong with Barack Obama. It is a mindset that permeates everything he is and does, and is brought to us courtesy of his wife Michelle, speaking on Friday ahead of this past week’s North Carolina primary election.
(Throughout these quotes, the emphasis is mine.)
But we’ve also learned something else this year, something that we’ve all sort of felt at some point in our life, that we’re still living in a nation, and in a time when the bar is set, I talk about this all the time, they set the bar. They say look, if you do these things, you can get to this bar, right? And then you work and you struggle, you do everything that they say, and you think you’re getting close to the bar and you’re working hard, and you’re sacrificing, and then you get to the bar, you’re right there, you’re reaching out for the bar, you think you have it, and then what happens? They move the bar. They raise it up. They shift it to the left and to the right. It’s always just quite out of reach.
This is a diatribe on victimhood. Look how many times the work “they” is used to refer to some external entity. The person she’s describing does not believe that they are responsible for their own happiness - this person is too busy being held down by “them” (what previous generations would call “the man”). Ironically, though, this is pretty much real life she’s disparaging here. How many people have saved up to buy something, only to find that they forgot the tax, or it’s suddenly more expensive. I experience this in my line of work all the time. “Build it to these requirements.” So I build it. “Oh, why did you do it that way?” Because that’s what the requirements said. “Oh, yeah - but what I meant was something else.”
And, who was it that said “Aim for the moon”? (No, not the “nuke the moon” folks over at IMAO…) Achievement is great, but it shouldn’t be an end in and of itself. Once you achieve your goals, you set new ones and begin pushing again. That’s the premise of the whole “SMART” goal-setting process. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely, for those who’ve never heard of that.) You break your big goal into specific, measurable, realistic goals (ex. “win in North Carolina”). It’s not moving the bar, it’s moving on to the next small goal.
And that’s a little bit of what Barack has been experiencing. The bar is constantly changing for this man. Raise the money? Not enough. Build an organization? Not enough. Win a whole bunch of states? Not the right states. You got to win certain states. So the bar has been shifting and moving in this race…
Well, raising money means nothing for the presidency - if it did, we’d have wrapped up the second term of President Forbes in 2004. So no, that’s not enough. If organization was key, Barack wouldn’t even get to run because President Dean would be going for his second term. So no, still not enough. Win a bunch of states? Well, if you win 3 states for 100 delegates, and your opponent wins 1 state for 150 delgates, then yes, you won the wrong states. You’re whining that running for President is tough? What did you expect, that raising enough money for a coronation would be enough?
…but the irony is, the sad irony is that that’s exactly what’s happening to most Americans in this country. The bar is shifting and moving on people all the time. And folks are struggling like never before, working harder than ever, believing that their hard work will lead to some reward, some payoff. But what they find is that they get there and the bar has changed, things are different, wasn’t enough. So you have to work even harder.
No, they’re not. This view of America is completely flawed. Yes, people are working hard. Yes, some are feeling the pinch of bad decisions or bad circumstances. It’s not that the bar has changed, it’s that real life has hit. The most important thing to realize in all this, though, is that when life happens, it’s not the job of the government to step in and “fix” it.
And see what happens when you live in a nation where the vast majority of Americans are struggling every day to reach an ever-shifting and moving bar, then what happens in that nation is that people do become isolated. They do live in a level of division, because see, when you’re that busy struggling all the time, which most people that you know and I know are, that you don’t have time to get to know your neighbor. You don’t have time to reach out and have conversations, to share stories. In fact, you feel very alone in your struggle, because you feel that somehow, it must be your fault that you’re struggling so hard. Everybody else must be doing okay. I must be doing something wrong, so you hide. You don’t realize that the struggles of that farmer in rural Iowa are the same as the struggles as a city worker in the south side of Chicago, because we don’t talk to each other.
In the immortal words of Toby Keith, “A little less talk, and a lot more action.” If you’re busting your butt to get ahead, you’re struggling, you don’t have a lot of time for conversations and story sharing. If you think that they’re valuable to helping you with your struggle, you make time for them. If you can attain your goals without touchy-feely stuff, then you probably don’t.
And, there’s a bit of smug self-centeredness in this description as well. I don’t believe that most people feel that they’re all that different from other people. Certainly not any of the people I know - in fact, it’s been my experience that the easiest common topic to discuss with people is child rearing. Everyone has a funny story from that, and most people’s experience is quite similar. You’re revealing a part of yourself that I don’t think you meant to reveal.
And when you live in a nation with a vast majority of Americans are struggling to reach an ever-shifting and moving bar, then naturally, people become cynical. They don’t believe that politics can do anything for them. So they fold their arms in disgust, and they say you know, I can’t be bothered voting, because it has never done anything for me before. So let me stay home, let me not bother. Naturally, we as a nation get cynical.
Politics can’t do anything for anyone! What people become cynical about is politicians who say one thing to get elected, then do another once in office. Why do you think our current President’s approval rating has been in the toilet for some time? He campaigned as a conservative, then moved to middle once elected. His base doesn’t like it because he’s betrayed them, and his opponents still don’t like him because he caused the country to get an education in electoral law in 2000. You don’t find much in the middle of the road other than roadkill.
And besides, isn’t “politician” the charge that got your husband all riled up? His pastor can say those horrendous things about our country, and he’s just an old man from a different generation - but as soon as he accused Barack of being a politician, that’s when he got disowned. (That’s the irony - Barack’s response to that essentially proved what Dr. Wright said!)
And when you live in a nation where people are struggling every day to reach an ever-shifting and moving bar, then what happens in that kind of nation is that people are afraid, because when your world’s not right, no matter how hard you work, then you become afraid of everyone and everything, because you don’t know who’s fault it is, why you can’t get a handle on life, why you can’t secure a better future for your kids.
I’m not afraid. Is it because I’m one of those folks who’s clinging to God and guns? :) I’m not too awfully worried about securing a better future for my kids. What I’m concerned with is teaching my kids how not to become victims; teaching them how to take responsibility for their actions; teaching them that if they want something done, they should do it; teaching them respect for other people; teaching them the difference between respecting the earth (which we learn as Cub Scouts) and worshiping it. Secure a better future for my kids? My ultimate goal is to feel that the future is secure because my kids are in it.
And the problem with fear is that it cuts us off. Fear is the worst enemy. It cuts us off from one another and our own families, and our communities, and it has certainly cut us off from the rest of the world. It’s like fear creates this veil of impossibility, and it is hanging over all of our heads, and we spend more time now in this nation talking about what we can’t do, what won’t work, what can’t change.
If people would quit trying to recycle failed socialistic programs and wealth-envy politics, we’d have a lot less to talk about. Many of us would love to talk about change, but it’s tough to talk with someone who won’t debate like an adult. An example of what won’t work is the current Social Security ponzi scheme. But, a few years ago, when an attempt was made to get our government out of the Social Security business, opponents screamed about how they’d be taking food out of grandma’s mouth. It’s the same with the minimum wage debate - the claim is made that you can’t support a family of four on minimum wage. First off, it is possible, if you live within your means (a foreign concept these days, I know - see collapse, mortgage, sub-prime); secondly, that’s not what minimum wage is designed for. On the other side, you’ve got a $7+ minimum wage, and we wonder why there’s a demand for $2/hour illegal labor. It’s not that there are jobs Americans won’t do, it’s that they, by law, can’t do them!
And one more example of the whole “arguing like adults” thing, blogress Cassy Fiano recently posted two pictures of Barack Obama’s celebration in North Carolina - one from the campaign itself, the other from Mary Katherine Ham, who was there covering it. The pictures illustrated that, though some creative photography, it appeared that the venue was full when it was, in fact, not. What was the number one liberal response to this heinous exposure of “politicianing”? You’re fat. (Language warning on that link.)
See, and the problem with that kind of thinking is that we passed that on to our children, because see, the thing I know as a mother is our children are watching everything we do and say, every explicit and implicit sign, they are watching us. And our fear is helping us to raise a nation of young doubters, young people who are insular and they’re timid. And they don’t try, because they already heard us tell them why they can’t succeed. See, and I don’t want that for my kids.
Then don’t live in a fear-induced paralysis! Get out there and take control of your destiny. Go to school, apply for that better job, update your resume, do what it takes. That’s the picture you want your kids to see. I’ll tell you what, you’re into real life here again - that is what’s happening to our kids. But don’t bemoan it, do something about it! There’s nothing that the President of the United States can do to tackle that kind of fear, and putting that responsibility on him is a big part of the problem.
You know, jobs like my father had those blue collar jobs where you got pensions, vacation, all that, they’re dwindling. They’re drying up. They’re disappearing, going overseas. And if you’re lucky enough to have a job, nine times out of ten, your salary’s not keeping up with the cost of living. Barack and I met with a family of railroad workers, union folks. They said for eight years, they hadn’t seen a pay increase. For eight years, zero pay increase. Eight years. No increase. Gas prices going up, food going up, rent, insurance, own a home, what’s going with the mortgages? That’s going up. It’s all going up, and salaries are staying stagnant. So no wonder that bar feels like it’s moving.
And why is that? See regulation, government, obscene. People who don’t understand free-market economics think that they can levy whatever requirement they want on business (usually some sort of wealth-distribution scheme), and that business owners are just going to eat that out of their profits. That’s not the way the real world works. This is part of the minimum wage debate too - if I employ 10 people at $5/hour, and I suddenly have to pay them $7/hour, that a $20/hour of overhead I’m going to incur. To fix that, I will either raise my prices to compensate, or let 3 of the people go. With the former, the buying power of the $7/hour wage is diminished, and with the latter, three of the folks lose all their buying power (moving the bar, no doubt). Why are these jobs going overseas? Because people there will work harder, for less money, and be grateful to have a job in the first place.
And I don’t know how single parents do it. There are millions of them all over this country. Let me tell you, single parents love their kids, too. But it is almost impossible to raise a family of any size on a single salary. So now you’ve got single parents who have to double and triple shift, taking on two, three jobs, working all the time, and feeling like they’re failing because that bar is moving, because how on Earth are you going to work as hard as you need to to pay the bills and be at parent/teacher conferences, and sit down and do homework when a kid has trouble? How are you going to manage all that? Well, folks are not, and they’re doing it suffering in silence, blaming themselves for the fact that they’re not working hard enough. Maybe something’s wrong.
Ooh boy - time for some insensitivity. I agree, something’s wrong. People in this country have lost their backbone to stand up and say that single parenthood is not the ideal child-rearing environment! This isn’t a knock on single parents per se, but most of the single parents I know would agree that it is not the ideal environment. But since no one will say that, and we’ve elevated our own self-centeredness to such an extent that people just get out of their marriages if they’re not happy instead of working on them, we get this. The people I feel sorry for in single-parent households are the kids. Men and women both bring different styles and aspects to the parenting table, and the presence of both has the best opportunity to produce a good result.
This also comes back to the whole “living within your means” thing. It doesn’t take three jobs to support a family - I’ve got three kids and a wife living on one enlisted military salary, and we get by just fine. No, we don’t have a new Toyota Sienna (much to my wife’s dismay), but we have what we need.
And [Barack] has spent every ounce of his time running over the decisions in his head - do I…when graduating from college, do I work on Wall Street? Make a lot of money, that’d be better for me, or do I go work in a community as an organizer? Well, what did Barack do? He became a community organizer, working in some of the toughest neighborhoods on the south side of Chicago, worked for years in neighborhoods where people had a reason to give up hope, because their jobs had been lost, steel mills shut down, living in brown fields left by those closed steel plants, unsafe streets, schools deteriorating, grandparents raising grandkids. Barack spent years working with churches, busing single mothers down to City Hall to help them find their voice, building the kind of operations on the ground just like he’s doing in this race, block by block, person by person. Now you tell me whether there’s anybody in this race who can claim to have made the same choice with their lives. You tell me, but I think that Barack Obama is the only person that can claim that kind of choice.
And, were he running for Humanitarian of the Year, this might be a good thing. But he’s not - he’s running for President of the United States of America. He wants to be the CEO of one of the largest economies on the planet, yet he has no experience in managing anything, even a non-profit. (If you’re on the ground, house to house and driving buses, you’re not managing.) People don’t just “get” to be CEO because they’re a nice person. They start in lower management, working out their inevitable neophyte mistakes and gaining experience as to what does and doesn’t work. Then they move up and prove their abilities at a higher level. Even then, things don’t always go smoothly. Carly Fiorina, the HP exec who “broke the glass ceiling,” was supposed to take HP to heights previously unknown. As it turns out, her ideas didn’t match up with what the market wanted, and she left a few years later, much more quietly than she arrived.
The job is President of the United States is a tough one, but it’s not the President of the World. Sometimes, what’s best for the USA is not what’s best for some other countries. I don’t want my President making decisions for the betterment of other countries to the detriment of this one. You may think that’s why we should all be opposed to the Iraq war, but that’s why I’m for it. I believe that instilling a representative form of government in that area of the country will help stabilize that region, which will in turn stabilize our nation. That way, we can have the time to deal with the people here that need attention.
So, there you have it - several reasons I’m not supporting Barack Obama.
I know, the day after I post that I won’t be here, I find this (strong language warning) over at Rachel Lucas’s blog. This was simply too funny to not reblog.
This is a scene from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, the faux-news show on Comedy Central. They took a patronizing look at the protesters in Berkeley, California, who are trying to shut down the Marine recruiting center. My favorite exchange comes starting at 3:12…
Code Pink Feather Boa’d Protester (CPFBP) - It is our responsibility, as the public, to shut this station down, to shut this recruiting station down. Another Code Pink Protester - Code Pink stands for free speech. CPFBP - It’s very important to protect free speech, and so we clearly have the right to be here. Rob Riggle, Reporter - If only there was an organization that was sworn to defend that free speech! CPFBP - Wouldn’t that be great? Rob - That would be outstanding, right?
(Update: the embedded video has been removed at the source; glad I wrote the transcript!)
Through this post on a blog called “Grouchy’s Liberaltopia” (which I found through a blog-of-a-blog-of-a-blog), we get an insight into the left-wing hate machine. Here’s the third paragraph (numbers are mine, for further dissection)…
In just the past few weeks, the true derangement of the Bush Christopublican neocons has shown its raving, wild-eyed, insane flap-jawed moron face with (1) Anal Cyst Draft Reject Rush Limbaugh slapping any member of the military, including combat vets, as “phony soldiers” if they don’t agree with his chickenhawk war scat; (2) Der Leader-hosen’s Loyal Bunker Honey Ann “Mannish Boy” Coulter flashing her anti-Semitic roots by generously threatening to ‘perfect Jews’ by overhauling them into Godless uber-Christians like herself; (3) Ailes’ Fox News Brain Trust Billo discovering them mother-effin’ darkies up in Harlem can run a restaurant just as well as drunken Irish O’Fays; (4) Corporate Roach Motel Desk Clerk Laura Ingraham unironically and hilariously titling her new colostomy bag of political bile “Power to the People”; (5) various Rightie Jock-Sniffers trying to make their bones by attacking 12-year-old accident victim Graeme Frost and, not satisfied with that wincing scuminess, even going after a 2-year-old girl with heart problems cured by the S-CHIP funds that Boy Bush just vetoed.
Wow - sounds a like a rough few weeks! Let’s see what really happened…
First up is Rush Limbaugh. He used the term “phony soldiers” to refer to the people who claimed they were in the military, but were not. There have been at least two of these folks who have been thoroughly discredited. The Senate even decided to get in on the fun, writing Rush’s syndication company a letter asking them to censure him. Rush decided to auction the letter on eBay, with the proceeds going to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, and he promised that he would match the winning bid, and challenged the 41 signers of the letter to make the same pledge. (At this time, none have.) The auction ended this past Friday, with the letter going for $2.1 million, for a total donation to MC-LEF of $4.2 million!
Second is Ann Coulter. I already linked to Dennis Prager’s article about Ann. Since when do liberals care about anti-Semitism - aren’t they the ones who are constantly demanding that a sovereign nation give up more and more of its territory to a group who has no claim to any of the land anyway? Saying that Jews would be perfected by converting to Christianity is anti-Semitic no more than someone telling me I’d be better if I grew some hair and lost 20 pounds is anti-Daniel.
Third is Bill O’Reilly. A good summary of the whole flap is up over on the ABC News website. I can’t help but feel for Bill in all this. The first two we’ve discussed are a result of statements taken out of context, so I can’t help but believe that this is the same thing. In fact, that’s what Bill was saying. He has been at the center of racial issues before - people cried racism when his reporting led to Pepsi ditching Ludacris as a spokeman. One defense given of this horrid, offensive rap music is that its purveyors are “keeping it real”. If you’re offended, you’re a racist, because it’s just reality. How was Bill to know that he wouldn’t hear that kind of language in a predominantly black restaurant in Harlem?
Fourth is Laura Ingraham. Her new book Power to the People has done pretty well. In fact, after a quick 7-minute interview on Rush’s program, the book went from 61st to 2nd on Amazon.com. I think this one is borne out of envy, but let’s see what Publisher’s Weekly (via Amazon.com) had to say about it.
Taking an approach that makes mutually exclusive groups out of those “working and taking care of their families” and the “protest culture,” Ingraham’s message is loud and clear: “they’re coming for you.” Specifically, “they” means the Lifetime network (brainwashing women to “swear off men and family”), the growing ranks of “Team Atheist” (including Dan Brown), “family deconstructivists,” illegal immigrants and Islamic jihadists, among others.
Yep - sounds like something a liberal wouldn’t like.
Finally, we have Graeme Frost. The Democrats got this 12-year-old boy to read their address about S-CHIP, and held him up as the example of the people the expanded programs was supposed to help. However, his family is not as needy as they would have us believe. Mark Steyn has some details, and Michelle Malkin has a big round-up. This is yet another issue with symbolism over substance (we’re not supposed to look at the details, because it would benefit this poor, pitiful kid), but it had the benefit of exposing the problems with the program - the Frost family, it turns out, doesn’t need S-CHIP as much as they sounded.
So, we’ve got a pretty good week for Republicans, and embarrassment and failure for Democrats. I could see why the liberals would be upset with that. Here’s to many more weeks like that! I’ll tell you what else we’re seeing. Republicans have done everything the other side has asked, and all it gets them is a great big bunch of nowhere. They’re no longer worried about apologizing, or who they offend. Get used to it…
There just isn’t enough time in the day to do everything I want to do. Sadly, one of the casualties is original content for my blog (although I am working on something that I hope to have ready in a few days). Until then, here’s another round-up of interesting things I found scattered around the web.
First up, from the American Thinker, we have Randall Hoven with “Media Dishonesty Matters.” In this tome, he details 101 incidents of plagiarism, failure to disclose conflicts of interest, and instances of journalists creating news out of thin air. This should probably count as three or four links, but we’ll keep pressing on.
Next up, LaShawn Barber asks Barack Obama this pointed question - “What Faith Is This?” He has claimed that his faith guides his public life, yet he voted against the ban on partial-birth abortion. That’s a good question.
Moving on, Dennis Prager of TownHall.com (among other places) asks another, somewhat rhetorical question - “So What?” In it, he, a devout Jew, explains why he is not offended in the least over Ann Coulter’s latest statement that Jews need to be “perfected” by accepting Christ. He also explains why labeling her statements as anti-Semitism does a disservice to the efforts to eliminate anti-Semitism.
Finally, I usually wrap up with some humor - but this one will inspire a different emotion. I may be the last person in the world to find out about this song, but I’ve got to share it. Tim McGraw’s “If You’re Reading This” is a tribute to men and women in uniform, and is a tear-jerking classic.