Thursday, August 27, 2009


It’s just past one a.m. in the little room off the Oval Office and Dr. Jekyll and his alter ego Mr. Hyde are meeting with President Obama and his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, hereinafter referenced as J, H, O, and E, respectively, if not necessarily respectfully.

*H: I say, Mr. Obama, is there some reason why we’re meeting in this terribly small space…I would have expected an oak table with a bar, good food…not these styrofoam cups, the coffee machine and powdered crème…whew…are we in such danger that…

*O: Actually no, Mr. Hyde…no danger at all…it’s just that your reputation is…um…uh…er…and by the way, please address me as Mr. President, if you don’t mind.

*J: This IS strange, Barack, this tiny room for your partners from across the seas, and, by the way, I dislike those snobbery-mongering titles. They’re so silly…I’ll just call you Barack…or better still, maybe Barry, if you don’t mind…and even if you do…(laughter)…and you can just call me Henry and I’m sure Mr. Hyde would prefer Edward.

*E: Actually, Edward, we decided on this room because Mrs. Clinton had a séance and tried to channel Eleanor Roosevelt in our best room with an oak table, a bar and (laughter) sometimes dancing girls – for Bill, you know – and so we’re naturally afraid to let it out that we’re consulting…with (whispering) a possible psychiatric team.

H: Well…we met with Howie Dean when he was DNC chairman back in December 2005 in a broom closet…and when I threatened him with some Drano to the face he committed the SCREAM, dumping a bucket of mop-water on his head, scaring two little ladies in the hallway into hysterics and short-circuiting the furnace…oh…ha, ha…what fun…a plumber’s helper in my ear!

*J: Never mind that, Edward. Remember, you tried the SCREAM and blew out both tonsils and all of your front teeth…blood everywhere…what a sight! But tell me, Rahm, did Ms. Clinton – okay, now Secretary Clinton – actually have to dodge those awful snipers she…

*O: Gentlemen, let’s get down to business. We need advice on the health-care bill and…

*H: Yes…let’s. We have to catch an early flight back to aristocracy…nothing like this hodge-podge melting-pot business we call…egad, former colonies, and still the rightful property of the crown, God save the queen…(wild laughter)…and all the ships that ram in the night…all that twisted metal and blood and gore…

*J: Do stop it, Edward. What he means, Barry, is that you must be hard as steel in these trying times with the plan. By the way, can you describe some of it?

*O: Uh, er…where’s that blasted teleprompter, Rahm? You were supposed to have it here in case I had to explain anything. (deep sigh) Why don’t you just give them a summary? (lights a cigarette)

*E: Who…me? I thought you’d read it. No…wait, it was Pelosi who was supposed to have read it. You want me to call her?

*O: You mean you haven’t read it, Rahm? I sure haven’t…and neither has anybody in Congress…but don’t call Pelosi…she might either smile or frown and break her face. Then we’d all be in trouble.

*J: I say…this is bloody strange, Rahm. By the way, do you actually send dead fish to your enemies and did you actually get mad and bite off your pinky when you were a teenager?

*E: Of course not, it’s no and no and I won’t do it again and again. Now…where did I put our copy of that plan, Mr. President?

*H: Oh…ha, ha, Rahm…can’t you call Barry…Barry? Bloody strange, that.

*O: I expect loyalty from the Uncle Toms…oops…strike that Dr. Jekyll…I never said that and I won’t say it again. I meant the servants…oops…what I meant is that the office commands respect from all of its officials and that…

*H: Bloody snobby, wouldn’t you say, Henry? Tell me, Barry, do you use a cat-o-nine-tails or a blackjack or a taser or just a rope on people like…

*J: Edward, PLEASE! What he means, Barry, is that you are right to discipline your crew and exact loyalty. Tell me, is there any part of the plan you remember just from eavesdropping in the hallways, for instance?

*O: There is something about the end-of-life conferences in there and a lot of folks don’t like it.

