Wednesday, May 27, 2009

DNC Memorandum #3

From the office of Governor Tim Kaine, convener, 26 May 2009

***Note the use of the term "convener" in the above. As did former convener Dean, I am dropping the term "chairperson," not to mention (gasp!…for a little effect there) the sexist term "chairman," thus putting everyone on the same level, except, of course, that you will follow orders without delay, since some are always more equal than others, even on a level playing field. The president is seriously considering dropping the title "Commander-in-Chief," preferring something warmer and fuzzier. He has asked for suggestions, and the staffer who comes up with a winner will be rewarded with a bonus not to exceed 79 cents, since bonuses are in ill repute at this time, except at the companies which have received stimulus payments. If the national debt is ever paid-off, the bonus will be increased, no matter which century in the future, assuming there is a future – little joke there in celebration of Kim Jong Il's latest nuclear blast on Memorial Day.

***As planned, the president will undertake another "apology tour" next week and has requested appropriate wordings for his stops in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Germany, and Normandy. He has asserted that he did not genuflect before King Abdullah on his recent trip to Riyadh and that he will not do it again. The wag who put the cross-symbol on a picture of the king at the bottled-water keg and non-trans-fat, non-hamburger (eating grease okay if Senator Biden does), 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-chart, carbon-cap-graph, endangered-species-obituary-wall-chart, blue-state-map, and Bush-dart-board, when apprehended, will be water-boarded when Speaker Pelosi is out of town again or appears before the ethics committee concerning her recent press-conference flapdoodles, whichever comes first. The president has indicated that he still plans to apologize for this country's existence to every other country before 04 July, but has made it plain that he did not say in which year this would be accomplished.

***Speaker Pelosi has expressed her appreciation for staffers' suggestions concerning her current trip to China, in which she has promised to chastise the Chinese for exporting a bunch of lead-lined toys and shabby shoes, skivvies, and pirated CDs to this country, as well as for their constant whining about their U.S. dollars which lose more value every day. In order to help the president apologize for making war on terrorists and thus upsetting the world, she will present his autographed pictures of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo and discuss the evil of torture with Chinese officials, who are known to be among the most knowledgeable torturers in the Far East, second only to the keepers of the East-Russian gulags in the Outer Mongolia area.

***Plans for the Veteran/Christian Awareness Day, noted in Memorandum #2, are well underway. The Department of Homeland Security is actually in charge, but has asked for DNC help in preparing materials depicting returning veterans joining the Ku Klux Klan and hanging on to their M-16s and threatening everyone from homosexuals to soccer-moms. The new DHS motto is Remember Timothy McVeigh and Oklahoma City 1995! Also, as suggested before, anyone hearing a preacher mention the battle of Jericho or a choir singing “Battle Hymn of the Republic” is to report these subversives to me…and then dig a foxhole, even if on the freeway.

***The president plans to apologize to the nation because God was mentioned at the National Memorial Day service Sunday evening and because (even worse) the term Christ was actually sung in Battle Hymn, as well as for his lapse in saying "God bless" during his speech on Monday. This is a clear violation of the First Amendment, not to mention an insult to ___(name your own religious group)______. Michael Moore's documentary concerning dangerous Christians and bankrolled by the DHS is tentatively titled The Biblical Bombers Bivouac in Brotherly Bethlehem and will feature Pennsylvania Baptists grasping their shotguns, chanting Psalms and rousting illegal immigrants from the coal mines.

***Staffers are warned not to take questions about SCOTUS nominee Sotomayor in their fundraising meetings. The president has indicated that Sotomayor has empathy and has proven it by stating clearly that Latina women make much better judges than white men, and has stated flatly that the Court will be replacing the Congress in legislating, since the lawmakers do more arguing than anything else. This doesn't set well with some citizens, mostly men. The rumor that Vice President Biden offered to trade his job for a seat on the Court, thus making Speaker Pelosi the next-in-line, is not true and Biden has promised not to mention it again.

***The Court will now be made up of six Catholics, two Jews, and one Protestant, so it's easy to see how diversity is expressed judicially. Jews comprise less than 2% of the population; Catholics, 23%; and Protestants only 52%, which would seem to allow them only five justices religiously, but religion is not hot these days. For women staffers, however, the sacred right of abortion is safe, since Catholic leaders consider the Pope un-cool on this matter. The president's denomination, the United Church of Christ, officially sanctioned the doctrine of men marrying men and women marrying women in 2005, so hope still lives for those equating strange biological practices with family values, that is, the truly enlightened and ultra-sophisticated.

***The rumor that Univ. of Chicago professor William Ayres, former Weather Underground domestic terrorist/bomber/expert and launcher of the president's political career, has been hired to devise a way to close Gitmo is untrue – REPEAT – untrue. The professor's experience involved only bombing other people but not in suicide/homicide fashion, so he was ruled as unlikely to create rapport with the animals at Guantanamo or with the Castros, who had offered to let him set up a training-camp in Cuba for the Gitmo prisoners once he had opened the gates and let them out of Gitmo and into paradise.

***Former senator Daschle has requested that staffers join his effort to recoup the $140,000 he paid recently in back-taxes in order to buy – fair and square – the head spot at HHS. His sacrifice in this matter is noteworthy. Everyone is urged to contribute $369, which is the average yearly amount given to charity by Vice President Biden over the last decade or so. The staffer who posted on the DNC building's entrance a picture of Senator Daschle slowly twisting in the wind has been informed that gallows humor is not acceptable at DNC headquarters. He has been punished by having to listen 5,000 times to the president's answer to every question: "We won!"

***Robert Gibbs, the president's spokesman, has sent a note explaining that President Obama didn't forget the defense secretary's name recently in a speech. The fault was in the layout of the teleprompter, and the appropriate technician has been banished to San Francisco. Also, the rumor that the president didn't recognize the secretary at a recent cocktail party is flatly untrue.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Monday, May 25, 2009

Lest We Forget

The National Memorial Service, now in its twentieth year, was dedicated to the memory of all the nation's fallen warriors on the evening of the twenty-fourth on the Mall in Washington, D.C. Particular remembrance was remarked during this 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth to the fallen warriors of the Civil War, the terrible conflagration that took 620,000 lives, or 425 per day over the four years 1861-65, but preserved the Union. Perhaps the turning point in that war was consummated in July of 1863 during three days of fierce fighting at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Nearly 7,900 died in the battle, and there were more than 50,000 casualties altogether. Lincoln's most famous address, containing only about 278 words, was made in honor of the dead in November 1863. These words are a further remembrance:


The pain, like nothing he had known
Since lacerating foot on stone …
Yes, worse than tissue ripped to bone
When just a boy, one day alone;
Once more alone, with searing pain
- From head to toe a pain-link chain -
His first awareness in the rain
As consciousness he fought to gain.
His mind, befogged, began to clear,
No musketry he now could hear,
No longer … now … that rebel cheer,
Which once was music to his ear.
Flat on his back, he closed his eyes
Against the rain from graying skies
And flinched at hearing anguished cries
Of comrades facing pain, demise.

On yesterday the fight was waged,
As back and forth the lines had raged;
A sniper's bullet rightly gauged
Had felled him in this crevice, caged.
He opened wide his cracked, parched lips,
To slake the thirst of countless trips
Through hostile fields ... some canteen sips,
And chewed-up weeds, tobacco strips.
Now fighting just to stay aware,
He turned his head only to stare
At blood that oozed through matting hair
And dripped on rock … quite tombstone bare.

To turn his head was all that he
Could bear, since pain incessantly
Made movement an atrocity
More feared now than the enemy.
Still gone were sounds of musketry
As twilight settled eerily,
No pounding hooves of cavalry …
The only sound … cried-misery.

He thought of Alabama corn
Just breaking ground that April morn
When tears were shed and love was sworn
And he to shot and powder born,
And then the days of victory
And seeming death-immunity …
All now recalled despairingly,
While facing his mortality.
In haze, he pondered "civil war -
Uncivil war, this blood and gore,
Was it for this, or was there more
That made men kill their brothers for?"

As darkness crept across the slain
And earth was marked by bloody stain,
Red rivulets, formed with the rain,
Made ghastly the pock-marked terrain.
His feeble cries on deaf ears fell,
Or ears of those who shared his hell
And, thus, with him could only dwell,
But not his wretchedness repel.
The thoughts of cotton fields in bloom,
A teenage boy, a small schoolroom,
Danced in and out amid the gloom
With thoughts of an impending doom.

As night wore on, the groans grew less
Throughout the mud of helplessness -
In sound and number less and less,
As comrades entered hopelessness.
Sometimes a scream, sometimes a prayer
Would split the heavy, midnight air …
The screams and prayers of stark despair,
No loved ones … there … to know or care.
He fought to keep his consciousness
And thwart his awful pains' duress
To make it till the dawn’s brightness,
When rescue would be his redress.
Toward daylight, thoughts consumed his mind
Of her for whom he so repined,
And parents to his will resigned,
And their entreaties he declined.


Then, slipping from his stubborn will,
No longer feeling rainy chill -
"Our Father" wafted toward the hill -
Then morning came...and all was...still.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ode to Climate-Change

The big news in the world of anthropology this week had to do with the latest bag of bones accounted by the “experts” as being that “missing link,” never mind its tail that was as long as the rest of its skeleton. Doesn’t every human being have a long-tailed ancestor in his/her bone-bag history? The fossil (aren’t they all) was alive in Germany 47 million years ago, according to the experts; however, with maybe a slight snicker, one might take that time-frame with a grain of salt. Forty-seven MILLION!

That’s not actually the biggest part of the big news, though. According to the experts, the primate, named Eda by whoever has that privilege, lived and died in a tropical rain forest – a TROPICAL RAIN FOREST in Germany, known for its cold and snowy winters! One snickers at the thought of a rain-forest in Germany in any millennium, give or take a few million of them.

BUT, from an article by BBC News in November 2001 dealing with the time when birds ate horses in Germany came this statement: “The forest dwelling horses come from a time, 49 million years ago, when tropical forests stretched right to the poles.” The tropics reached to the poles – that’s the North Pole and the South Pole, which current folks understand to be cold, cold, frozen cold.

Question: Since as far as is known there were no human beings 47 million years ago burning coal and driving SUVs to fire carbon into the air and kill the earth, as the panicky global-warming crowd says is happening now, how did Congo-land and the Amazon Forest globalize themselves so far north and south that they virtually melted the world, and gigantic birds in Germany were feasting on horses, preferably french-fried, of course?

Logical answer: Ask Al Gore, esteemed Nobelist, though without any actual scientific acuity regarding the climate. The current climate-change brouhaha is, of course, a humongous hoax designed primarily by the IPCC of the United Nations, this country’s worst enemy in all the world. The IPCC’s claptrap is designed to break this country, and the current administration is hell-bent on helping it do just that. Climate cycles have run their courses since the beginning and humanoids have virtually nothing – if, indeed, anything – to do with them. The credible scientists in this country claim the world started a cooling trend in about 2000. So much for the hand-wringers! The sky is not falling.

Ode to Climate-Change

It was one-hundred-ten degrees
When primates swung throughout the trees –
The place was known as Germany,
The year was 50 mil B.C.

The one called Eda got a scare…
She aimed her tail at…well, just air
And fell upon her left-claw wrist –
That caused for her an awful twist.

But not worry, not to fret,
The limbs below just formed a net…
She slowly landed in some slime
And waited for a better time.

The experts said, with straight of face,
That Germany was one hot place,
That birds ate horses for dessert,
Exhaled vile carbon air-borne dirt.

They said the tropics reached the poles
And Germany was full of holes
Where year-round temps were…well, Congo,
And primates died in lava-flow.

But when the icy ages came,
Saint Al the Gore of Nobel fame
Just missed that part of Nature’s way
Of taking care of life, decay.

And so he prates of climate-change
As wrought by man…EGAD!…how strange,
Since no one knows where ice came from…
In the Atlantic…frozen numb.

And no one knows how Germany
Got hot without humanity
To change the climate’s yin and yang –
An inconvenient truth – Big Bang?

And so the green-gang soldiers on,
Determined that the earth is gone
If man insists on driving cars
Or staying warm beneath the stars.

The thing that saves is cap-and-trade,
The plan the legislators made
To tax the world…not all, of course…
The Chinese laugh at such recourse.

Ah no…the tax is U.S. bound,
Where all the suspects can be found;
The tax will fill the nations till…
It is the politicians’ swill.

But…climate-change is nature’s way
Of balancing earth’s night and day,
And only fools think otherwise…
Their pride is bigger than God’s skies.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Obama & the 1930s Mindset

President Obama fancies himself the reincarnation of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who took office in 1933, meaning, among other things, that Obameconomist intends to use over-the-top spending by government to save the economy and wipeout unemployment or at least greatly diminish the unemployment rate. To this effect, he has led the way for the bailout, the stimulus package, and the current giveaways to Social Security recipients (amounting to well over $1.5 trillion), with a planned budget reaching so far into the trillions that no one, in or out of government, understands just how deep the hole will be, since the national till is empty.

The strangest thing about this is that the Congress, in which one could expect a large number of people to have common sense, has gone along – okay, just the democrats – and in the process revealing that their collective knowledge of history amounts to zilch. There aren’t even enough blue-dog democrats to either see the light or have the guts to stop the administration’s nonsense.

Roosevelt inherited an unemployment rate of 23.6%. In 1938, after five years of the FDR New Deal spending, some of it on good causes, the unemployment rate stood at 19%. In 1940, it was down to 14.6%, but one has to figure the upturn in industry as it related to preparing for World War II.

Ronald Reagan inherited an unemployment rate of 7.1% in 1981 (prime interest rate, 20%). With the Carter economy in freefall, it ballooned to 9.7% in 1982, but, after Reagan took just the opposite approach to that of FDR – cutting spending and adjusting the tax rates – the unemployment rate was down to 7.5% in 1984 (prime interest rate, 10.5%). There’s a lesson here that a totally clueless administration and Congress can’t fathom, or won’t fathom because their agenda may be the same as that of the Workers Party in the 1930s, i.e., installing socialism or communism, but even the unions would have none of that, notwithstanding the siren song of “something for nothing.”

Actually, the situation was so much worse in the 1930s than that of today that there’s no comparison, mainly owing to a societal change of drastic proportions. In 1940, 25.4% of women over age 14 held paying jobs. In 2008, that figure was 59.5% for women over age 16. In other words, the work force of the 1930s was largely male – fathers, husbands. Today, that’s not the case. If the situation in the 30s were like that of today sociologically, the actual figure of unemployment would have been 34%, a far worse picture than is displayed just by statistics.

If the situation today were like that of the 30s – workforce mostly male – the unemployment rate would be 3.6%, a totally different number from the current 8.5%. In the 30s, men expected to be the breadwinners for their families. Today, men are not expected to fill that role, and probably most husbands/fathers prefer this. Certainly, the women do. In 1957, the average number of children in a family was 3.7; today, that figure is 1.9, barely enough to sustain the population. As more women have entered the workforce, children have become increasingly inconvenient.

So, even though the circumstances of today are nowhere near as bad as those of the 30s, Obama and his crowd have not only decided to spend the nation into insolvency (actually already there), thus inducing socialism, but have moved to take over both the financial and manufacturing bases of the economy. The bailout of the banks has devolved into enhancing their bottom line without the bother of lending money, thus decreasing the availability of capital. Banking decisions can be made only with the approval of Obama, making him the actual keeper of the national books.

Obama and the country’s best-known tax-cheat, aka Treasury Secretary Geithner, are now running both Chrysler and General Motors, actually running them both into an obviously well-planned bankruptcy leading to total government control of the auto industry. Their union allies, when they discover they’ve been bamboozled, will cry the loudest.

These takeovers give the two companies a tremendous advantage over Ford, Toyota and other car companies, since the government’s deep (imagined) pockets reach to infinity, while the private enterprises have to desperately try to compete. The objective of Obama and crowd is to drive Ford and the others into bankruptcy, also, thus completing the cycle. This can be replicated for all other manufacturing enterprises, and Geithner already has (or will have) the power to shut down any company he claims is not viable…his call, and his alone.

Either the Congress will get a grip on this country…or else. FDR gave the country Social Security, which was a Ponzi scheme in 1937, workers paying retirees. Obama is going for universal health-care, another Ponzi scheme, workers paying astronomical costs that should be borne by individuals and their insurance companies, with proper regulation, though Medicare is evidence that proper regulation is hard to define.

In 1950, the ratio of workers to retirees drawing benefits was 16:1. Now, it’s about 3:1, and as the boomers retire it will become 2:1, virtually unsustainable. President Bush tried to get Congress (both parties) to address the problem. No dice. The original SS tax was $60 per year (2% of first $3,000 in wages). Today, it is 6.2% on the first $106,800 of wages matched by the government for a total of 12.4% or one-eighth of most workers’ annual wages. The individual Medicare tax is at 1.45% matched by government for another 2.9% altogether. This represents one-seventh of a worker’s income. Add the income taxes and all other state and local taxes and it’s gangbusters!

In the midst of this, Obamessiah and the Congress are tooling up a budget of trillions – okay, printing money, soon to be worthless. Obama promised change and the country is getting it in spades. The entrepreneurship that made this country is being demolished by leaders who are either subversive, intentionally destructive, or as dumb as gourds.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Friday, May 15, 2009

Pelosi Rides Again!

The saga of Nancy Pelosi continues. Lately, she’s had to take cover from all those mean conservatives who are claiming quite justifiably that she’s been lying about her knowledge (make that intimate knowledge) of the enhanced interrogation procedures used by the CIA and other intelligence organizations vis-à-vis those glorious terrorists, whose greatest claim to fame is the indiscriminate murder of defenseless women and children…like dogs in the street. Add that to her colossal gaffe a while back when she talked about 500 million Americans losing their jobs, presumably absent the stimulus package, whatever it is. No one actually seems to know, but most folks know that the entire population of the country is only 300 million, counting the babies and schoolchildren about to be thrown out of work.

So, what does a poor girl do in the face of such persistent criticism? After all, she was either speaker or the ranking member of the appropriate House committees involved in the Congressional briefings, of which there have been about 40 since hostilities began in 2001, according to one source. But, she’s been totally, absolutely out of the loop and (horrors!) just didn’t know what was going on. Oh yeah…she DID hear that the methods had been declared (erroneously, of course) legal by the lawyers in the Bush administration. In her press conference of 14 May, she insisted that her main job was to get a democrat Congress and a democrat president elected in order to get the awful torture stopped. Oh…how the gulag gang at Guantanamo must love her!

But to get back to what a poor girl must do under such unfair pressure from even her own party colleagues…okay, some of them can’t stand her and would love to have her job, anyway. Ever since she took the gavel in 2007 and announced that the House was now in the hands of a GRANDMOTHER who would straighten it out, the guys have resented her and the gals just hate her guts, especially the grandmother-Congresspersons who won’t even tell their ages and have a different color hair every week to go along with a tuck or two here or there, making a smile very carefully achieved, else a broken face.

She took the weekend off and went off on a short vacation, ordering up a United States Air Force plane for an excursion to – where else – Baghdad, glorious in May, with side-trips to Amman, Jordan, and Qatar. Oh…she just had to confer with those folks in Baghdad about whether or not the pullout of troops is on schedule, and Qatar-by-the-sea in springtime is just the antidote for handling Congressional pressure.

Hillary will hate Pelosi, of course, because she didn’t come back extolling her bravery in running for her life in Baghdad and dodging those awful snipers, like Hillary said repeatedly last year that she had to do in Bosnia in 1998, only to have pictures spread all over the Internet showing her being met (the snipers must have given up) by a schoolgirl with a bouquet for her then-Highness, and the president of the country. How terribly dull, but look at what Hillary got in return for that magnificent LIE – Secretary of State! So…Pelosi may be on to something…maybe a SCOTUS nomination, always worth a good lie or two.

Ah well… it gets better for the prevaricating Pelosi. Her round trip, including the side trips, covered some 15,000 or so miles. At an average speed of 500 mph, this meant about 30 hours worth of flying, or just 10 times as much as used up by that Air Force One promo-trip around New York City that cost $328,835 back in April. This means that Pelosi’s grand weekend adventure cost the U.S. taxpayers $3,288,350 just for transportation, not to mention the onboard goodies and whatever other extra-curricular activities were involved.

It gets even better, especially considering the (gasp and three palpitations of the spleen) imminent death of the earth caused by CO2. If she used a 747, the amount of CO2 emissions for one passenger on the trip was 5,384 poisonous pounds poured into the fragile atmosphere, according to one online calculator. No passenger list (actually no “passengers,” just hardworking aides) has been provided. Did she take her very own hair-stylist? Hillary would have. Her very own chef? Hillary would have. She needs to come clean…there may have been lobbyists on the plane…oh, forbear such a travesty upon the speaker’s office!

The world is safer now because Grandmother Pelosi has swung her weight toward making sure that the schedule for the end of 2011 – 2011!!! – is being obeyed. She would have, of course, also told those generals and even Iraqi Prez al-Maliki that they’d just better not torture anyone, else she would have them sand-boarded, the opposite of that painful water-boarding, which means that it would be like taking off into la-la-land, never mind all that blood. EGAD!!!!

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Monday, May 11, 2009

IMAGE - Professional Apologizers for Obama

Dear President Obama,

In view of your imminent speech scheduled for Egypt in June, when you kick-off your Mid-East round of apologizing for the existence of the United States – let me congratulate you on your marvelous apologizing on your London/Turkey visit – I’m taking the liberty of suggesting that you avail yourself of the services of my company, the Institute for Modifying All Governmental Entities, known as IMAGE, for short. While your apologizing efforts are commendable, I believe they can be improved. You may remember that the president of Uganda called President Clinton’s remarks in his African round of apologies so much “rubbish;” therefore, you need to be on your guard about fouling up apologies since some shabby apologies have been known to start wars. It is widely known that Hitler invaded Russia because Stalin did not properly apologize for calling sauerkraut the “fruit of the outhouse,” or something like that.

One tool of IMAGE designed for proper apologizing is called the Guidebook for Repentance Obviating Vicious Empire Legitimizing, (GROVEL, for short). The instructors using this manual will help you learn to apologize for the invasions of Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Guantanamo, as well as just thinking about invading Pakistan, as you’ve lately threatened to do. Just saying that all this invading was the Bushes’ fault will not help you since Middle-easterners not only have short memories but multitudes of them are illiterate, as well, so they never read al Jazeera and only watch the Buzkashi shows on TV, sort of like American Polo but played using a dead goat as the ball. Grovel will help you properly apologize in Egypt for Anwar Sadat’s assassination by Muslim jihad-mongers not long after he met with Jimmy Carter and shook hands with Menachim Begin, Islamists’ most hated Israeli at the time. Carter should apologize but no one would believe him, so you should.

Grovel will also help you apologize for the fact that Saddam was hanged in Iraq without the proper number of TV crews in place and for the water-boarding of Sheik Khalid and the fact that a caterpillar or earthworm was allowed to attack him in his cell at Guantanamo, thus making him upchuck on his prayer rug while he was reciting the Beheading-Vows. Grovel will probably suggest a side-trip to Armenia and help you appropriately apologize to the Armenians for apologizing to the Turks after you called attention to the genocide of 1915 in order to get the Armenian-American vote. You also need to properly apologize to the Afghani poppy-growers for claiming they should be put out of business, especially since Ambassador-Supreme Holbrooke said in March that to do so would be wasteful. Opium is their only cash crop. Additionally, you would lose the vote of the hopheads in this country.

The IMAGE department for facilitating good relations with those who hate us is the Agency for Befriending All Sensitive Enemies (ABASE, for short). Apologies to sworn enemies are very important. You should immediately but carefully apologize to Iran President Ahmadinejad for the remarks made to him by Columbia University President Bollinger in 2007, when the insensitive educator, just before Ahmadinejad gave a speech there, said to him that he exhibited "all the signs of a petty, cruel dictator." Bollinger was right, of course, but ABASE will fashion for you an apology that will make him the equivalent of Attila the Hun while making Ahmadinejad into the “pearl of the east,” and also teach you how to properly abase yourself with an appropriate genuflection to any available ayatollah, imam, or other religious jihad-miscreant.

ABASE will help you apologize for the fact that you have intimated that you think Ahmadinejad might have been wrong about the fiction of the Holocaust and for treating Israelis as human, proven by your sending State Secretary Clinton to Jerusalem to actually talk to those people. It wouldn’t hurt – all over the world, actually – to also apologize for Clinton, since she accused the Bosnians or some other Muslims of placing her in dangerous sniper-fire during her landing in that country (had to run for her life), where she was greeted by a fifth-grade girl and the president of Bosnia…an egregious lie that would make even ACORN look good in this country. Ahmadinejad is a sensitive enemy, proven by his mystical vision during his UN speech in 2005 and by advocating that only one hand of a thief be severed for crimes involving booty of less than 79 cents, so he’s a valid target for ABASE services.

The department for teaching the proper amount/method of observing diversity as the cultural norm for worldwide politics is known as the Agency for Sanitizing Hubris, Acrimony and Malevolent Enterprises (ASHAME, for short). You must apologize immediately to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, head honcho of the United Arab Emirates, for the embarrassment he suffered at the Kentucky Derby, when a horse that arrived in a highway-trailer and initially sold for $9,500 beat his horses, costing millions and arriving in their own 747s, but came in eighth and fourteenth.

I’m sure the sheik had paid enough to fix the race but got bamboozled, with the final buck for this perfidy landing on your desk. Hopefully, you were not in on the flim-flam (I don’t want to know) and didn’t come out way ahead financially, but embarrassing the richest man in the world, and even worse (gasp), embarrassing his horses, calls for a proper self-flagellation and humiliation. ASHAME can tell you exactly how to accomplish this and, as part of its PR program, help you finagle some loans for our failing economy, in the bargain.

In Egypt, you need to apologize to President Mubarak for current aid to his country of only $1.7 billion; to the Saudis for exhibiting malevolence about the price of oil; to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari (soon, while he’s out of jail) for threatening the hubris to invade the Swat Valley; and to Hezbollah for the acrimonious denouncing of beheadings and road-bombs.

This is only a start, but perhaps you see the value of using IMAGE to keep yours straight.

I.M. Reverself, CEO
IMAGE, inc.

And so it goes,

Jim Clark

Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Extremes

Americans tend to go overboard emotionally, whether in elation, grief, victory, defeat, etc. The events of 9/11 have scarred the nation indelibly and have furnished the elements for some valid remembrances, whether planned or already instituted, not unlike the memorial to the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995…elaborate undertakings, sometimes costing a lot of money and sometimes taking up a lot of space…or both.

Such is currently the case in Pennsylvania. In order to memorialize the victims of United Airlines Flight 93 (40 passengers/crew), the effort is in process to turn 2,200 acres (nearly 3.5 square miles) into a memorial park, using eminent domain procedures to secure some of the land. The New York memorial plaza comprising 16 acres should be open by the 10th anniversary of 9/11. This, of course, is where the worst of the tragedies occurred, not in terms of the worth of lives lost, but of the quantities.

It’s almost as if death/tragedy/misfortune/grief, especially not as the result of a victim’s actions, such as fighting a war, are simply not to be expected and tolerated; therefore, humongous efforts must be made to somehow make them “mean something.” With the exception of the rescuers/responders killed on 9/11 while carrying out their duties, the victims just happened to be in the wrong place at the right time for disaster to strike. This does not diminish the losses; it merely suggests some perspective.

Memorials are in order, but nothing on the order of 3.5 square miles in downtown Manhattan or near the Pentagon, where the most tragedies took place, or anywhere else, for that matter. The Pentagon memorial, comprising only 1.93 acres adjacent to the installation, was opened last year. The Oklahoma City memorial facility comprises 3.3 acres. Sixteen acres of prime real estate in New York certainly seem adequate. The museums that accompany many memorials lack the meaning connected to the ones remarking the willing, conscious forfeiture of life for a cause considered worth dying for, such as the many connected to war memorials.

In a lighter vein, there seems to be no tolerance for anything causing…well, a problem. Terminologies change through the years, of course. The term “problem” seems to have become a problem – and therefore offensive – for many, perhaps because in a multiculturally, warmly, marvelously, grandly, truly politically correct society, also known as Eden/Camelot/Utopia/USA, there simply can’t be any problems.

So…now, instead of problems, there are “issues.” He and his wife had an issue, causing him to slam her against the wall, or he had an issue with his car, since it wouldn’t start or the coach and the university had an issue, so he was fired and paid only $3 million instead of the $4 million he claimed he was owed. Ah, problems can cause…well…problems, since they may not go away; issues, on the other hand, are inevitably susceptible to negotiation, the magic word currently, never mind that negotiations are possible only when ALL the negotiators are on the same, level field of integrity. Issues, indeed…what balderdash!

There once was something called a “used car.” Used? How dreadful, even for a simple car, must it be to be accounted as used? The word-police – okay with a little help from the commercial gang – found a better term…the “pre-owned vehicle.” Presumably, the pre-owners never drove the machines…they just owned the things, which actually were not cars, but the much more respected “vehicles,” which can be anything from a newspaper to a skateboard. There were once people with physical/mental handicaps, but now the only things handicapped are sporting events.

Folks with constraints are now “challenged” or “impaired,” but never handicapped, even if they’re on life support…they’re just breathing-challenged. If by chance they stop breathing, they’re not dead; rather, they’re merely living-challenged or existence-impaired. A high-school senior who can’t read is not ignorant. He’s just mentally challenged or perhaps print-impaired. If he rarely shows up for class and therefore flunks and consequently is forced to perform bank holdups for a living and (gasp) looked down upon as a result and thrown in jail, he is automatically grade-challenged and esteem-impaired, obviously through no fault of his own, since he apparently is also system-challenged…just can’t get along, thank you. Obviously, he should be made a ward of the state with a view toward turning him into a Rhodes scholar.

Government pooh-bahs got tired of being accused of raising taxes a number of years ago, never mind that raising taxes was simply de rigueur, as predictable as…well, taxes. So, the term that replaced taxes was “revenue enhancement.” The thinking, of course, was that American adults’ reading level was so low that they would never guess what it meant. The nation now is facing revenue-enhancement of such proportions that, if actually inculcated, it will devolve upon the progeny unto the tenth generation…and beyond.

Much of this revenue-enhancement is called “stimulus.” Actually, it’s a rip-off of the taxpayer in order to pay-off the elite. But “stimulus” sounds so much better than either term…so Starbucks-like. Yum-m-m! The treasury secretary had a “lapse of memory” and therefore didn’t pay all of his taxes for four years. Actually, he just robbed the government, but memory-lapse is such a better-sounding issue. He got caught when he applied for the job and immediately paid-up for two whole years. The statute of limitations had run out on the other two, making him innocent, and statute of limitations sounds so much better than CHEATING!

Americans – as Veep Biden would say, “God love ’em” – are caught up in too much emotion sometimes and too much political correctness ALL the time. None of this is meant to be derogatory, just food for thought.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

A Greater Danger -- SCOTUS Appointments!

There’s a certain sadness connected to what one sees happening in the nation now. Never in the history of anyone living now have circumstances converged such as is the case now to actually strike fear in the minds of those who have watched the nation rise to the heights vis-à-vis all the other nations, which, like it or not, have witnessed to the fact that the United States has been the only “superpower” since 1990.

Despite the nation’s ascendance based on the freedom of its citizens to become entrepreneurs, create jobs, produce and inculcate technological miracles, and thrive via the notion that brains and brawn, with virtually no restrictions, can accomplish anything, this country is now wallowing in a societal mire almost exclusively formed by either incompetence or corruption – or both – on the part of elected officials and their partners in crime on every level.

Not since Harry Truman attempted to nationalize the railroads in the late 1940s has anything similar to be seen…until now. Due to laziness/stupidity/corruption/opportunism by both Congresspersons and the administration, President Obama has nationalized the banking system, lending agencies, financial institutions, and the auto industry.

The Congress, besides not furnishing oversight of the financial institutions, has actually engaged through recent years in encouraging people to drive themselves so deeply in debt that they’ve lost everything, including especially their houses, in trying to dig their way out. The result involves, besides bankruptcies and total loss of confidence in nearly every institution, unemployment rates higher than they’ve been in decades, with not much light at the end of the tunnel. Whereas before industries and financial institutions – admittedly with some government help occasionally such as in the S&L crisis of the late 80s – were able to establish firm economical ground in relatively short periods of time, now those entities are at the mercy of a government noted for its ability to mess-up everything it touches.

There’s a danger now that’s perhaps greater than the economic crisis. It’s couched in this recent announcement by President Obama in a White House briefing room: “I will seek someone who understands that justice isn’t about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a casebook. It is also about how our laws affect the daily realities of people’s lives.” He was discussing his imminent appointment of a justice to the Supreme Court, occasioned by the also imminent resignation of Justice Souter.

Obama is, or was, or at least supposedly was, a law-school professor in the field of Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago. In these two statements, he made it plain that he expects to appoint activist judges, not interpreters of the laws of the land vis-à-vis the Constitution. The latter group, as presumably should be the case, looks at laws objectively, without any personal prejudices, and forms decisions, often by examining precedents (casebook).

By definition, this makes the job of the court a continual dealing with “abstract legal theories,” such theories defining the rights and privileges, as well as the restrictions, concerning all citizens. The daily realities of people’s lives are not the business of the court, though the court decides often where and how those realities are affected by the Constitution. If the people, acting through their representatives, feel the need to change the Constitution with respect to the realities of people’s lives, they can do so, but the Court may not.

The trend in recent years has been for judges to simply make law from the bench when it suits their purpose…or perhaps a mere whim. The people of California passed an amendment to the State Constitution recently to the effect that marriage is only between a man and a woman, but a judge in a California city decided to overturn it…and did. His decision won’t hold, but he was not dumb enough to believe it would. He just did it because he could – or thought he could. The same thing happened in Vermont. This is just one example.

In his vote as a senator against the nomination of Chief Justice Roberts, Obama said this: “Adherence to precedent and rules of construction and determination will only get you through the 25th mile of the marathon.” Problem: The only mile that actually counts is the 26th mile. It makes no difference how the rules of construction and determination are applied to the first 25 – as they should be – if they are disregarded in the last mile.

Obama is actually saying that he intends to appoint judges who will make law from the bench – presumably law as he conceives of it. His litmus test, notwithstanding all the demurrals concerning same, will be whether or not his appointee(s) to the court will carry out his agenda, which, as is obviously and well documented to be that the nation must devolve into socialism, will simply be a “yes” or “no” by the appointee. Already, the die is cast in the Washington consensus that the judge will be appointed per the “quota system,” not according to picking “the brightest and best.”

Obama is likely to have the opportunity to appoint more than one judge – maybe even three – to the bench. This means that a strict interpretation of the Constitution will no longer be a possibility. He will also appoint new judges to the appeals courts, with their consequent activist decisions being upheld by an activist SCOTUS. Even successful legislation to turn these judges around, besides being deadly slow of achievement, can be misinterpreted by an activist court, leaving the country in the hands of perhaps a president, a woefully inept Congress, and a handful of activist judges pushing the president’s agenda.

Yes, this is a sad time.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Embezzlement By Any Other Name

This has been a bad year for various bureaucrats and the boards that are supposed to provide oversight of their responsibilities and activities in Lexington. The bureaucrats at the airport, UK, and the Lexington Library – sometimes, it seems, with collusion by their respective boards – have been caught with their hands in the taxpayer-till. Some have paid with their jobs and face possible criminal prosecution, while others should be fired.

The peccadilloes of these officials and/or their boards, however, pale into insignificance when compared to the stark incompetence in the UK Department of Athletics, the result being the loss of millions of dollars that could have been pumped into the university’s coffers. The airport director/thief, was paid nearly a quarter-million-a-year, way too much when considering the scope of his responsibilities. The airport board took good care of him…even joined in on some of his “activities” at taxpayer expense – or at least some of its members did. Three of his minions, with their relatively high six-figure salaries, paid, like him, with their jobs. They deserve jail, so blatant were the scope and size of their embezzlements.

Mitch Barnhart, UK athletic director makes way more than a half-million-a-year for doing what any smart CPA could do. For outlandish salaries, check out what basketball coach Calipari makes – a cool $4 million. The football coach is also a millionaire. Check out the assistants. While many professors make do on virtually a month-to-month basis, assistant coaches are in the well-over-$200,000 range. That’s penultimate waste.

But that kind of waste is nothing compared to the waste brought about by Barnhart this year in his firing of basketball coach Gillispie. According to the “memorandum of agreement,” the obvious substitute for a signed contract, Gillispie is entitled to a – GET THIS – $6 MILLION buyout. This is six million big ones that could have been pumped into the university’s general fund. The red herring that the athletic department is separate from the university’s financial setup – therefore in no way to be touched by UK – doesn’t wash. It’s been touched before when a UK president has demanded and gotten money – at least a million dollars on one occasion.

If the airport director should have been fired for perfidy – and he was – how much more so should Barnhart be fired for sheer incompetence? Wasting – absolutely throwing down the drain – $6 million is unconscionable…intolerable. But, of course, Barnhart has a sweet contract or contract extension, so he could sue, and rest assured, he would.

This kind of waste is nothing new in the athletic department. Just a few years ago, UK paid football coach Hal Mumme a cool million to quit and threw in two cars (at least for a year, if memory serves) as part of the severance. A few years before that, UK paid football coach Bill Curry $600,000 to quit and he went off to a goldmine in the sky at ESPN, laughing all the way to the bank.

Put it all together and the result is that these three firings represent $7,600,000 that could have been used toward reducing tuition, raising the salaries of the people who actually do the educating, fashioning scholarships, etc. It’s no good to mention that separation thing. The athletic department HAS $6 million to give to Gillispie, or can easily get its hands on it if it hasn’t already; otherwise, that firing wouldn’t have taken place. Indeed, it wouldn’t have taken place if UK had just won a few more games.

The bureaucrats and the boards, whether connected to the airport or the library should be held accountable…but not the athletic director, who lost at least six times more than all the others in making that one gesture. He’s a disgrace, but most likely he will get his usual bonus at the end of the fiscal year. Anyone who can pull off a mistake of that magnitude deserves something for being smart and in-your-face enough to get away with it.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark