Saturday, December 30, 2006

American Culture - Crudity!

In a Meet The Press interview on 24 December, crudity was remarked as something that graphically and unfortunately impacts American life. Moderator Tim Russert was interviewing Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham and Saddleback Church pastor Rick Warren. Upon reflection, one can discover many ways this is portrayed by folks who are constant objects of media attention, and, of course, how it reflects upon the media itself – sensation trumping facts in considering what’s newsworthy.

This crudity is exemplified in the ongoing imbroglio engaged in by Donald Trump and Rosie O’Donnell, two rich (at least as consensually surmised) brats who have called each other “pimp” and “dummy” respectively. Trump, known for casinos and the feminine meat-market called Miss Universe, recently publicized his supposed intention to “fire” a Miss Universe contestant for not behaving herself, including sleeping around, drunkenness, etc. The media was full of pictures of the woman apparently French-kissing another woman and later posturing for the public in caterwauling her appreciation to Trump (smirking behind her in the “press conference”) for keeping her on the “job” and letting her truck on down to rehab, the better to appear nude in a more sophisticated demeanor. Trump advertises his Miss Universe candidates virtually nude as they writhe much as the trollops fronting the houses of ill fame in the movies, thus enhancing his identification as crudity-personified.

O’Donnell, whose claim to fame is her lesbianism (fat, too, according to Trump) is on a TV program apparently sort of overseen by Barbara Walters (okay, I’ve never seen more than a total of five minutes of it), in which women vent their spleens over this and that. I saw the short clip recently in which O’Donnell was holding a pathetic drunk on her lap (what there is of it) while he mouthed trashy talk…very uplifting stuff. Her crudity is enhanced by that of the audience – mostly women addicted to moronic morning-shows – who obviously enjoy the titillation and male-bashing or oohing and ahhing over the “hunks.” Trump and O’Donnell probably have a thing going – whether intentionally or not in the beginning – and see money in it, so they snipe on at each other and laugh all the way to the bank. Law-suits? Ridiculous! They would end the fun and finance.

Crudity on the political scene is obvious in author Bob Woodward’s latest “mother of all scoops,” trotting out an embargoed tape (not to be shown, by direction of Gerald Ford, until he was dead) of his interview in 2004 with the former president before the deceased’s body was cold. The big scoop: that Ford disagreed with Bush’s decision to invade Iraq…hot stuff. Of course, it’s been noted that Ford apparently supported the action in 2003, so Woodward, in his panicky haste to hurt President Bush, also made Ford look bad, not just because of the reversal in position but also because of the obvious intent to not go on the record when it mattered. Of course, who knows what actually happened in 2004? Woodward’s claim to have interviewed former CIA chief Casey on his death-bed has been thoroughly debunked by the people who knew the facts. To be crude enough – not just Woodward but the entire media establishment – to do this at precisely the time Ford lies in state and the nation mourns says it all…about the media and its hacks.

The crudity is seen on the sports scene…in spades. The teasing, taunting, trash-talking, tattoos, fights, and celebratory gyrations resembling those of baboons by multimillionaire ballplayers for just doing what they’re paid to do has become sickening. This disgusting conduct has filtered down to college and even middle-school level, as young athletes ape the pros – veritable buffoons – as role models. Coaches are too tied to money-in-baskets to do anything, and referees don’t dare cross them. The shallow-heads who run television and athletic departments have decided that obscenity is what the public likes, so that’s what the athletes are paid to deliver – garbage. The Janet Jackson and Mick Jagger obscenities that marked Super-bowl halftimes in 2004 and 2006 say it all.

Crudity on a grand scale is already revved up – again in the world of politics. Whereas once the summer party-conventions served as vehicles to inform the nation and cough up candidates, now the hate-filled primary-spectaculars, with their venomous TV ads and knuckle-headed speeches (sound-bites glued together with inanities) go on and on and on and on, with the campaigners convinced that the general public is too dumb to see through any of it. Picture John Edwards making his big announcement for the presidency the other day (practically two whole years in advance) from some backyard in New Orleans, notwithstanding that he is a North Carolinian who once served his state as a U.S senator. Why New Orleans instead of Raleigh? Obviously, Edwards thought he was making a statement about…maybe FEMA, the president…who knows? Such an exercise in pathetic posturing marks him as crude and condescending to the Joes and Janes who he must think have no brains at all, and he can’t see how he misreads the public...not as gullible as he thinks.

Crudity has always been around, but probably took off during the late 60s, when the flower children and hippies made being trashy fashionable. Being out of one’s head became the norm, with hophead O’Leary the guru. Rings in all places – lips, ears, navels, tongues, noses – are considered cool, with tattoos, known as “body art,” the ultimate accomplishment in being with it, and the more the better. Where once only drunken sailors got tattoos, now even college students – especially athletes – are walking-around canvases of obscenity/porn/whatever. “Rap,” endemic to the African-American youth, has crossed over to become a staple in the white community, its obscene lyrics (kill the m-fs, cops, anybody else handy, as well as its mind-deadening throbbing beat) amounting to some sort of rite of passage. It’s sort of reversion to the jungle, the tribal mentality.

Even churches/church-members have gotten into the act, so fearful of losing influence or members or potential members that they consider political correctness (translated anything that feels good is good) the bellwether of worship and mission, devoid of significant constraints. The liturgy has either been abandoned or so inflicted with blunt-forced, groovy trauma that it means little. An entire generation is now ignorant of the great music of the church, and the church and society have become one, despite Christ’s teaching that the believer is salt – briny salt, not sugar-coated, warm-fuzzy “togetherness” at all costs. Whole denominations have accepted behavioral perversions as normal, either de jure or de facto theologically, thus attaining a crudity that threatens the fundamental unit of society – the family.

Where will it end? When will it end? Will the nation be able to stand its driving force or lurch into a sort of nihilism? Ah…crudity, thy name is American “culture!” Disgusting!

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

God and Nation

The recent Fox-presented tour of Washington monuments by Newt Gingrich, with respect to the things they teach concerning the determinations of the Founding Fathers (Washington, Jefferson, Madison, etc.) as well as Lincoln, and the Meet The Press (24 December, NBC-TV) interview conducted by moderator Tim Russert of Newsweek editor Jon Meacham and Rick Warren, pastor of the huge Saddleback Church in California, became a conjoining of sorts for me currently in attempting to get an understanding of how God figured into the forming of this nation.

All three men are authors of recent books concerning God and nation: Gingrich, Rediscovering God in America; Meacham, American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers and the Making of a Nation; Warren, The Purpose Driven Life. Gingrich is a highly respected historian, Meacham a gifted editor/writer, and Warren a scholar and spiritual leader. All could be accounted as intellectuals, with both breadth of knowledge and experience to bring to the subject of God and Nation.

Gingrich, a historian’s historian, easily moved through the tour, noting that God – in so many words – was more taken as granted than anything else by the Founders and the citizens as Creator of the universe and therefore the nation as well as everything else, and was what might be called the consensually recognized “power behind the throne,” except that in this case, God was adjudged the “power behind the republic.” Lamenting that in the last 30 years the drive for “political correctness” has included the effort to get God out of the picture, Gingrich points to God and even Moses as linchpins of a nation both depending on its God for guidance and strength and positioning God and society as complementary, not intertwined or adversarial.

As an example of how extremists prey upon society, using the subject of “diversity as god,” Gingrich noted that the statue of President Franklin Roosevelt, originally posturing him (crippled by polio) as he always wished – on his feet – had to be changed in order to show him in his wheel-chair, which was virtually never seen in his long presidency. Even the reporters didn’t allude to it. As an example of the importance of God to the Founders, Gingrich had the cameras pan to the very apex of the Washington Monument, wherein inscribed are the words “Laus Deo,” Latin for “Praise Be To God.”

Meacham noted that Madison was said to have heard the cries of Baptist ministers in his Virginia as they were tortured by representatives of the state’s official church, the Anglican Church of England, and was fervently motivated to see that the First Amendment changed all that. The fact that George Washington simply added, “So help me God” to the oath of office was discussed, implying that Washington had a profound dependence upon God for success. Warren noted that Lincoln’s second inaugural address was actually a sermon. When Russert brought up the subject of an atheist’s rights being impinged by references to God, Warren reminded him that atheists were responsible for the millions upon millions of deaths in the 20th century – people like Stalin, Mao, Hitler (probable occultist). He could have mentioned Pol Pot and Saddam.

Interestingly, the clip of Roosevelt addressing this nation on D-Day, June 6, 1944, was played, and it was remarked that Roosevelt made no mention of anything military – the address had to do with prayer for those who would face the slaughter that would accompany the battles to end the European phase of World War II in 1945. Meacham remarked that there was no sectarianism in the minds of the Founders – no reference to Jesus, for instance, but the very definite observance of the Judeo-Christian God as integral to the founding of the nation. He also noted that legislating God out of the psyche of the nation would be impossible, since it is far too deeply rooted there.

Russert said this: “It is interesting, Jon Meacham, in 2004, those voters who said they went to church services at least once a week, more than once a week, excuse me, voted for George Bush over John Kerry 64 to 35. Those who never went to church voted for Kerry 62 to 36. There is a divide.” Then he noted, “Hillary Clinton has just hired a religious, spiritual adviser for her campaign.” His point was obvious, whether he intended it to be or not, though he continued with this: “Democrats recognizing that you have to at least demonstrate to religious people in the country that you have a basic understanding that faith is part of, or central to, many peoples’ lives.”

There can be no doubt on the basis of history itself, as well as on the conclusions reached by the scholars who interpret it, that God is central to the American experience and indispensable if the nation is to survive.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Newspaper's Angst vis-a-vis Church

Note: The following is a Muckraker column of December 2005, and is reprinted here as a reminder of the angst much of the “mainstream media” felt/feels for the church. Earlier this year, the paper was sold by former owner Knight-Ridder to McClatchy, but the editorial stance was not affected.

The local newspaper, The Lexington Herald-Leader, has taken great delight in recent days in pointing to the fact that Southland Christian Church, central-Kentucky’s largest of any denomination, has cancelled its services on Christmas, which falls on Sunday this year, notwithstanding that the church will hold one service on Friday and three services on Saturday. The main explanation given by the church was that it felt that everyone should have the day to spend with family, etc. The paper’s cartoonist ridiculed the church, perhaps because of the flap that’s made, at least supposedly, by evangelicals every year over the attempt of various entities to disallow use of the term Christ in any way at all, or at least in public places as well as in private stores – sort of like the use of God on coins or buildings or whatever. The cartoonist perhaps had in mind remarking the hypocrisy of making the argument and then trivializing it by not having church on Sunday once in all the many years between those that have Christmas on a Sunday.

Actually, there’s probably a much more significant reason for the paper’s ridicule of the church, and it can be demonstrated by this quote from the editorial of 13 December: He (the pastor) also recounted how the babe in the manger grew up to clash with “misguided” zealots who valued “religion over relationships.” This could be construed as a step toward a defense of gay marriage or support for legal benefits for unmarried couples, surprising from the Southland pulpit. The judgmental have now discovered how it feels to be judged. This is a cheap shot of the lowest magnitude, particularly because Southland, as is the case in nearly all churches, has never, does not now, and will never support the marriage of men to each other or women to each other, as perverse/perverted a circumstance as can be imagined. The paper, of course, knew this, but apparently saw this ridiculous statement as a surefire way to cut the church off at the knees and make it a laughingstock, since the paper’s stance is well-known on this matter.

This attempt to vilify the church merely made the paper look silly, since most folks view homosexual marriage as too off-the-wall even to consider, and by a vast majority ruled out this circumstance last year in amending the state’s Constitution to make sure such marriages are never recognized in Kentucky. The amendment also forestalled legal benefits for unmarried couples. Is it any wonder that the public regards the press as virtually without credibility? The paper is a Knight-Ridder property, with a liberal bent so pronounced and unrealistic as to make itself a laughingstock among people who have at least walking-around sense.

Significantly, the “misguided zealots” to which the editorialist referred were of perhaps two kinds: (1) Insurrectionist-oriented Jews who were looking for a deliverer from the Romans and whose activities had nothing to do with homosexuality or live-in arrangements at Jerusalem. They just wanted to be free. (2) Religious fundamentalists who insisted on rigid adherence to the laws of the Old Testament, which categorically condemned and disallowed homosexual behavior. Think Sodom and Gomorrah in this area. However, in the New Testament dispensation, the prohibition of homosexual behavior was/is as thoroughly disallowed as in the Old, and even Jesus referred to the awfulness of Sodom and Gomorrah, thereby establishing his stance. Apparently, those at the paper have little or no knowledge of the Bible, so perhaps they should make no statements concerning religion, or, at least, Christianity. Certainly, the pastor at Southland was castigated with intent and contempt, but the paper discredited itself in the process, on the basis of sheer ignorance if nothing else.

This ignorance is pointedly remarked in the paper’s statement noted above alluding to judgmentalism, to which it feels it apparently has a right, but to which the church hasn’t. How strange and paradoxical! The paper’s editorialists – as well, now, as its reporters – participate in judging other people/institutions on a daily basis, but reckon that the church has never been judged, when anyone with half-sense knows that the paper has not just judged the church or other churches for the first time. Of all institutions in the nation, the church knows perhaps better than any other what it’s like to be judged, since it is judged and vilified, especially by the so-called liberal media, on a daily basis. So, the H-L’s judgment of the church at this time of year is, if anything, nothing new…indeed, something to be expected. Judgment is something exercised on a daily basis by everyone, and it’s a perfectly normal business. This is so elementary as to be…well…laughable in the extreme when considering the paper’s mention of “the judgmental being judged,” as if it has just happened to Southland for the first time.

There is a darker underlying element at work here, however, i.e., that Southland represents to the paper the Christian mindset, which is anathema to the “enlightened,” notably those in the editorial department and the “mainstream media” in general. Even worse, Southland represents to the paper the “religious right,” whose voters more and more vote republican. This, more than anything noted above, lies at the root of the criticism of the church regarding Christmas. The people at the paper couldn’t care less about Southland, its people, or anything connected to the church, but they see conservatism gradually taking hold and ruling out the socialistic/hedonistic positions they advance. In a nutshell, that’s the whole ballgame.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Friday, December 22, 2006

Wannabe Fantasy - Kerry?

According to the Boston Globe, “Senator John F. Kerry said [20 December] that President Bashar Assad of Syria expressed a willingness to work with the United States to bring stability to Iraq, and said Assad personally offered assistance that Kerry plans to convey to the Bush administration.” Can this guy ever understand that, particularly with his record of consorting (or is that cavorting) with the enemy, his word is worth about as much as a cuspidor of warm spit?

He apparently didn’t notice what Assad pulled on the Reverend Rick Warren recently, when he duped the California preacher (in Syria with cameras in tow, naturally) into making statements (or not making them, depending on one’s take) about things Syrian. This played well in the Middle East press, but was bad for this country. There may be folks out there who think Warren, a fantastic church-builder, has bona fides in areas international. There may be folks out there who think Kerry (and his sidekick on the trip, Connecticut Senator Dodd) speak for this country. They don’t, and their gallivanting among the enemies of both civility and this country makes them appear as ridiculous as the Keystone Kops in full chase-mode while stumbling over each other.

Both these guys are said to be president wannabes though neither has a ghost of a chance – not saying much since their main opposition (at least according to the mainstream media) comes from Queen Hillary and a media-project in progress, Senator Obama – and maybe figure that one of them can parlay this exotic “diplomatic breakthrough” with Assad, errand-boy for Iranian President Ahmadinejad, into something spectacular enough to make folks forget their considerable political baggage.

Kerry, it might be remembered, tossed his medals or ribbons from his Purple-Heart-laden Vietnam activity (maybe one-half day of duty lost in total as the result of wounds three times in four months) over some fence in Washington back in 1970-71. While still an officer in the Naval Reserve, he met with North Vietnamese apparatchiks in France (a legal no-no) back in those wild days of protest, then testified before Senator Fulbright’s Committee about the terrible atrocities visited by the Americans upon the Vietnamese populace. Kerry’s exact words in 1971: “So what I am saying is that yes, there will be some recrimination but far, far less than the 200,000 a year who are murdered by the United States of America …”.

Further according to the Boston Globe, “Kerry said his meeting gave him and Dodd a chance to express the ‘unanimity of Democrats’ about the need for an independent Lebanon, free of Syrian interference. In a joint statement, the senators said they laid out a series of steps the Assad government must take to improve its standing in the eyes of the United States.” Imagine that! Interpreted, Kerry meant that the elections gave him (as party leader, at least in his own light as a presidential contender in 2004) the power to set policy, now that the democrats have a one-vote majority in the Senate…aided and abetted, of course, by Dodd, perhaps the stalking horse.

What these guys actually did was show Assad and Ahmadinejad and the other Middle East power-brokers that this nation is bereft of resolve, when actually it isn’t. They consciously made an effort to undermine President Bush, and the notion that they “laid out a series of steps the Assad government must take to improve its standing in the eyes of the United States” is so foolish as to make one wonder what they were drinking. Assad probably nodded his head like a good sixth-grader should, had his secretary of state (or whatever passes for that spot in Syria) note all the “steps,” and then joined him in gales of laughter when the honorable senators had gone on their way.

It’s amazing what can happen after an election, especially when the wannabes are out in full force establishing their bona fides and whipping the big givers into a state of financial frenzy. If Kerry announces, his candidacy will be DOA when he drags his family before the cameras at the witching hour of oratorical solemnity to say the nation needs him. His recent remark about the troops being ignorant so-and-so’s sealed his doom, although he already has enough baggage to weight him down irretrievably. Maybe Dodd can come to the rescue and save the nation with his own candidacy.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Trump and the Bump-and-Grind

There it was, on the front page above the fold of my morning paper in big headlines: ‘I will not let you down’. Egad…this must be serious, one would think, especially since the banner was accompanied by a picture of a weeping young woman and more pictures and copy, all of which took up half the front page. Well over half of page 8, with another huge picture, was devoted to the subject, giving it an importance surely equal to that of the Iraq War. A state-trooper’s death in the line of duty took a small corner of the front page, but, after all, the loss of a life couldn’t compare with the loss of a tiara…could it?

Well, of course! This was just the latest installment of the “riveting” Tara Connor/Donald Trump saga (his picture also on the front page above the fold), remarking the latest bit of sleaze by the nation’s top gambler and female cheesecake entrepreneur and featuring the latest attraction in his feminine meat market. Trump brought the current Miss USA, Tara Connor, the so-called country-girl from small Russell Springs, Ky., (population 2,500), to New York as part of his magnificent menagerie of mannequins and then threatened to throw her out of the clambake because she brought reproach upon the good name of Miss Universe (but more importantly, The Donald).

One wonders, of course, what the actual facts of the matter are. Trump has had the young lady appear quite publicly in some…well…exotic poses with less than one percent of her body covered – apparently his idea of art/entertainment/education/example – and then accused her, after presenting her as a tramp, of acting like one…sort of a Trump-Tramp. The inevitable happened, of course, as Trump knew it would. The networks, especially TV, grabbed the story and pictures hook, line, and sinker and awarded the Donald with more free publicity than he could ever have hoped for.

What this says for the “NEWS” media is that it has capitulated to what it deems the psyche of the American public, to wit, SLEAZE JIVES, BABY! The morning shows are never seen by this corner unless there’s a war on, but the word is that this “happening” has been aces-high (Trump-speak for a real lollapalooza) concerning the attention it’s been awarded. It’s even been given premier treatment on the high-profile Talking-Head shows on both radio and TV, including – especially including – Cable…O’Reilly, for goodness’ sake!

Well…maybe the media folks have sold the public a little short. Most people see through this stuff – okay, hopefully. Still, when one considers what CBS did with Dan Rather’s Air Guard typewriter-fraud account, it may be that the verdict is not gullibility…maybe it’s just plain incompetence…or worse, collusion (gasp) with the Donald. There’s money to be made out there…and how could a juicier way be found than to put a virtually naked gal on the boob (uh-oh) tube, accuse her of sleeping around, drinking hard liquor, doing drugs, and – oh yes – not being a good role model for all those innocent little high-school sophomores…even fourth-graders?

The whole thing is sickening, of course. The “Miss Universe” concept (nudity for sale!) demeans women, making them appear to be what they insist they’re not – sex objects. The members of the meat market CHOOSE to be just that – sex objects. That’s what Trump chooses them to be, and manipulating and exploiting them as sex objects is to him, apparently, a fine way to make a buck. Otherwise, he would have his goddesses appear fully clothed, playing their violins, quoting a bit of – if not scripture – at least part of the Gettysburg Address, and imploring all young girls to be just like them…the godesses. How many bucks would that bring in?

Okay…one way to find out is to institute a Mr. (or Master or Whatever) Universe program and see how many shekels that will supply. The guys come out in their jock straps, assume a delightful pose, groin (egad!) make that grin at the audience – okay, the old bump-and-grind – and drink nothing harder than Kool-Aid. Their bump-and-grind, compared to that of the Misses, might energize the audience to a show of enthusiasm roughly equivalent to that of a black bear in hibernation. The Trump/Connor saga will go on, of course – just too good to pass up…the shekel-count, that is.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


The Lexington Herald-Leader, monopoly newspaper of Lexington, Ky., has instituted a new feature – or at least a new feature for its December 6 online edition…an oral commentary by the paper’s editorial cartoonist, Joel Pett, a bright guy who is recognized nationally. Besides his work just being seen, his work can now be heard in Pett-speak. In his commentary of the sixth he took as his subject a putdown of former president Ronald Reagan, remarking the plethora of structures named in his honor and suggesting that the only reasonable dedication of the Martin Luther King Memorial would be to inscribe it with Reagan’s name…sort of like the official change of the name of Washington’s National Airport to Reagan International, or something like that – perfectly reasonable.

He ticked off some matters handled during the Reagan years as reasons for this action. He mentioned the Iran-Contra affair as sarcastic proof that Reagan is entitled. The evidence determined otherwise but one hopes Reagan knew all about it since it was not a bad idea and carried out during the Cold War when all bets were off vis-à-vis international trustworthiness, especially in dealings with tin-horn dictators in the home hemisphere and duplicitous Middle Eastern ayatollahs and other monsters elsewhere.

It was during the Iran-Contra hearing that Democrat Senator “Leaky” Leahy was kicked out of the clambake because of his ramblings of classified secrets to the proper liberal ears, thus establishing further reason for the public to hold Congress to an approval rating somewhere in the vicinity of 20% today…sort of beneath contempt. Pett didn’t mention Leahy, of course. He also didn’t mention Lt. Col. Oliver North, who does very well today and is still the guy the Leahy-clones love to hate.

Pett was compelled to mention that Reagan did not have an African American in his cabinet, but conveniently avoided mentioning that he appointed the first woman in history to the Supreme Court. He ridiculed Reagan’s “Star Wars” plan (SDI – Strategic Defense Initiative), but failed to mention that the Soviet Union folded soon after SDI was introduced (still in the works, too), meaning that the entire world was eminently safer then than at any time since the late 1940s. He compared Reagan with President Kennedy, Reagan asking the public if it was better off than it had been, while Kennedy asked what one could do for the country. The relevance of or the comparison of either of these statements with the other defies any effort to understand.

Pett claimed Reagan urged office-seekers to hate the government and therefore run for office. Pett thinks, then, that Reagan served two terms as California governor and two terms as president because he hated the government, apparently exponentially since both offices were top jobs and consequently exacted a huge amount of hate on the part of the top banana. Go figure.

Pett accused Reagan of “busting” the Air-Traffic Controllers Union. What he didn’t mention was that the controller signed a sworn affidavit upon his employment that he would never strike, and that according to federal law he was not allowed to strike, just as soldiers are not allowed to strike. As head of the executive branch, Reagan was bound by his oath of office to uphold the nation’s laws, so he had no choice. The strikers were given 48 hours (two full days) to get back to work and about 30% of them responded. The other 11,350 or so strikers were fired and never rehired. Through intensive planning by the administration, the air industry, even in the short term, was minimally affected. Commentary is one thing, but this part of Pett’s screed was “yellow journalism” at its most vitriolic and disingenuous level.

Reagan was against the Voting Rights Act, according to Pett, though Reagan was never in Congress and so never voted on this legislation. On July 2, 1964, Democratic President Johnson signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act after former Klansman Robert Byrd's (Democrat senator from West Virginia) 14-hour filibuster and the votes of 22 other Senate Democrats (in an overwhelmingly democrat-controlled Congress) failed to defeat the measure. Illinois Republican Everett Dirksen, with 26 GOP senators and 44 Democrats voted to invoke cloture, allowing the bill's passage. According to John Fonte in the January 9, 2003, National Review, 82 percent of Republicans voted for passage, but only 66 percent of Democrats did. On June 29, 1982, President Ronald Reagan signed a 25-year extension of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. So much for Pett’s hatchet job on this subject.

One wonders why this diatribe – at least why now? The paper is about as liberal as papers get, so a hatchet job on most any republican is always in order…nothing unusual about that. Reagan was born in February 1911 and died in June 2004, so those dates don’t call for a special notice in December. He was almost killed by an assassin, but that was in March 1981. The Grenada invasion took place in October 1983, so that’s not significant…unless, of course, it’s because all the Americans were not off that island until about mid-December. Maybe that fact triggered this presentation by the cartoonist-turned-online-commentator. Surely he doesn’t blame Reagan for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor 65 years ago and just missed the date by one day. Only the shadow knows.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark