Saturday, August 30, 2008

Gustav & the Big Easy

Tropical storm Gustav is expected to become a hurricane as it bears down on what the prognosticators deem to be the Gulf of Mexico, with landfall possibly being in the New Orleans area – a sort of Katrina II but hopefully not as vicious as the Katrina of August 2005. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin did virtually nothing to prepare for the disaster of Katrina in August 2005, though he announced recently that the levees are not "repaired" yet. Of course they aren't. The schedule calls for them to be repaired by some time in 2011. It's a safe bet, though, that the citizens, as they remember the mayor's total failure in 2005, are taking things into their own hands this time. One still remembers all those school-buses standing in the water, when they might have been used to evacuate tens of thousands.

By contrast, "with memories of Hurricane Katrina still vivid, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal issued a state of emergency [days ago] and asked the federal government to issue a "pre-landfall federal declaration," both of which set in motion the deliverance of aid and staffing of emergency shelters, should they be needed, The Town Talk (which serves central Louisiana) reports on its Web site. About 3,000 National Guard soldiers have already been put on alert" (Scientific American, 28 August). The Southern Decadence Festival, a gay and lesbian gathering that draws ``several thousand people every Labor Day,'' was still on schedule on 28 August, according to a spokesman. That's just what the Big Easy needs, another dose of decadence.

One remembers the unbelievable misconduct of both Nagin and then Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco during the time before and after Katrina hit New Orleans and the adjacent areas in coastal Mississippi and Alabama. Nagin had made no provision for the thousands stranded in the Louisiana Superdome even though it had been used before as a shelter from hurricanes. People were stranded there for days. Blanco simply waffled in signing the papers that would have allowed the federal government to get itself in place to help. As a result, TV-viewers were exposed to the sight of Coast Guard helicopter- crews rescuing nearly a thousand people from rooftops. This time, however, New Orleans citizens are already being evacuated to other places in both Louisiana and other states.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency was slammed by the media and by people in Congress for mismanagement but the actual blame lay with the state and city officials, mainly Nagin and Blanco. For his glaring incompetence, Nagin was later reelected in a vote (fax, absentee ballot) that was made up in part from people nowhere near New Orleans but scattered throughout the South. Governor Blanco is no longer in place to do damage.

President Bush was wildly ridiculed by the media when he declared that FEMA's on-scene director, Mike Brown, had done a good job. For his trouble, Brown was thrown under the bus by the president, under this intensive media barrage. One remembers Fox's Shepard Smith and Geraldo (too important to have more than one name) caterwauling around the Superdome and frantically approaching hysteria in their dumfounded condition as to why something wasn't being done.

Later, the House held hearings. By that time, the democrats realized that the fault did not lay with Brown, but mostly with Nagin and Blanco, so they were no-shows in their own committee's investigation of the matter. They just washed their hands of it rather than face and respond to the truth. Before that, the U.S. government, which could have been on-scene and in operation from the get-go with the proper papers being signed by Blanco, had already resettled tens of thousands, many if not most, at least at first, being put up in hotels, where they stayed for months and to whom the government merely and merrily doled out taxpayer cash with little or no accounting as to how it was spent. There were plenty of mobile homes available and a multitude of them stand vacant today. The stories are now legend about the unbelievable waste.

In New Orleans, the police department folded and looters took over the city. The Big Easy is dangerous in the best of times but exponentially so when the law is virtually nonexistent. The crime rate there was out the top in 2005 and is bad again as many have moved back.

The government frantically works on levees that will never guarantee the city's safety – not in a million years. New Orleans is, on average, eight feet below sea level and, due to the massive pumping operations to keep it dry, is sinking at the rate of three feet per century. With levees totally surrounding the city, if a levee fails, as happened in 2005, the result is catastrophic; yet, the government is pouring tens of billions of dollars into what everyone knows is a hopeless hole in the ground. In 2005, the decision should have been made, while well over half of the citizens were no longer residents and probably well over half of all residences were wrecks, to permanently locate the populace to safe areas. This would have been far less expensive, even in the short term, not to mention the out-decades, but maudlin attitudes prevailed.

So…while it's hoped that Gustav will go elsewhere, though anywhere in that area means devastation, New Orleans Mayor Nagin whines that the levees – huge mounds of earth and rock (350 miles of them) that accommodate a myriad of pump stations – are not completely reinforced. Apparently, he thinks that an effort this huge is done at the snap of the fingers. In any case, the entire force of governments is in place this time, so there shouldn't be the chaos that accompanied Katrina, though there may well be abundant evidence again that the Big Easy is too expensive for the rest of the country to support.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Odd Couple - Michelle & Sorensen

I have to confess to not watching much (okay…almost none) of the Democrat Convention now playing in Denver to the usual captive audience blathering the usual inanities, though theirs is hardly worse than the banalities of the speakers who are paraded across the podium for their few minutes of supposed fame to yammer about education, poverty, health-care, war – the usual stuff that's resurrected every four years from tombs of no-action by every administration and congress from time immemorial…or at least in memory. One may find the protesters much more entertaining and actually long for the days of 1968 in Chicago, when Mayor Daly the First set the police upon the carousing hippy-dippy, free-love types who were so high brain-wise that they could have floated body-wise out over lake Michigan.

Back then the convention amounted to something since the candidates were actually elected by the delegates on-scene. The choice of Hubert Humphrey was disastrous, but such would have been the case with any democrat. Lyndon Johnson had long since abdicated, the administration had obviously decided not to win the Vietnam War, the civil rights stuff actually belonged more to the republicans than the democrats (those insensitive southerners), and so Humphrey became the sacrificial lamb. By contrast, the current administration, also caught up in wars, has made it plain that these wars will be won, whatever that might mean. The nation is buying time for the whole world, and gobs of government heads know this, so the world-unpopularity thing that democrats harp about constantly is a red herring.

Speaking of the world, I'm reminded of the delegates-awaiting-with-bated-breath speech of Michelle Obama. I listened to that oration, since all the other speeches could be expected to be the usual boilerplate that puts people to sleep, no matter how passionately delivered. Also, she shoots from the lip, so she might have been expected to say something interesting. She disappointed. Her speech was all about what Barack Obama would do for the world. She touched on this theme enough that it became key to the whole bit. All the usual other stuff (blue-collar beginnings, good parents) was there but she harped on Barack as the hope of the world. This perhaps explains his gravitas-enhancing campaign in Germany, France and Afghanistan, where in about a week he learned enough to be the messiah for the whole world. Egad!

Michelle Obama made sure to say unequivocally that she LOVES this country, an absolute must for her since she campaigned on a theme of her own expressing just the opposite and noting how "mean" this country is. I was tempted to head for the antacids when she mentioned Obamessiah's great achievements in the Senate, perhaps never realizing that everyone knows that since he entered that august body in January 2005 he's been AWOL for the most part and would find it difficult to locate a restroom in the capitol, much less his office. In any case, any freshman senator is about as effective as warm spit during her/his entire initial term, even if he IS reputed to be savior of the world.

Perhaps the strangest episode occurred on Tuesday afternoon. I caught it while just surfing. Ted Sorensen, speechwriter for and confidant of President John F. Kennedy (nominated 1960), was walking toward the podium, so I decided to listen to this man, the ultimate insider and one of the "later whiz kids" associated with Kennedy, who, by the way, would not be recognized today as a democrat. I was amazed to hear Sorensen completely equalize Obama with Kennedy – "had finally lived long enough to recognize a candidate (Obama) who stacks up with Kennedy" – or, something like that.

This fawning was sickening. Kennedy served three terms in the House and was on his second term in the Senate when he was nominated. He was a decorated WWII PT-Boat skipper whose craft was rammed and sunk by a Japanese destroyer in 1943. He led the surviving crew members (nearly all) through a six-day-night ordeal of swimming and island-hopping that became the stuff of legends, and then made it out, courtesy of natives hiding him under palm fronds in a boat, to lead rescuers back to them himself. To compare Obama to Kennedy was practically blasphemy…but anything goes in the world of politics, even by old codgers who would sell their souls for the party, with loyalty, at least to a memory, of no consequence.

Sorensen even charged that the Marines went to Iraq for oil, while Kennedy instituted the Peace Corps as well as overcame Kruschev and the Soviets in the "Cuban Missile Crisis" of 1962. He hasn't been in a cave for the last few years, so he certainly knows that if this country were after Iraq's oil it would be shipping it into the states by the tanker-full. He also should know that saving the U.S. from Soviet missile-attacks from Cuba was the same as saving the U.S. from those vowing to destroy this country through terror currently. There's nothing more pathetic than an old bureaucrat who, after being privileged to function in the excitement of government, does a complete sellout vis-à-vis integrity.

The notion in this corner is that voters may well decide to elect a republican president along with a democrat-controlled Congress, maintaining the current situation. Senator Biden has caused no groundswell of enthusiasm, if any, and it's doubtful that Obama will get much of a "bump" when all the posturing is over in Denver. In any case, the whole thing is "dullsville," as will be the republican clambake next week, though McCain, the ultimate surprise-maker, may spice-up the affair.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Monday, August 25, 2008

Dear Senator Joe Biden

Dear Senator Joe Biden:

Now that you've become the democrat vice presidential candidate, I'm contacting you to suggest that you avail yourself of the services of the Institute for Modifying All Government Entities, known familiarly, especially in Washington, by its acronym – IMAGE. Since its clients are already known for their depth of intellect and honesty, the job of IMAGE is merely to tweak their images as accurately and effectively as possible for public consumption, translated, of course, as into votes in November. Proof of IMAGE's effectiveness is seen in its recent success in making Vice President Cheney appear humble, after he told Senator Leahy to commit a terrible act upon himself and actually shot a fellow hunter. Mr. Cheney followed the directions of an IMAGE agency, the Department for Understanding Propaganda Effects, known by its acronym DUPE. Check out his speech at that media-bash to see what DUPE can do.

Since you've been known – excuse me for mentioning it – to lose your temper at times, you might consider an arm of IMAGE known as the Emotion Manipulation Office for Tactical Effects, known more familiarly by its acronym EMOTE. You lost a bit of credibility, for instance, when you snarled at Chief Justice Roberts during his nomination-hearing before the Judiciary Committee, though you are to be commended for not frothing at the mouth like Senators Schumer and Feingold. EMOTE's experts have already noted that your smile was not authentic in that hearing and that it was so broad that it allowed you to bare your fangs, as it were. An automatic-smile-under-any-circumstances is always easy to spot, so EMOTE would teach you when and how to avoid what actually is a know-it-all smirk.

EMOTE will also teach you when to shed tears, a perfectly acceptable exercise in what has become a feminist society, when to pound a lectern, when to tell or laugh at (or not) an off-color joke, and – most importantly – when NOT to upstage your running mate by bragging about your law-school accomplishments…or anything else, such as beginning in the Senate when your running-mate was only 12-years-old or just recently visiting troubled Georgia while Senator Obama was titillating the teeny-boppers in Berlin.

There are some – present company not included, of course – who charge that you sometimes let out the clutch on your mouth before getting your brain in gear. It would be well, however, to consider an arm of IMAGE known as the Bureau for Labeling Accurately Bureaucrats, Blather and Erratic Rhetoric, known, as you might guess, as BLABBER. If you had been a client that day in the Delaware diner, you would not have characterized Senator Obama as clean, bright, and articulate, not that he isn't all of those things, as you noted, but because you made everyone else in his race suffer by comparison as being dirty, dull, and dense. In other words, you indulged in erratic rhetoric, an absolute no-no in campaigns, which the pundits parse relentlessly. Also, you made a mistake in the euphoria of the announcement-ceremony in Springfield by referring to Senator Obama as "Barack America," a penultimate example of blather and an absolute campaign-killer south of the Mason-Dixon line and even out west.

One of the most important consortiums in IMAGE is the Agency Wonk – Patriotic and Homiletic Outpourings, Objurgations and Evangelical Yammering, known, of course, by the shortened AW- PHOOEY. Since religion and values are big these days and since democrats have an acute problem with the so-called evangelicals, especially those millions who are so short-sighted as to consider fornication and adultery wrong, not to mention anal sex, you need to know when and what to say where. In Massachusetts and California, anything goes, so you need to "preach," for instance, on the sanctity of homosexual marriage, with or without condoms, at every opportunity. Try that in Alabama, though, and you will be ridden out of town on a rail since Baptists are known to play rough there. Don't try to identify with the snake-handlers in Kentucky and Tennessee, either, since…well, you guessed it.

If Senator Obama had come to us years ago, he would never have suffered through what many consider mutual escapades with the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright in damning this country for dropping the A-bombs that ended WWII and foisting the HIV virus off on African Americans. AW-PHOOEY would have separated him from that windbag long ago, as well as advised him not to describe typical white people as leery of anyone different nearby (like his grandmother) or as paranoids grasping their Bibles and guns while sniffing out immigrants…at least in Pennsylvania. Since you and your running-mate will soon spend every Sunday through November preaching in black churches, AW-PHOOEY will not only write your sermons, but coach you on their delivery, especially helping you develop the black cadence and alliteration-techniques. Note: Plagiarism, a sensitive subject for you, will not be a problem since it's understood that politicians always speak what someone else has written.

These are just a few examples of what IMAGE can accomplish. We constantly stay in touch when aiding and abetting a campaign. For instance, our Idiosyncrasies of Debate-Department, known as ID, will prepare you for each debate, otherwise known as the "news-anchors" hour, since these are "gotcha games" the anchors use for reputation-enhancement but for which you must be prepared. ID will also warn you away from substantive exercises, like the recent "Warren Interviews," in which Senator Obama hemmed-and-hawed his way into inscrutableness, a campaign-killer. ID would have devised for him a pocket-teleprompter so he would not have strayed from his programmed image. As you can see, IMAGE is state-of-the-art and I hope to hear from you soon.

I.M Reverself, CEO

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Replay It Again, Sam!

One would never have suspected it would happen, or at least one would not have suspected such a thing as recently as last year; however, baseball – the national pastime – is about to enter the 21st century, joining its old rival, football, for fan attention…by being cursed with the "instant replay," an interesting oxymoron in that a play can never be replayed. The term is actually a euphemism for "playback," since that's all it is, a playback of a play that's been taped from several angles, the better to keep a referee or umpire honest…well, okay…accurate, correct, observant, properly located…whatever. It's being used this summer in Little League playoffs, just another catalyst for inciting idiot parents to riot and/or generally otherwise make trouble.

The intrepid and motor-mouthing play-by-play announcers and their cohorts, the oracular commentators, who laugh-it-up and discuss everything but the game much of the time, along with their partners in crime, the camera operators, have already been at this project for a few years, giving the best angle-look at a close play at first, for instance. The camera-guys zoom right in on the first thread in the toe of a first-baseman's shoe to see if it's on the bag when any thread of the runner's shoe is in the approximate vicinity. The guys in the booth then pronounce the solemn judgment as to whether or not the first-base ump called it right. After the game, the managers and players look at the tape of the play and then discuss ways of annihilating umps at all bases, without resort to AK-47s, of course.

This procedure will do for baseball what it has done for football…mostly make the games much longer, thus making the owners/concessionaires happy because the fans experience greater and greater thirst and hunger. For those who prefer the bubbly, the replays practically guarantee more fights and car-wrecks in after-game booze-inspired predispositions of fans toward mangling selves and others. The coaches are happy, since, in addition to all the commercial timeouts that make the games freakishly long anyway, they can now call for instant replays, which can take up to five minutes as someone in the booth high above pronounces judgment while the referee feigns intense staring at a hooded TV.

During the sacred replay, everyone on the field takes a rest and plots further mayhem, thus all the timeouts are saved for the last two minutes, which usually require 30 minutes to play. One wonders if the league honchos sometimes make the decisions, the better to keep losing-teams in a state of viability and thus encouraging fan–attendance (even diehard fans tire of losers).

On a given Monday evening via ESPN, after a pitch is made the techies flash above home-plate a strike-zone rectangle (unless the batter is awfully short, in which case, a square) with the arc of the ball intersecting the geometric figure so that the TV viewer can see how far wrong the plate ump's call was. Help is given by the commentator, of course, so that there's no doubt as to who was cheated, the batter or the pitcher. Since every ump's strike zone is a bit different, not to mention his vision and judgment as he contemplates what part of his anatomy is likely to be painfully pounded now and again by a foul tip, the commentator is hard-pressed not to exclaim favorably or unfavorably.

Imagine the time consumed (okay…sometimes saved, but rarely) by a disagreement among managers and umps over whether or not a fly-ball hit the wall above or below the yellow home-run line while the techies run the tape to see just what happened. If the techies disagree (or the shot was missed), about the only option left is a coin-toss, which could have been the primary method anyway. Even the most astute students of baseball insist that it's a "game of inches," so it naturally lends itself to being a game of occasional mistakes. Battles are won or lost on the basis of which side had the best aim…a circumstance involving inches. A close call at second when nobody on the field but the ump can see that the tag is a half-inch shy of the runner is a case in point. The cameras can never pick up this stuff.

Okay…the replay could keep officials honest, too. NBA basketball referee Tim Donaghy was sentenced to 15 months in prison a few weeks ago for wagering on games – actually for "fixing" games. He's probably just one among others who haven't been caught. This would especially apply to plate umps, who can make or break a team's chances in a game. So…why not just do away with the pitch-calling of the plate-ump and let the machines automatically make the call, even proclaim it loudly? After all, the TV guys in the booth use the technology every game, quite often pointing out the ump's "mistake." That worthy would just be left with the responsibility of calling plays at the plate – most umps would probably go for such an arrangement that would preempt all those bruises and concussions. If they miscued on a close play with a tag in question, the techies would set it right. It's a win-win all around.

In the meantime in football, especially with the overhead traveling-camera now in place to join all the others, referees and umps could be completely banished. The software and computers would take care of everything from establishing and keeping scores…to which play it is…to what penalty…to which player is guilty…to what time to stop play for commercials, with all info boomed over the loudspeakers. The games would go much faster. No one would have to carry the yard markers, since that yellow line that's been used on TV for years would always mark the spot and the camera would laser-beam the ball-placement position, with the quarterback responsible for putting the pigskin on the spot. A keypad could be at each bench, with all possibilities on it such as whether or not to accept a penalty, and the coach could just punch in the info, though that might be a bit harrowing for those who are not computer-literate. A game might last 2.5 hours, and that would be worth the mechanization…no bothersome replays!

Yeah…replay it again, Sam. Some day, the players will probably join the umps and refs in being outsourced to the computers and only the cheerleaders will be left…no danger of replacing them.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Keeling & Gang

Boy Columnist, aka Larry Keeling, of the Lexington Herald-Leader, opined on 20 August as to whether or not the oil companies are lowering gas prices in an effort to help republicans in the November voting. He has a right to any opinion, but in all honesty should mention that gas prices rose by only 35% from $1.70 in September 2001 until January 2007 (republican administration and congress for nearly 6 years), when the price reached $2.30, and when the democrats took over Congress. Since January 2007, the price under the no-drill democrats had risen to $4.07 a month ago, for an increase under the no-drill democrats of some 77% in just 18 months. The experts attribute the recent decline in prices to $3.72 as the product of significant public lowering of driving (billions of miles), thus easing demand and not by any artificial tampering by the oil companies.

The lead editorial of 20 August was headed Parasitic growth risk to farm fund. Fanfare, please! Waste has been found in the use of public money for "agricultural ventures." This is probably true, but the democrats have ruled the state auditor's office for…well, how long. The blame is Fletcher's, of course, according to the paper, but…just the usual boilerplate. This is the editorial board that keeps pushing for millions in local tax money to be dished out to "farmers" in Fayette County in behalf of bribing them not to "develop" their land, no matter how far from the service area it is and therefore any possibility according to the zoning requirements of doing so for years and years, if ever. One remembers the huge H-L layout last fall picturing the mayor handing out an enormous sum to folks whose land was not remotely developmental. This is the boondoggle that the "insiders" have designed for the great unwashed (taxpayers) to ignorantly ante up. Get ready for another huge H-L layout soon, when another handout should be in the offing. Since this makes no sense, one wonders what the incentives for what amounts to official theft are, as well as to whom or for whom and by whom. Is it another case of raiding deep pockets to "enhance" other pockets of any size?

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Monday, August 18, 2008

DNC Memorandum #33

DNC Headquarters; Dr. Howard Dean, chair-penguin (Save a Glacier Today)
***The white-papers, also called black- and somewhere-in-between-papers (to observe diversity, the ruling ethic currently) that have been returned with regard to Senator Obama's need for a definition of a "typical Muslim person" have been unsatisfactory, though the senator has expressed gratitude that the staff has defined the "typical white person," mainly along the lines of those who are never in fear of anybody anywhere, especially nearby, and never grasping or even (gasp – added for effect) reading the Bible, against all firearms, and having constant warm feelings for illegal immigrants, who should have all the welfare benefits available. The anonymous staffers who returned papers describing the "typical Muslim person" as anyone wearing a suspiciously large belt under either a coat or a burka will be fired if apprehended. Also, it should be noted that no responder made an effort to define roadside bombs as religious icons, like candles, for instance. This needs to be remedied for an obvious reason – the Islamic-fanatic vote.
***There has been snickering reported around the bottled-water tank and non-trans-fat, non-hamburger, non-hotdog, non-dairy-product-of-any-kind, non-chocolate, non-smoking (smoking okay if Obama lights up), veggie-fortified, yogurt-enhanced, snack-bar and body-mass-green-chart about Obama walking on the Elbe River in Berlin. The senator has said he did not say he did and will not say it again. Also, the report that Michael Moore hired those 200,000 Berliners to scream and throw underclothes at him (just the women, of course) is false and Moore has sworn he will not do that again…in Denver. Be aware of your dress at the convention. You may appear laid-back in sandals, no ties, and no cocktail dresses (that diversity thing again…the young people treated as king-makers), but cover all tattoos and remove all rings, especially those in noses, lips, tongues and other places that can be seen. Navel rings are okay, since navels are never to be seen. Along with a multiplicity of old hippies, there are still some old un-hip democrats (will they never leave us?) who take a dim view of "body art" and "body ring-racks" and have threatened to stay home in November if Obama appears too dippy.
***The rumor that Senator Obama has suggested that the Colorado legislature vote to ban smoking and dipping snuff and chewing Redman anywhere inside buildings or anywhere on the outside is untrue, but any staffer seeing him light up at any time is to report this to me. This includes in all areas, especially restrooms (but watch out for Senator Craig – little joke on the republicans there). Note: All staffers are required to never go near – much less eat in – a fast-food establishment, and pamphlets explaining how obesity causes carbon emissions and immediately kills penguins and snail darters and polar bears will be available for distribution throughout Denver. When you canvass neighborhoods, pass out these pamphlets and do not -- REPEAT -- do NOT laugh in the process. Also, condensed copies of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth will be available, though at that time and altitude it may seem incongruous, especially since this summer has been cooler than last summer and nothing like the torrid summers of the 1930s, when Oklahoma got so hot and dry, most of it blew over to California.
***The suggestion has been taken under advisement with regard to handing out dollar bills at the convention and throughout Denver to prove that Senator Obama is not racist and does not want his picture on a dollar bill anyway, but just wants everyone to know he is "not one of them," as he has made clear. The rumor that he has said he would consider replacing Abraham Lincoln on the five-dollar bill is untrue and the senator has said he never said that and will not do so again. The wag who is reported to have said in the above location that Obama wouldn't dare touch the Twenty in fear that Andrew Jackson would come back from the grave and exorcise him personally has been reprimanded and assigned to the hottest part of Brownsville, Texas, for door-to-door canvassing through November.
***Senator Clinton and former president Clinton are actively working for Senator Obama by contacting all super-delegates in the interest of unity, which they consider attainable by a unanimous election of the nominee. The fact that Clinton (either one) is suggesting that the majority of voters is made up of women is not to be taken as a grab by Clinton of the nomination, as she has explained, and Bill has mentioned the same approach with regard to the fact that this demographic applies in the black community as well and added that a third term is allowed four years after a term in office. Hispanic democrats are advised not to take umbrage at this, since their guy, Bill Richardson, may be positioned for the veep spot, although success in Iraq has hurt his argument for withdrawal of all troops at midnight of the first day in office. Adulterer-in-chief John Edwards (little joke there) has suggested that the first executive order, instead, be structured to not only allow but practically beg homosexuals to join the military, in which former Senator Gravel said during the primaries that they excel, particularly since they learn to love their comrades through sharing foxholes.
***Accruing to the debate of Senators Obama and McCain at Saddleback Church the other night is the need for position papers to be used by Senator Obama (anyone calling him Obamessiah will be fired) on the subject of when life begins, the definition of a rich person, and the exact location of Georgia (not the state next to Alabama, for recent PhD grads – little joke there). Note: Comparing a fetus to an old codger in a coma has already been ruled out for obvious reasons. Both are helpless, but one is not in some forsaken womb instead of the graveyard, where he ought to be, but isn't, thus the need for the definition of life and what can and cannot be done with life, once the definition of same has been established…or something like that. After all, I'm just a doctor, not a philosopher.
***Michael Moore is preparing a new movie tentatively titled Saddleback Mountain featuring a racist interview of two presidential candidates, with one whipping out a copy of the Constitution and beating the other half-to-death with it. Little imagination is needed to see that this approaches an actual documentary, and may be called such as soon as it is vetted by the group called AGHAST, which stands for Agency Googling Hospices and All Sites for Torture. The movie will also include water-boarding and the need for better brain-puncturing procedures used in late-term abortions, the latter subject requested by Senator Obama and Dr. Me, since brain-puncturing violates the Hippocratic Oath…or something like that.
***Finally, the rumor that the Clintons will use a smoke-bomb during voting at the convention in Denver is untrue, and both have said they will not mention this again. Also, there will be no possible opportunity for hanging chads, since the delegation from Florida will not be allowed to vote. If this changes, there will be a roll call of individual delegates, and one Supreme Court judge has promised to be in attendance.
And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Campaign Foolishness

The election season gets sillier by the minute. John Edwards was an actual contender in the primaries, though he had to know full well that his peccadilloes would be aired sooner or later, probably sooner if had won the democrat nomination. Senator Obama was hopelessly naïve in not realizing that his associations with strange people would lead to hassles that he could have avoided by getting out in front of the curve.

Candidates still parade their families before the public as if that has any connection to establishing their fitness for office. If Obama had known about the damage his wife could wreak in her statements about the nation being "mean" or the fact that she was not proud of the country virtually all of her life…another way of saying she hated it, he might have told her to stay at home and take care of the girls. Edwards' exploitation of his wife has been sickening, especially in light of his lurid infidelity and continuing episode, apparently, of "mistress subterfuge and support."

McCain and Obama "debate" in a church in California, notwithstanding that to do so stretches the First Amendment past the limit, since each man will be interested in making political points, not "testifying." It is more than probable that neither of them has much of a theological background (not said in unkindness, since the same would apply to most people). So… after they say they have the "faith," what else do they have to offer? Does anyone suspect that they will in any way denigrate Islam, which has as a tenet of its faith the command that Muslims "off" infidels (everyone else) at every opportunity? Of course not! That would lose votes in Michigan, a vital state.

Senator Obama pledged to help Senator Clinton recoup her $12.5 million investment in her losing campaign, and apparently expected everyone to both believe him and be impressed. It was actually a dumb thing to do and made any thinking person suspect ulterior motives, not to mention judgment on about the level of a kindergartener. Why should he or anyone else give a fig about Clinton's risking some of her multi-millions for any reason…except maybe in illegal futures-trading? He thought he could buy her support.

Did Obama buy Clinton's support? Oh…yeah! While he's been on vacation, the Clintons (Bill much in evidence) have literally "stacked" the convention. Support! Egad! Anyone who believes that this is not a blatant move on their part to snatch the nomination is eligible for a "bridge-offer," something like the Brooklyn Bridge for ninety-five cents. Obama caved on the roll-call vote thing vis-à-vis Clinton's bid, proving a wimpyness not suitable for running the country. He should have told Clinton and her screeching gang to bug-out…but he didn't. What would he do if the nation were threatened…look around for someone to "support" him…or maybe someone with whom to have a talk?

Now, the word is out that the candidates are mulling the veep choices with nary a thought regarding that person's qualifications for the office of the president in case the president should meet a Muslim imam in a dark alley. Word is that McCain may be looking for a pro-abortion running mate to make the NOW girls happy, since he is on the record concretely as against abortion. Make sense? Of course not! Obama may be looking for someone to ingratiate him with those "racist" southerners. Both are looking for states with huge electoral votes. George Bush picked a veep candidate from a state with three (count 'em) electoral votes. What if he'd picked someone from New York?

One tries not to either watch or even think of the campaign ads or, especially, the millions wasted on their cost – millions, as some are bound to remind, that could be used for humanitarian reasons. The ads are marked with silliness and condescension, the objective seeming to be the edification of the "great unwashed" out here in the boondocks. Paris Hilton? Berlin hunk? How unrelentingly silly and insulting can it get?

Then, there's the length of these superficial exercises in what some (the candidates) call patriotism, while others yawn and just wonder why the fuss? It's almost gotten to the point of "Who cares, anyway?" The obvious egotism and opportunism (admitted egocentrism for Edwards, not to mention his admitted narcissism) is enough to make one grab for Pepto. Perhaps the silliest episode in the coming days will occur at the Democrat Convention, when the gloves come off and the Clintons go at it with Obama.

This actually would be laughable – this silly campaigning that goes on virtually during the entire election cycle of four years. But, it isn't. The selection of the president, a presumptive world leader, should not devolve into the chicanery in evidence now on all sides. This country deserves better.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

L'Affaire Edwards

On CNN on 09 August, democrat strategist Paul Begala said, regarding the John Edwards affair, that Edwards didn't order anyone to be tortured, did not violate the Geneva Convention, and did not forge a document that "led us into war." He just cheated on his wife…happens every day. If a "love child" (actually, lust-child) should be his…well, 30% of all white births are "love children" and 70% of all African-American births are "love children," so what's the big deal?

This kind of tawdriness was a big deal when Newt Gingrich, a republican, was caught. It was a big deal when homosexual Senator Craig, another republican, was caught. It was even a big deal when "Slick" was caught, but, after all, he was a president dallying with a young woman snapping her thongs (gasp) during working hours. It's a big deal because Edwards was most likely negotiating a quid pro quo in May when he threw his gang to Obama – something like "my guys for the attorney general's chair, or maybe even another shot at the veep spot." He didn't back Obamessiah for nothing and certainly not until he knew which way the nomination was going.

Shack-ups (or hook-ups or whatever fornicators are doing nowadays) are counted in the millions these days, so why did the National Enquirer and, finally, the mainstream media get all bent out of shape over Edwards' indiscretion? After all, Slick Willie got elected to a second term, never mind Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones and all the other rag-tag sleazy possibilities. He even earned an impeachment, but didn't come close to removal from office. Has the American citizenry lost its collective sophistication, to wit, that anything's okay if it feels good, the devil take the hindmost.

Of course, if l'affaire vis-à-vis Monica Lewinsky had been made public in 1996, when apparently it was actually going on, Clinton might have taken a fall that election year, but the lurid details didn't come to light until much later, when he was safely ensconced in the Oval Office for a second term. By 1996, people had had a chance to forget the peccadilloes brought to light much earlier. Edwards doesn't have it so good, so political hacks like Begala make haste to change the subject, but quick. When in doubt about anything – even the levees along the Mississippi – blame George Bush, but puh-leeze…change the subject.

But the subject won't go away. The mainstream media have been forced to confront it, never mind that their fair-haired boy with the $400-haircuts has given the telling of lies a new start and new significance. The fact that Edwards actually ran for veep in 2004 and the presidency in this election cycle blows the mind, not because he didn't have the right but because anybody dumb enough to believe a high-profile apparatchik jerk like himself could get away with adultery and a cover-up so transparent as his (just the usual political knee-jerk – the BIG LIE) could be smart enough to run the country. The mainstreamers chose to let him off because they form the democrat fifth column, but it didn't work.

It has gotten worse as further information keeps rolling out about the glamour candidate who engaged the services of a company starting in July 2006 that wasn't even licensed until a bit earlier that year and AFTER Edwards met his new girlfriend, who virtually was the company. His campaign was probably its only client for work for which Rielle Hunter had little experience and paid her some $114,000 for six months work. It seems obvious enough that the company and the payments were designed to keep Ms. Hunter around, and for little else. There were some YouTube segments on the Internet, as if they were worth that kind of money, and they could have been handled by a rank amateur, probably for free by a volunteer.

During his campaign, Edwards made speeches about morals, the family and family values, with all this lurid stuff marking him as the quintessential hypocrite, but which he mistakenly thought would never come to light. Throughout 2007, when the question concerning his peccadilloes came up, he told lie after lie, this man who probably had hopes of becoming attorney general. During all that time, the mainstream media gave him a pass, never made an issue of it. At the beginning of one of those YouTube fiascos, he said ,"I actually want this country to be who I am." As he indicated in his valedictory delivered AFTER he had been undeniably caught, he was so narcissistic and egocentric that he actually believed what he said. Imagine a country with his morals…disgusting!

Edwards didn't operate in a vacuum in 2007. He announced his campaign in December 2006, the year of l'affaire, in a backyard in New Orleans, eschewing his own state for that event. He campaigned hard and spent the money of a lot of trusting citizens, all the while apparently being brazen enough to think he could escape his own foot-shooting.

In the mix, it appears that his campaign finance-person was also being serviced by Ms. Hunter and has even said that he, a married man with a family, is her child's father, though Edwards visited with Ms. Hunter just a few days ago during more than five hours of a night in a Los Angeles hotel. Ms. Hunter lives in a three-million-dollar house in Santa Barbara and has received plenty of money from an Edwards backer. He denies any knowledge of this, but should know full well that nobody believes that.

More will come to light in the coming days, and one thing is for sure…indeed, has already started, namely, the dredging up again of John Cain's misconduct all those years ago, entirely similar to that of Edwards. It's enough to make any citizen scream "A PLAGUE ON ALL YOUR HOUSES!" and look for someone else. But, of course, Edwards is out of it now, and it isn't likely that he has any political future…and he shouldn't have.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Obama, the Military & National Police

This is from MSNBC-TV (a democrat propaganda agency, as well) of 13 February 2007: "Stumbling out of the gate, Sen. Barack Obama said in his first presidential campaign news conference that the lives of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq were 'wasted.' He quickly retracted the statement, and later apologized to anybody he offended." Offended? Anybody? One wonders if he understood that he had offended literally millions of Americans or their relatives who had fought or are now fighting the nation's enemies.

This is MSNBC again, on 01 November 2006: "The war of words, tough even for this hard-fought campaign season, came after [Senator John] Kerry told a group of California students on Monday that those unable to navigate the country’s education system 'get stuck in Iraq'." Obama thinks, never mind the meaningless retraction, that the GIs who die have made the ultimate sacrifice for nothing, while Kerry thinks, never mind his preposterous explanation of something about a joke, that those GIs are too dumb to go to school. Words mean something and those spoken spontaneously mean the most since they reveal the actual mindset of the speaker.

Obama and Kerry share the Clinton doctrine known as LTG – Loathe the Military. Obama has not been able to fully admit that the "surge" has worked in Iraq and that great progress is being made there. To do so would be his admission that heroic GIs doing what he has never had to do – face death on a daily basis – have not died in vain. One can only wonder what Kerry might say today, since he testified in 1971 before a Senate committee that American GIs had killed 200,000 (count 'em) Vietnamese civilians a year back in the sixties. He probably doesn't know what he would say, come to think of it, seeing as how he said he voted for the Iraq War before he voted against it, as if that meant anything

These instances should be taken within the context of Obama's constant harping on his intention to bring massive CHANGE to the country. Perhaps the most recent defining aspect of that change accrues to his current effort to be sure he isn't seen as a white person, and certainly not the "typical white person" he has described, using his grandmother as a paradigm, as being fearful of those around her. The other typical whites he has described as paranoid Bible-grasping, gun-toting posses on the lookout for pesky immigrants. He made this non-white affirmation abundantly clear in Berlin during his campaign stop there and elaborated on it last week by making sure everyone knew he was not the same color as those guys on the one- and five-dollar bills – Washington and Lincoln.

The most dangerous aspect of CHANGE, however, has to do with Obama and the military. One remembers the approaches of both Carter and Clinton, to wit, let things slide militarily. Tax and spend in the interests of establishing a socialistic state, in other words, while ignoring the high cost of security. BUT, even that change is not as mind-boggling as the one he mentioned in a session on 02 July in Colorado Springs, where he said: "We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded."

One wonders what "national security objectives" Obama had in mind when he indicated the need for a national police force to achieve/enforce them, as well as just who he meant in his plural attribution to the source(s) for determining those objectives. In other words, who helped him decide what a national police force would do. One immediately thinks of such terms as KGB (Soviets), Gestapo (Hitler's Germany), and the Stasi (Honecker's communist East Germany). These police establishments participated in the most heinous of crimes against their own people. They were the national police.

The insidiousness of such a thing as a national police force to hold sway over the civilian population is unthinkable, incomprehensible in this country. In socialist/communist societies, this is commonplace, indeed the only way to keep the citizens subservient enough to insure the common welfare of the dictators and their minions who run the governments, including also running the military. Terrorism is the hallmark of "national policing," in which citizens just disappear or live in dread of the three o'clock a.m. knock on the door…and then disappear. The accounts coming out of communist China now that have to do with repression in advance of the Olympics should be chilling enough, not to mention the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989 (several hundreds shot dead by the Chinese Army).

Oh…yeah…just what this country needs – a national police force. Did Obama mean that? After all, his remarks were not in his prepared speech. This means he spoke SPONTANEOUSLY, ergo, he said just what was on his mind and has been on his mind and will remain on his mind. The time has come for citizens to take a long, hard look at this candidate, who makes it a stock-in-trade to suggest that he's not like the white guys who have held office…another way of saying it's the black guy's turn. It's the laying on of the guilt-trip, the old "you owe us" mantra of the reparations gang, a kingpin in which is the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright. Coincidence? Hardly!

National Police Force…Egad! Obama isn't against the use of force, but does he favor military force to keep the peace vis-à-vis the world…or a national police force to keep…what?

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Obama the "Berliner-Celeb"

Now that enough time has passed in the week since Senator Obama's famous conquest of Berlin, at which appearance he became a worldwide celebrity basking in the glow of universal warm-fuzzies, as Senator McCain's ad recently displayed regarding Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, a lovable "hunk" to the women and a properly domesticated male to both the women and, as Governor Schwarezeneggar would have it, all the "girlie-men," one might look past the o-o-hs and a-a-hs to consider what he said then and now. In the process, one can be happy not to be listening to the constant uh-uh-uhs and broken sentences and thoughts Obama presents in press conferences and interviews, all thanks given to the marvelous teleprompter as used in Berlin and sorely missed off-the-cuff.

The senator – right out of the gate – played the race-card in Berlin with this statement: "I know that I don't look like the Americans who've previously spoken in this great city." Yeah…General Eisenhower and presidents Kennedy and Reagan were white, therefore privileged – that's the gist of what Obama meant, never mind that he has done exceedingly well as a black in the American system, and hasn't done diddley-squat for Berlin. By contrast, Eisenhower gave West Germany back to Germans and Reagan gave all of Germany and all of Berlin back to Germans.

It's amazing that Obama brought up the subject of race in Berlin, where being in the wrong race meant near-certain death at the hands of Germans in the 1930s-40s, six million Jews and five million "other-than-German" types simply murdered, with a bit of torture thrown in, of course. The allied armies discovered corpses to be about as thick as flies when they made the scene in 1945…not even given a burial, decent or otherwise. General Patton grew sick at the sight.

The race-card is alive and well these days, too, for Obama, who made it plain this week that his face certainly doesn't appear to be similar to the faces on the one- and five-dollar bills, that belong to white men, one of whom was the father of the nation and the other, its savior. That he would mention himself in that esteemed and heroic company is virtually blasphemous. Perhaps it's the "our turn time" concept that the candidate is using to exploit the public, never mind that blacks still make up only a little better than 12% of the population. Senator Clinton had a better "our turn" argument, with respect to the ladies, who make up more than half the population. Neither race nor gender should decide the office, and Obama merely annoys people with this approach.

In Berlin, this is what Obama said: "And that's when the airlift began … But in the darkest hours, the people of Berlin kept the flame of hope burning." This is the sort of pandering that marks a candidate as being short on substance and long on flattery. The airlift was carried out primarily by U.S. pilots who flew around the clock from June 1948 until May 1949 and kept enough supplies moving into Berlin, even in the rigors of a cold winter (hauling coal by air), to keep Berliners alive. In the darkest hours, it was the ministry of these selfless airmen that kept hope alive, not the Berliners. Obama is also short on history, but not on oratory.

In Berlin, Obama said this: "People of the world - look at Berlin, where a wall came down, a continent came together, and history proved that there is no challenge too great for a world that stands as one." In the first place, "a world that stands as one" has absolutely no meaning whatsoever, and the wall didn't come down because a continent came together (Europe is always hopelessly fractured politically), but it was knocked down primarily through President Reagan's resolve as abetted by that of the American citizenry. The challenge WAS too great for the "world that stands as one," (Egad!) but not too great for the United States. Obama is history-challenged or his speech-writers are nincompoops…or both.

Obama said this in Berlin: "As we speak, cars in Boston and factories in Beijing are melting the ice caps in the Arctic, shrinking coastlines in the Atlantic, and bringing drought to farms from Kansas to Kenya. … This is the moment when we must come together to save this planet. Let us resolve that we will not leave our children a world where the oceans rise and famine spreads and terrible storms devastate our lands." This is the penultimate example of crass disingenuousness, not to mention a fear tactic that insults any intelligent person.

Save the planet? Indeed! This is the kind of unmitigated arrogance that merely annoys. The climate is going through a not unusual warming cycle (check the 1930s for some actual, unrelentingly hot weather, then followed by cooling until the 1970s). Obama was – and still is – playing the "climate-card," even though the outrageous claims in Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, with respect to manmade activities, are routinely being shot down now by renowned scientists, proving the UN-IPCC report to be false. Glaciers reached all the way into Kentucky eons ago, according to the experts, and then warmed away when there were no manmade carbon-belching machines, probably before the time of the wheel.

This was a "piece de resistance" by Obama in Berlin: "This is the moment to begin the work of seeking the peace of a world without nuclear weapons." He just doesn't get it. There will never be a world without nuclear (or worse) weapons, and this country would be led by a fool if he didn't realize this and tried to disarm this nation. Quite the opposite is needed – the best technology in the world to provide the state-of-the-art weaponry to keep this country safe.

Finally, this, in Berlin: "With an eye toward the future, with resolve in our hearts, let us remember this history, and answer our destiny, and remake the world once again." Such arrogance! It's hard to remake anything that one hasn't made, in the first place. The leaders of this country, as well as the citizenry, need to be concerned with all the world's people, but the notion that the world can be remade is merely silly. Most of the world's people don't want to be remade, though they do want help. The job of president is first, to keep this country safe, and second, to furnish as much help as is possible to everyone else. That's the U.S destiny, and Obama can let the Berliners speak for themselves.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark