Posts categorized “Rants”    (PAGE 2)

Apologize? For What?

July 12, 2005   9:30 pm

Here recently, there has been a spate of apologies. Now, I believe in owning up for your actions when you are wrong, and I am training my children to do the same. But these mass apologies to which I’m referring are nothing more than meaningless “I feel your pain” drivel.

First up is the recent Senate apology for not outlawing lynching. For starters, there is no one in the Senate today who was around then and didn’t “outlaw” lynching at the Federal level. Besides, lynching was already illegal, under assault and murder laws - whether backwoods Southern police departments prosecuted offenders is not the domain of the Senate (legislative branch - law enforcement is a task of the executive branch). The only thing this resolution does is bring up, yet again, the terrible part of Southern history that is lynching. It reminds some Americans, now in their eighties and nineties, of a time that they’ve worked hard to overcome and forget. With the Senate still dragging their feet on judicial confirmations, wasting their time on this meaningless document seems ludicrous. One pundit has an interesting take on it (although his view of whether it was “good” or not differs from mine) - he says that this resolution forced Senators to make a political choice. (I’m proud to say that one my senators, Lamar Alexander (R-TN), as well as Richard Shelby (R-AL) and both Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX) and John Cornyn (R-TX) did not put their names on this.)

Next up is Richard Durbin’s comments regarding the military, and his subsequent statement that he termed an “apology.” He has used the patented “if then” apology technique - if what I said offended you, then I’m sorry. It’s hard to say when this came into vogue - he’s certainly not the first to try to pass something like that off as an apology. He said what he said, and offered us a window into his soul, his beliefs. If he doesn’t have the spine to stick up for his conviction, well… that probably makes him like 70%+ of the elected officials in Washington, I suppose. ScrappleFace had a great parody on Sen. Durbin’s apology - the “first draft” is a lot closer to an apology than what he actually said!

This apologizing can really get inane and picky - a candidate for office in New York has now apologized because, in describing her civil rights work in the 1960’s, referred to a police vehicle as a “paddy wagon.” This is absolutely ridiculous. I’m glad our Founding Fathers didn’t have such thin skin as their progeny has now developed - they would have demanded an apology from Britain, and while they were standing there with their hands on their hips, the British would have killed them all.

Mass apologies, and apologies over trifiling little issues, are meaningless. The only good thing they do is make it easy to tell who is more concerned with feelings than with accomplishment. As we go through life, things happen that either offend us, hurt us, or make us mad. When faced with these circumstances, we have two choices; we can either allow it to keep us down, and focus on our own feelings, or we can use it as motivation to make our lives better. The rugged men who founded our country chose the latter, and so do I. What will you choose?

Boo! for Law and Order

January 13, 2005   9:15 pm

I am just sick up to the top of my neck with prime time programming’s incessant infatuation with homosexuality. The latest egregious display was at the end of last night’s Law and Order, where Serena, the Assistant D. A. played by Elizabeth Rohm, was fired. Throughout the four years she’s been on the show, we’ve really seen nothing of her family. After being told to pack her things, she replies, “Is this because I’m a lesbian?” Now granted, the writers hadn’t developed her character out enough for anyone to know whether this was true or not, but why bring it into the last episode? It wasn’t even a very good scene - it seemed unnatural for Ms. Rohm (and I have no idea if she actually is gay or not - doesn’t really matter to me).

Now, in re-runs, it won’t be consuming me - I really have no obsession over knowing someone’s (or even a fictional character’s) sexual proclivities. But, the principle of it left me with a bad taste in my mouth, and this “ambush homosexuality” will tint my view of her character when I see re-runs on A&E or TNT. (I’m also a little disappointed that Fred Thompson was part of that scene, but that’s just something I’ll have to get over, I suppose…) I watch ER too, and they have a required gay character - but at least they’ve developed the character; and, whether I agree with the statements the character made or not, it wasn’t something just thrown up in the audience’s face at the last minute.

I sure hope that future “farewells” for folks have a bit more substance, and less statement-making…

There's No Evidence!

June 30, 2004   2:15 pm

He’s at it again. The 42nd President of the United States, William Jefferson Blythe (Slick Willie, Bubba) Clinton, has resurfaced to promote his new book. Some folks fault him for not accepting the Sudan’s offer to give us Osama bin Laden several years ago. In his defense of himself, he’s providing many of us a reminder of just how grating he is to listen to. Did he admit that he had dropped the ball on that particular occasion? (Come on - are you kidding?) Did he adamantly deny this charge? He tried - he said “There was a story, which is factually inaccurate, that the Sudanese offered bin Laden to us. As far as I know, there is not a shred of evidence of that.”

That’s not a denial, folks; that’s an assertion. “Factually inaccurate” means that the story could have the wrong date, or inaccuracies in the timeline - the phrase sounds nice, but it had a different meaning than “substantively inaccurate,” which is how I would describe something like that. (Actually, I probably would have called it a “pack of lies” or somthing like that…) And to his next phrase - he can’t bring himself to say “I didn’t do it,” he uses the cop-out “There’s not a shred of evidence of that.” (If you’ll recall, he’s used that phrase before - when speaking of Mark Rich, the fundraising of Charlie Trie (paragraph 3), even when describing his own life. I saw that one person said “The proper way to parse that statement (“There’s not a single shred of evidence”) is ‘There are many shredded pieces of evidence.’” And, as if that’s not a wishy-washy enough statement, he preceded it by saying “as far as I know.” Does this mean he’s not sure whether there are shreds of evidence (or maybe even whole pages his staffers missed)?

This is the sort of pedantic double-speak that makes Clinton so dear to his party, and so frustratingly annoying to those not in his party. I would think that someone who was trying to rehabilitate their reputation would start talking straight. Ladies, think about it - if you accused your husband of having an affair with someone, and he said “As far as I know, there’s not a shred of evidence that we ever had an affair,” would you be satisfied with that answer? What you would hear is something like “We did, but we covered our tracks really well, I think.” Back when the Godfather (Rush Limbaugh for those in Rio Linda) came into popularity (way back during Bush 41’s presidency), one of his most common themes was that “words mean things.” (Sounds like a no-brainer, right?) Through Clinton’s use of terms like this, and his creative narrowing of common terms such as is and sex, he harmed the moral fabric of this country immensely.

This mysogynistic, impeached rapist, who was held in contempt of court while seated as this nation’s top executive officer, needs to go back into the shadows from where he came. The policy differences some folks have with our current President are nowhere close to Clinton’s pattern of personal corruption, abuse of power, and illegal activities. Let’s just hope against hope he doesn’t become our first “First Gentleman”…

Stop Yer Sniveling (and Other Thoughts)

February 26, 2004   9:43 pm

Recently, there have been quite a few “groups” getting offended about things that other people do. Let me say up front that I have no problems with any individual person; however, I do not like the whole “group” concept, where a couple of loud-mouthed members of said group purport to speak for every member. That being said…

Some American Indians are upset about OutKast’s performance at the Grammys - here’s an article from CNN about it. OutKast has made their career being off-centre - a creative show like the one they put on at the Grammys shouldn’t be that unexpected. I saw the show, and there was nothing offensive in it to me (other than the fact that I’ve heard “Hey Ya” so many times I’m sick of it).

Some Jews are upset about The Passion of the Christ - they feel that it will incite hate for Jews. First of all, the movie is historical. If the Jews didn’t want this stuff being shown, they should’ve been nicer to Jesus 2,000 years ago. Secondly, the events portrayed in this film occurred 2,000 years ago - no one in their right mind would hold someone of Jewish descent responsible for something their ancestors did 2,000 years prior.

Some blacks are upset about a whites-only scholarship at a Rhode Island university - here’s an article from CNN about that. I love this story. These kids set up a scholarship which is merit-based; you’ve really got to be sharp to be the recipient of this $250 grant. Then, they add one final caveat - you have to be white. This is a very creative way to show the lunacy of race-based preferences - although I fear the lesson will be lost in the hysteria of many.

The bottom line is this… In a free country such as this, you do not have the right to not be offended. Matters of morality are one thing, but none of these incidents are moral situations. These are a symptom of our group-minded, victim-mentality culture, where people aren’t individuals, they’re members of a group. These loud-mouths have complacent amplifiers in today’s media, who broadcast their claims as fact, while often not applying common sense to the situation. I’m of Irish descent - am I offended when people make jokes about Irish people? Of course not. Thick skin is a wonderful thing - I wish these folks would grow some, and let the individuals decide for themselves whether they’re going to be offended by something.

On a slightly different note… Thomas Sowell, a great columnist, occasionally writes a column he calls “Random Thoughts on the Passing Scene”. That title is a link to his latest one, but I’ve just got to share a couple of them here. (These are quoted verbatim from him.)

  • Activism is a way for useless people to feel important, even if the consequences of their activism are counterproductive for those they claim to be helping and damaging to the fabric of society as a whole.
  • It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer “universal health care.”