*H: End-of-life conferences…oh, bloody sweet! Use what I call the old Sir Danvers Carew Treatment…ah…I remember it well as I bashed in the old man’s head right there in the lane, although I ruined that perfectly good cane with the heavy knob…egad…I hated to lose that cane. It’s so simple, Barry…I have another heavy-knobbed cane to which you are most welcome…but I insist on getting to watch. (gazes at the ceiling) I can still hear old Carew’s bones cracking. (wild laughter) While having that little end-of-life conference, just sneak around to the…

*J: Really, Edward, you DO go on. What he means is simply that when decisions have to be made about who gets care and who doesn’t, the answer must be made perfectly clear that it’s final. Those between 15 and 44 are treated first, then the younger ones, then those over 50 until about age 70…and then…

*H: And then GANGBUSTERS! Line up the old idiots and…well, after all…they should be patriotic enough to serve their country by dying…if not, just help them along. (wilder laughter) Drop down to the nearest pub and have a pint of hemlock on me…oh, the writhing…

*E: Is he serious, Dr. Jek…er…Henry?

*J: Oh of course not. That’s just Edward being Edward. What he means is that everyone should have solid support and comfort when the time comes to die. By the way, is this the room where Bill Clinton and that intern…oh, what a jolly time that must…is this the room?

*O: Ahem…uh…um…well, what if the older ones would rather not die…just stick around and cost a lot in medicine and stuff…

*H: Simple Barry, bloody simple. Give them the Princess Di treatment…get a Sherman Tank and run it through the nursing-home lunchroom and crunch the old die-hards against the ovens and…

*J: That’s quite enough, Edward. What he means is that old people should be protected and kept warm until, of course, the time comes for them to…

*H: TURN COLD…watch their scrawny old bodies seen off to the mortuary and…will the circle be unbroken…by and by, Lord, by and by…

*J: Enough, Edward, and you’re way off key anyway! What he means is that every effort should be made to make their funeral arrangements as dignified as possible.

*O: How much should it cost?

*J: Well, my medical-school book said the body is worth about 79 cents, physical-wise, so…

*E: Whee…happy days are here again…a funeral for the old geeks at maybe five bucks and change!

*H: A-a-r-r-g-g-h-h-A-A-R-R-G-G-H-H-A-A-R-R-G-G-H-H-A-A-R-R-G-G-H-H On to Waterloo!

*O: Call out the National Guard…and somebody PLEASE get these adenoids out of my hair!

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Obama as God's Partner

This is what President Obama said to 1,000 Jewish rabbis in a conference call on 19 August: "We are God's partners in matters of life and death." One wonders if the president has a death-wish with regard to “his” health-care bill now being tortured through everything from sidewalk conversations to so-called Town-Hall meetings to the Talking-Head shows, not that anyone, especially including the lawmakers, can make any sense of it, probably because its instigators mean for it to be vague enough to mean anything they say it does. Once it’s passed, all bets are off on what anyone says it’s about now.

Amazingly, the president said this just as the news that he has re-instituted in the Veterans Administration the use of the 52-page end-of-life planning document, "Your Life, Your Choices." This has been the “new” obsession of the media. This document was put into place in 1997 and later promoted as the VA's preferred living will throughout its vast network of hospitals and nursing homes, according to Jim Towey, who was director of the White House Office of Faith-Based Initiatives (2002-2006). After the Bush White House took a look at how this document was treating complex health and moral issues, according to Towey, the VA suspended its use.

The primary author of this document was Dr. Robert Pearlman, chief of ethics evaluation for the center, a man who in 1996 advocated for physician-assisted suicide in Vacco v. Quill before the U.S. Supreme Court and is known for his support of health-care rationing. President Bush would have none of it; President Obama has brought it back on line.

One of the circumstances listed in the manual: living in a nursing home, being in a wheelchair and not being able to "shake the blues." One of the questions: "Have you ever heard anyone say, 'If I'm a vegetable, pull the plug'?" Another scenario: "I can no longer contribute to my family's well being, I am a severe financial burden on my family… ." Is all of this stuff designed to help the vet cope with his problems, or is it to encourage him to think it might be better to just end it all?

These examples furnish a look at what could be expected in the end-of-life conferences outlined in the health-care bill as voluntary every five years or less, if needed, for the elders, payment for which under the bill would be borne by the government. Accepting the government as a consultant in possibly discontinuing treatments that would lead to death inculcates a conflict of interest, since the government, in the event of a chosen death, would be free of paying for further treatment or medicine.

This is not to say that people shouldn’t have something to say about how they leave this world; it is to say that they can probably make that decision on their own without any government help. These decisions are made every day by the sick or their families. Sitting down with a government consultant who might have a vested interest in the decision is not good, even though, admittedly, the final days of an old person’s life often DO cost Medicare a lot of money. So does Social Security as people in this country are living much longer than when this program was introduced in the 1930s.

Just the conflicts of interest alone are enough to make one wonder about the government’s getting into the end-of-life matters that are so personal for individuals and their families. However, the arrogance of the president in making such a statement is unconscionable. If he had said the partnership with God had to do just with life, he might have made a point regarding health-care since geniuses in the field of medicine have developed medicines and procedures that are indeed life-saving. When he added the element of death to the equation he bungled the whole thing, no matter what he meant, assuming he actually knew what he meant. In doing that, he placed the president’s imprimatur – actually that of the government – on accounting for the life-ending process, just the opposite of life-saving.

What Obama may not understand, also, is the fact that many individuals, account their religious convictions, believe that God has already ordained when – and obviously how (the real sticker) – they will die. This doesn’t make sense to a lot of other people, but probably most evangelical Christians, Pentecostals, and even the majority of the members of the so-called “mainline” denominations hold this belief. This means that Obama’s pronouncement of HIS partnership with God in anything at all is offensive to millions of people of faith, most of whom believe that the separation of church and state is non-negotiable. To these folks, attempting to help God out in the matter of dying is arrogance carried to the nth degree, especially considering his lengthy background with the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, who called on God not to partner with anyone but to damn America.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Monday, August 17, 2009

Leadership VACUUM

Perhaps the tip-off on just where the Obama administration stands was given the other day by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. This is from - “In a television interview Monday [10 August] in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggested that it would be a good thing for the government to take an ownership interest in industry.” In a part of the world where corruption actually defines government, it’s simply amazing that she could say something indicating such a lack of knowledge of world affairs.

That just about says it all, however, especially since it reflects precisely the apparent approach to governance of her boss, the president. He has just overseen the U.S. government take over the major financial institutions, half the auto-manufacturing industry and the building-loan apparatus. His House of Representatives, driven by him and his hacks, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer, recently passed what is perhaps the worst legislation since the 1930s – the Cap-and-Trade mishmash – designed to further wreck U.S. industry and deliver it into the hands of government, an obvious goal. The credible earth-scientists have shot down the climate-change nonsense, making the legislation simply an attack upon the industrial machinery of this country and taking it out of world competition, thus occasioning even greater loss of jobs, with an unemployment rate nearing 10 percent.

Obama’s minions have totally failed to police the “bank bailout” of last fall, perhaps suffering from a collective egotism to the extent that they actually believed they could outsmart the bankers, who took the money, firmed their bottom lines, paid their usual humongous bonuses, and laughed all the way to their vaults. Obama stood helplessly by, wrung his hands, and declared that the bonuses were perfectly legal. The banks are sitting on the money, as they should, until they can discover to what financial depths this country is headed. The lending institutions were virtually forced by Congress to make millions of bad loans, and these bankers (okay…through sheer greed) got stuck with them. Why go down that road again?

The messiah has announced publicly – and his press-person, Robert Gibbs, has corroborated publicly – that he hasn’t read and does not plan to read the health-care legislation now wadded up in such murky bureaucratic verbosity that no one knows what it means. That, of course, was the objective of the hacks who wrote it, namely, that after its passage it will mean whatever some “czar” says it means. Obama has finally understood that the public is catching-on to its main intent, the destruction of all private health-insurance plans, with the secondary intent of making all health decisions the preserve of the government.

Now, the president is flying in campaign mode all over the country on Air Force One trying to con the public into buying into a plan about which, by his own admission, he knows virtually nothing. He just knows that he wants the government to run everyone’s life. Imagine paying people $4,500 to buy cars, with the mandate that the trade-ins will be destroyed, the very cars that low-income people need on the market since they couldn’t afford to finance a new car even with that $4,500 gift. This is stupidity carried to a ridiculous degree. The notion that this operation will save the earth is so laughable as to make the White House into a collective buffoon.

Henry Morgenthau was Treasury Secretary 1934-45 during the Great Depression of the 1930s and said this in 1939: “We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. And I have just one interest, and if I am wrong…somebody else can have my job. I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises…I say after eight years of this administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started…And an enormous debt to boot!” The unemployment rate in 1939 stood at 17.2%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Morgenthau didn’t lose his job. The spending, with the Congress and presidency both democrat-controlled, would have gone on driving the country into oblivion; however, WWII came along, after which the free-market economy took off.

Another world war is not likely – hopefully never again to happen – so the president and Congress need to suck it up right now and not make decisions based on their chances in the next election(s). If they can’t understand the history of the 30s, they’re too dumb to be leading this nation, and “voting the bums out” should be the war-cry of the citizens next year.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Moral Turpitude - So what!

Nowhere is moral turpitude more noted than in the world of sports in this country. This doesn’t mean that it’s more prevalent among athletes and coaches/managers than among others, only that when discovered it’s made far more public. The better-known and respected the perpetrator of what is still considered an immoral act is (not many left in so-called postmodernism), the more he/she becomes an object of interest for the media and other folks in the sports profession, whether involving vilification or praise or sympathy or empathy or whatever.

Footballer Michael Vick is the latest example, though the seemingly never-ending baseball flap regarding the use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs, especially among those who have excelled to the “Hall of Fame” level apparently due to their use, is a constant competitor for attention. Vick is the guy who ran the dog-fighting operation wherein two dogs fight to the death for spectator- and betting-pleasure and then tortured the dogs to death himself. Mean? You bet. He served a bit more than a year-and-a-half in the Big House in the bargain, having last played in the NFL in 2006. He’s just signed with Philadelphia, the better to start making again all the multimillions he lost in his little sideshow.

The current case of University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino is another example. An “indiscretion” a few years ago – sex in a restaurant while admittedly drunk with someone not his wife – has placed the coach even more in the spotlight, which he already enjoyed on practically a day-to-day basis. Seems the woman got pregnant and the coach gave her $3,000 for an abortion. Perhaps this is the worst angle, especially since one of Pitino’s sons died years ago, while still a child. The woman later married Pitino’s trainer in a bizarre twist and the whole thing would never have come to light except that she decided to become a millionaire herself at Pitino’s expense and blew the whole thing into the ravenous media.

The irony regarding both scummy matters lies in the fact that Vick incurred the wrath of a whole nation, not just PETA, for mistreating dogs, while the termination of the fetus (said by perhaps most people to be an actual human being) has brought not even a yawn from the public. Which was worse? Well…both were terrible, but the outcomes give an insight as to how inured the public has become to loss of human life…or potential human life…whatever. Vick went to jail. Pitino continues on in his multi-million-dollar capacity with the blessing of both the athletic director and the president of the university, though he may lose a few “motivational” speeches around the country in the process…except maybe in California, where most anything goes.

The term most often introduced with respect to the shenanigans of high-profile athletes, as well as their good points, is “role model.” People gasp at the notion that Vick and Pitino have endangered the minds of the youthful athletes with regard to personal deportment. Really? Cheating – on every level – is endemic to sports…meaning that the “anything goes” concept is always operable, no matter with the game or the personal life. It begins in public schools as players, fans, parents, school officials, coaches look for that “edge,” no matter what it is…if it can be secured, that is, without the perpetrators being apprehended.

Have Vick’s exploits and Philadelphia’s ambitions affected the minds of the youth or anyone else? No. The games will be attended, the cheers will be made, and Vick will be loved unless he fails to perform since winning at all costs is always operable in the NFL. If he flames out, the duplicitous fans will scream “dog-fighting” at him, but if he does well, they will forget all about the attaching of electrodes to the dogs, the better to end their lives.

What about Pitino and the “role-modeling?” He recruits and plays African-American players almost exclusively. In the black community, 70% of all births are illegitimate – no father of record. The white community is fast catching-up and the figure now stands at 30%. So…fornication and adultery, as well as child-abandonment, have simply become facts of life throughout the nation, wherein half of all first marriages end in divorce and a huge percentage of shack-ups produce nothing but misery, the children be damned. No…Pitino as role model is hardly affected in a country that’s been spiraling downward morally for decades.

Perhaps the paradigm for the current debauchery noted in these examples is what’s been celebrated this month – Woodstock of 1969. The networks have been reveling in flashbacks of this extraordinary celebration of orgy some 40 years ago, when the boomers, having been given way too much by their parents, known by some as the greatest generation, writhed and copulated in the mud, blew their minds on whatever could be had, and simply kissed off civility as something too anachronistic to abide.

Shades of Woodstock – that’s where the nation abides today, its moral compass so thoroughly discombobulated that its people shrug at Vick, Pitino, and a government in the process of promising everyone something for nothing while taking everything from them. It’s in the throes of the generations of the 1960s-70s…WOODSTOCK! Sad! It reminds of the scripture that asks the question: “What will a man give in exchange for his soul?” God help us all.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


According to the main propaganda arm of the Obama administration, aka the mainstream media, the “clunker trade-in” program has been a huge success, not only in getting rid of thousands of air-polluting heaps but also by helping the auto industry get back in gear. The fly in the ointment, of course, has been the fact that a lot of folks have traded in their clunkers for Ford and Camrys and other types of cars not made in the companies the government owns – General Motors and Chrysler – but Obama has not complained since he knows that ultimately he will also bankrupt those companies and take them over, too.

Though probably not understanding it, Obama has done one-half of what President Reagan did, to wit, make cash available to the people so they will start buying things and heat up the economy. Reagan did it by lowering taxes; Obama is doing it by giving back the taxes already collected. However, the Big O has not understood the rest of Reagan’s plan, to wit, cut spending. He’s doing just the opposite, meaning that the economic situation will worsen, thus necessitating the need to bankrupt more companies and thus take hold of the manufacturing establishment to do with it what he will.

Even more goodies for the environment could be realized if families were given incentives for not using automobiles at all. Why not bring back the horse-and-carriage days? A carriage and team might cost $5,000 or so, though the rich could have limo-carriages and a team of Clydesdales if they so desired. Not only is hay cheaper than oil, as well as cleaner, but thousands of jobs could be created overnight through hiring folks to keep the streets clean, and the sweepings could be used on the hayfields to produce prodigious amounts of fuel, in the first place. The “clunker” stipend of $4,500 could go a long way in tempting folks down this road.

Since the “clunker boondoggle” has been such a success, perhaps the time has come to use that plan with regard to other items. For instance, why not give a good payment to people for turning in their old electricity-guzzling refrigerators for new fuel-efficient ones? Perhaps a special bonus could be given to those who opt for the old-fashioned iceboxes of yesteryear that used no electricity at all. The ice was fairly cheap then, and the plan would call for the building of icehouses again, creating more jobs. After all, what could be cheaper than water? A relatively small amount of electricity could be used to make ice for a whole town, instead of greedy, spoiled citizens using more than their share…just for convenience.

Even more jobs could be created by the use of deliverymen to handle the 25- to 100-pounds of ice-cubes, as was once the case. In addition, instead of using gas-guzzling trucks for delivery purposes, mules and horses could once again be pressed into service. What could be cheaper than hay? And…it can be homegrown, not imported from some Arab country that means us harm.

Clunker power-lawnmowers that eat up thousands of gallons of gas and pollute the air with noxious fumes as well as hay-fever-causing green-stuff that makes the eyes tear-up and the nose become a waterfall could be traded in for new push-mowers that use no gas at all, just the muscles of people who ought to be exercising, anyway, the better to defeat obesity and live longer. What could be more enticing than that? The old mowers didn’t flay the grass into powder that causes uncontrollable sneezing, just clipped it neatly. The only downside, of course, is that pushing the things actually causes perspiration…SWEAT! Since convenience is the watchword, this idea won’t fly, since manual mowing takes a bit longer and does make the underarms an undesirable location, sniff-wise.

Of course, people without the resources even to trade in a clunker-car or clunker-refrigerator or clunker-power-mower (throw in weed-eaters and power saws, too) are left to eat cake. So…what’s fair about that? Nothing, of course! But who said that life is fair? The question has to do with what one can trade in to do his part for his country, not with what machines can demand in exchange for un-green sinfulness and green-greed. Perhaps a “clunker clause” will be added to the Bill of Rights. If so, it will be the sanest thing this Congress has done or will do. As it stands, most citizens would like to trade in a “clunker-Congress-Administration” for the population of the chimp colony of the Cincinnati Zoo, thus gaining enough gravitas to save the nation.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark