Saturday, February 27, 2010

Colossal Sham - Health-Care Conference!

It was obvious at the outset of the much-ballyhooed health-insurance conference engineered by President Obama on 25 February and including mostly Congressional participants from both parties that a campaign/charade was in order. Always in speech-mode, the president started off by mentioning two ailments suffered by his daughters, one of which ailments required three days of antibiotics, and rambled. Senate Majority Leader Reid followed closely behind with a recounting of a problem suffered by a child with a cleft palate in Nevada. Later, a democrat Congresswoman mentioned a lady who was forced to wear her dead sister’s dentures. Get the picture?

Actually, the republicans came off looking quite well in the process, going on the attack early, often, and pressing it. The president did a lot of talking that featured enough hemming and hawing to convince anyone that without a teleprompter he’s forced to search desperately for remarks that won’t come back to bite him. But the charade was actually defined and magnified in his final remarks when he mentioned almost off-handedly that six weeks would be a good time-frame to wrap up the whole question. In other words, the passing of health-care legislation, at least as conceived by him, would be done through the “reconciliation” protocol, thus nullifying the filibuster threat in the Senate.

The president’s excuse for this ramming through legislation by the democrats that will eventuate in the government operating 17% of the Gross Domestic Product – the entire health industry – is plain, simply that bi-partisanship is impossible, given the recalcitrance of the nasty republicans in Congress. The president said as much at the end of the meeting when he indicated a time-frame in which to get it over with. The truth, of course, is that the legislation in both houses was constructed by the democrat majorities virtually in caucus, who nearly all of last year had a filibuster-proof Senate and an overwhelming majority in the House. His problem is with his own party-members who just can’t agree with each other.

In the process, the government (Obama) will take over the medical-insurance establishments, as he has already done with General Motors, the banks (although not altogether successfully), Chrysler and Freddie/Fanny. Ironically, the owner of General Motors (U.S. government) was harassing its main competitor, Toyota, in Congressional hearings the day before. One wonders if Obama will go after Ford next, especially since that auto company has done quite well, thank you, without any government bailout. The objective seems to be the taking over of the nation’s highest-profile entities, both financial and manufacturing. The administration is so cozy with Wall Street that Main Street is not in the picture.

Actually, if the current legislation is enacted and signed into law, private insurance companies will likely go out of business eventually since the government, with unlimited resources (the tax base), can undersell them with little trouble, thus inculcating the so-called “government option” or “single-payer.” This is no doubt the intention of the administration, making the nation conform much more closely to the countries in “Olde Europe.” This is socialism, the approach obviously favored by the president, with the greatest surprise being furnished by democrats who seem to lack the ability to either understand what’s made this country great or are so drunk with power that it doesn’t matter.

One laughs at the hypocrisy involved. The Senate democrats used the filibuster thing, obviously an un-Constitutional ploy, to deny George Bush’s court nominees a chance at being approved. Only after the famous “gang of 14” (seven members each of the parties) said “either enough or the loss of precious cloture,” threatened by the majority republicans, did anything get done, in this case, the approval of Chief Justice Roberts and Associate Justice Alito. Now, in a matter far outweighing in importance the approval of judges, the democrats consider the filibuster rule of no importance.

Actually, the Senate democrats, before the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts, passed their health-care bill with the super-majority, filibuster-proof 60 votes on last Christmas Eve. However, the House, having already passed its own bill by a slim margin long before, wouldn’t go along in the conference to hash out a compromise to be handed to the president for signature. But not to worry since the Massachusetts seat, held by Ted Kennedy since the 1960s, would certainly not go republican, but along came Brown, the political fly in the ointment, on 19 January. Now, since the bill hammered out in conference, if ever, must be re-submitted to each House, the Senate does not have the 60 votes needed to pass it, thus the hypocrisy of doing the deed via the reconciliation option, which has always been available.

The public, meanwhile, has watched the unbelievable shenanigans in the Senate, especially, to get a bill. For instance, the votes of senators from Louisiana and Nebraska came only after unbelievable and unfair deliveries of large amounts of cash to their states, not even to mention the inordinate gifts to the labor unions – cash paid by all other citizens. So…President Obama sat for hours before a bunch of opportunists, especially in an election year, and presided over what amounted to little or nothing. The repubs demanded a brand-new start and the dems demanded reconciliation…back to square one. The word is that Obama is already in campaign mode for 2012…so what else is new?

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Generals Speak Out on Homosexuality

Much ballyhooed lately has been the renewed effort by the administration, including the Defense Secretary and the Joint Chiefs Chairman, to see that the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military policy with regard to homosexuals that was passed by a democrat-controlled Congress and signed into law by then-president Clinton in November 1993 is reversed by Congress. Prior to 1993, recruits were asked if they were homosexual. If they answered affirmatively, they were barred from service.

In July 1996, a republican-controlled House approved a bill to reinstate the pre-1993 policy, but the then democrat Senate wouldn’t go along. George Bush and the republicans in the last decade wanted no part of even discussing the subject but a democrat president and a democrat Congress seem hell-bent now to push through what democrats Clinton and Obama, for reasons that are probably purely political (republicans anathema to the LGBT community), have promised. Neither man would know the difference in insignia between a sergeant and a lieutenant colonel and certainly never served a day in the military.

Defense Secretary Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mullen serve at the pleasure of the president; consequently, after Obama made his promise they logically had the option of agreeing or resigning. They may actually believe what they say, but it needs to be remembered that high military positions/ranks are also political plums and that the “go along in order to get along” philosophy is never far from a bureaucrat’s mind. During the state-of-the-union speech earlier this month, the military brass looked daggers through Obama when he resurrected his promise, which actually was supposed to have been operative as a “first thing” in his incumbency.

Now comes the fly in the ointment. Army Chief of Staff General George Casey and Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz don’t like the idea and have said so publicly, something not to be often expected from subordinate officers. These guys, however, are probably not schmoozing with the president; instead, they’re in the trenches, so to speak, and are much more conversant with how the GIs feel about the matter. These officers said they would be reluctant to overturn a 17-year policy without more time to ascertain that it won’t hurt the services.

The poop already is that the subject will require at least a year to study before actual integration of straights and homosexuals. Regarding the matter, General Casey said on 23 February before the Senate Armed Services Committee, “We just don’t know the impacts on readiness and military effectiveness.” General Schwartz made similar remarks to the House. Shades of then Joint Chiefs Chairman Marine Corps General Peter Pace in 2005 when he classified homosexual behavior as simply immoral – wrong, and not to be tolerated in the service. He classified adultery the same way. How times change!

Being interpreted, the generals’ statements amount to their disdain for the whole idea. They actually DO KNOW that doing away with the policy will not be good for morale, readiness, and military strength. Already faced with the current problems in the military vis-à-vis gender integration, these men are hardly happy to face yet another silly effort at social engineering in an establishment which is anything but democratic and certainly not designed for any kind of equity. People don’t vote in the military – they follow orders.

In July 1999, Army PFC Barry Winchell was murdered at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He was perceived to be “gay,” though apparently he had not so admitted. In 1992, Airman Apprentice Terry M. Helvey, who had just admitted his homosexuality to his commander and was being discharged, was battered to death against the fixtures of a public toilet in a park near the naval base at Sasebo, Japan. At least two fellow sailors were charged in the murder. Military folks are not apt to consider “loving relationships,” to which the homosexual community constantly refers with respect to their behavior; rather, GIs are more likely to consider those relationships as inordinately “unnatural” and therefore despicable, things to be avoided.

Actually being seriously considered currently in this democrat administration is the placing of women in combat and the billeting of women on submarines, two places where they’ve never served legally and never should, notwithstanding all the righteous rhetoric concerning equality. In some areas, there is no equality with regard to the sexes, and this is abundantly obvious.

Yet, under this democrat administration the commanders are being faced with what they instinctively and empirically know to be wrong-headed. Social engineering that adversely affects both the morale and effectiveness of any operation in government is bad, but it is exponentially intolerable in the military, where life-and-death decisions should never be influenced by some goody-two-shoes bureaucratic airheads sitting in plush offices in Washington.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

No End in Sight?

When he was campaigning, President Obama took a swipe at John McCain over the old Washington thing of appointing commissions to figure things out. So…what’s his latest move – yep – a commission headed by Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles (egad…the penultimate in defining “odd couple”) to figure out how to save the country from bankruptcy?

Obama’s program, so aptly declared by Veep Biden, is to “spend, spend, spend,” obviously mostly by Congress creating government jobs (preferably high-scale union) to be financed by the taxpayers, but also on citizens going down to the nearest mall and maxing out the credit card, thereby increasing production of “things,” as if this country actually created much of anything anymore besides cars and trucks. The prez seems not to understand that people are bent upon hanging on to their cash during hard times, not throwing it away.

The most worrisome thing in contemplating the current White House is the nagging suspicion that the president is completely disconnected from reality. He continues to offer up spending programs as if the only thing necessary to support them is simply the printing of more money, though his Ivy League background doesn’t make this surprising. To see how that mindset works, one has only to go back to the 1930s, when the watchword was “spend, spend, spend,” mostly on government programs.

The Great Depression was not exactly like the current recession but certainly similar enough to draw credible comparisons. Instead of closing the banks temporarily as Roosevelt did upon taking office in 1933, then Senator Obama and his Congressional partners in crime, including republicans, bailed them out in 2008, using taxpayer money or, perhaps more accurately, money borrowed from China to be repaid by taxpayers. The fact that much of it has been repaid (or so claimed) doesn’t matter much since it’s not being disseminated among borrowers who might put it to use in actually making things and hiring people.

The financial crash came in 1929 and when FDR took office in 1933 the unemployment rate was 23.6% but went up to 24.9% during his first year. After all the spending for six years, the rate was at 19% in 1938 but down to 14.6% in 1940 as the U.S. began gearing up for war. The U.S. was already sending war materiel to Great Britain then, and the draft was put into place. From 1932 through 1940 the average yearly unemployment rate stood at 19.1%.

From 09 March to 16 June 1933 (famous 100 days), the “New Deal” was passed, including measures to regulate banks, distribute funds to the jobless, create jobs, raise agricultural prices, and set wage and production standards for industry. The nation went off the Gold Standard and paper money came to the fore. Does this seem strikingly descriptive of what’s happening today?

The banks have been bailed out but pay no attention to the president; money is being given systematically to the unemployed; jobs (especially “green ones,” whatever they are) are being earmarked into existence; there’s a pay czar as well as an automobile czar as well as a general all-around-performance czar, and the government, along with the unions, controls General Motors and Chrysler. In addition, the government is saddled with the toxic non-assets of Freddie and Fanny while all the while telling people to go out and spend. This is a good pastime as their properties are being foreclosed?

If the president continues to emulate FDR of the 1930s, the nation is in for a long slog. It actually took a war to correct the problems of the 1930s and the war came after some 10 years of average yearly unemployment of 19.1% or more. The democrats took control of both houses of Congress in 2007 when the unemployment rate stood at 4.4%. After three years of their control, that rate stood at 10%, or an increase of 127%, at the end of 2009. In other words, the people who run this country have absolutely no sense of history or they’re just plain dumb. Soon after taking office last year, Obama said the unemployment rate would not exceed 8%. Go figure.

The logical conclusion when considering the FDR/Obama comparison, each with overwhelming democrat majorities in Congress, is that millions in this country are in for hardships over a long period of time. Even now, the leaders are preparing to legislate programs that will bankrupt industry (cap-and-trade, never mind no climate-threat) and constantly raise the taxes of all citizens, notwithstanding the lies to the contrary being delivered from both the White House and Congress.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Just a look at the Reagan approach in the 1980s, as well as that of John F. Kennedy back in the 1960s, is all that’s necessary. Nations do not spend themselves out of bankruptcy any more than individual families do that. Nor do they tax themselves out of it. This country is leaderless and the next thing to hit it most likely will be inflation, a harbinger of doom at a time like this. The elections in November are critical. In the meantime, the president needs to start cleaning his house and getting it in order…if he knows how.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sports - Cesspool of Corruption

The “Tiger Woods Saga” has captured the public’s attention again, this time on 19 February when he held a meeting euphemistically called a press conference at which he made a 14-minute statement expressing what he probably could have said in five minutes or less, to wit, that he was sorry for what he’s done, informed everyone to leave his family alone, and apologized all around. It was just a long statement, with no questions. He would have been an idiot if he had allowed for that.

The networks carried this performance live and the local paper, the Lexington Herald-Leader, placed the matter on Page One above the fold the next day but not in the sports section, where it would normally have been printed. When Woods’ world fell apart in November 2009 as a result of various and assorted whores coming out of the woodwork to speak of their hank-panky with him, the media indicated that Woods was sex-addicted, an obvious understatement.

According to Michael Herkov, Ph.D., sexual addiction is “best described as a progressive intimacy disorder characterized by compulsive sexual thoughts and acts. Like all addictions, its negative impact on the addict and on family members increases as the disorder progresses. Over time, the addict usually has to intensify the addictive behavior to achieve the same results.” In other words, Woods was allegedly hooked on having sex with women not his wife like other folks get hooked on drugs not legally prescribed.

Woods indicated that his sex-addiction therapy is not over (already spent weeks undergoing it) and that he would continue it the next day, returning to golf at some time not yet decided. Like some sort of blank-staring zombie, his wife was not at his side to “stand by her man;” however, his mother was in the audience, something he might have spared her. Perhaps, however, she insisted on being there to show support, not surprisingly.

Woods mentioned something instructive, to wit, that parents had pointed him out to their children as a role model. This brings up the fact that neither a parent nor anyone else should look into the world of sports for role models, at least in the institutionalized part of it. This doesn’t mean that most athletes are not good people. It simply means that in organized high-profile sports entities, integrity is not to be assumed. High-profile athletes are constantly in the news not only because of their great skills but also because of their even more intensive misdeeds, whether social or by way of gaining that “edge” in the game, otherwise known as cheating.

In the world of sports-sex, one thinks of the boast of NBA star Wilt Chamberlain, arguably the greatest basketball player ever, who boasted in his book written around 1991 that he had slept with 20,000 (yeah, TWENTY THOUSAND) women. At that time, he was age 55, so assuming he began making his conquests at age 15 maybe that works out to an average of about 500 gals a year, making Woods’ efforts almost nil by comparison. Then, there’s Magic Johnson, another great NBA player who managed to sleep-around himself into an HIV/AIDS debacle to bring home to his family. Wealthy guys with filthy habits!

Then, there’s Donte Stallworth, Cleveland Browns player who killed a pedestrian last year while DUI the morning after he had just earned a $4.5 million bonus. He served 24 days but settled with the victim’s family. Footballer Michael Vick didn’t get off so easily. He killed and tortured dogs and went to the Big House. In baseball, a former senator investigated the major leagues and found all sorts of steroid use, some users still holding records gained dishonestly. Think Bonds, Palmeiro, Canseco, McGwire, Rodriguez, Sosa et al.

Pete Rose, the most prolific hitter in baseball history was caught gambling on – yep – baseball games. The Chicago White (Black) Sox got caught fixing World Series games in 1919. The University of Kentucky basketball team did the same in the late 1940s. Single-player sports such as tennis, golf and boxing invite all kinds of fixing, with boxing being the most notorious. This is not even to mention referees. NBA referee Tim Donaghy bet on games he officiated, claiming that the mob threatened his family. And then there’s the lurid corruption that tainted the Salt Lake City Olympic Games in 2002 – disgusting!

One could go on and on but suffice it to say that there probably is no more corrupt activity today than is found in organized sports, especially on the college (dishonest recruiting and under-the-table goodies to alleged amateurs) and professional levels. It stinks and the “role models” should be found elsewhere, notwithstanding that the “good guys” outnumber the “bad guys” by a long shot. The good guys, however, are not usually the ones who get the most attention, ergo, the role-modeling. Willie Nelson would probably put it this way: “Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be point-guards!”

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Don't Ask? Do Tell?

Joint Chiefs Chairman Navy Admiral Michael Mullen spoke to a small gathering of Marines in Amman, Jordan, recently and had to bring up the subject himself of homosexuals serving openly in the military, there having been no questions regarding the matter. Instead, he was informed, probably surprisingly, that a greater question had to do with women serving in combat. Of course the question wasn’t raised because Mullen was already on record – the same as an order – of approving the dismantling “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of 1993. Marines follow orders, whether they like them or not.

Defense Secretary Gates is also on the record as approving the change but it bears remembering that officers and bureaucrats who reach the top military positions do so largely by political as well as other means, no matter their personal beliefs. A better gauge of the top brass’s actual feelings was obvious by the glare they afforded the president when he promised (again) during his state-of-the-union marathon speech that the policy would be repealed. He never lets pass an opportunity to let everyone know he is commander-in-chief, the Congress and everyone else be damned. The applause generated by the nitwits sitting behind the officers made the military’s disdain of the CHANGE (yes we can) even more palpable.

The reluctance to even think about the problem of homosexuals in the military is seen in the announced decision that a year would be necessary to study just how the new policy could be implemented. A whole year? The policy could be implemented immediately, so why take a year to prepare for it to kick in? One of the reasons, of course, is the Congress, a great part of which knows better than to change the policy, especially at a time when troops are in action throughout the world. Another reason is that social engineering is not for the military, designed to break things and kill people.

Indeed, what’s to study? In the Clinton administration, Defense Secretary Cohen integrated or reintegrated boot camps gender-wise. This was a disastrous decision that has been undone, the reasons being obvious but the paramount reason being that the men became softer instead of tougher since they were required to do no more than the ladies, who, notwithstanding all contradictions simply were not physically up to the training necessary to prepare troops for combat, sometimes hand to hand.

Gender-segregation should have been a no-brainer but Clinton not only had no idea what was involved in training but also hated the military and thus didn’t care. Actually, the Marine Corps (or “Corpse,” as the president would have it) simply ignored the integration thing.

So…what’s to study regarding the homosexual thing? The boot-camp element provides a point of reference that applies to all subsequent situations in which significant numbers of people are thrown together and living in small spaces, such as in a barracks or on a ship or in living arrangements during deployments. “Straights” more often than not are completely turned off by homosexual behavior and resent being in close quarters with people who participate in such things as oral- and anal-sex, neither of which is actually sex but just an unnatural act.

These biologically perverse behaviors tend toward physical disease or other physical dysfunctions, but a worse issue might have to do with psychological problems for both the homosexuals and the straights. Personal safety for homosexuals could be a problem, also, particularly when GIs get drunk and lose the inhibitions that control their behavior while sober. So-called “hate” crimes could be the result, with perfectly good soldiers paying a high price career-wise (prison) and homosexuals being hurt or killed.

Should straights and homosexuals be segregated in boot camp, as are men and women? Do straights want to shower with or sleep an arm’s length away from guys who do strange things with their genitals and body orifices? What sort of activities would take place in toilet facilities, for instance, among homosexuals? Would there have to be rules prohibiting homosexual behavior on government property? If so, why? Are these questions harsh? Of course, but perhaps they should be studied for quite a long time, as well as many others. The mental aspect has nothing to do with it. No one denies that homosexuals are just as smart as others.

Perhaps the larger problem has to do with right and wrong. Former Joint Chiefs Chairman Marine General Peter Pace said three years ago that homosexual behavior is immoral. He took enormous heat for expressing that belief but probably said publicly what most military people think. It may be that the year that’s been designated for a “study period” of the matter is actually a way of saying, “This won’t happen.” The president has promised CHANGE, with his almost first objective, as was Clinton’s, being the effort to apply social engineering to the military (and payoff for the “gay” vote). Like Clinton, he has absolutely no idea what’s involved – and doesn’t care, apparently – but has his apparatchiks in place. Time will tell.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Monday, February 15, 2010

Cults & the Military Academies

Particularly the “diversity crowd” has been on happy high alert lately over the fact that the Air Force Academy has provided a new and more accessible site for the Wiccan-professing students to hold their worship or – if not worship – meetings. This has given a new legitimacy to witches and, one supposes, magic. Actually, the site is comprised of little more than a number of small boulders configured in a circle, so the betting is certain that the ACLU will be demanding a chapel of sorts to match the one obviously devoted to services in the Judeo-Christian mode. The academy also provides facilities for the Buddhists and Muslims.

To criticize in this area is to be too politically incorrect for words but a bit of mild nay-saying might not be too bad. Followed to its logical conclusion, the demands for service or worship facilities for every other religion could mean setting up conclaves for everything from Satanists to Moonies to no telling what else. Would an altar for chicken-beheading or a building for peyote-smoking be appropriate, for instance?

The AFA is a government institution, lock, stock and barrel, so eligibility for whatever happens there should depend entirely upon government instruments for definition and methodology. The primary document with regard to the deity of definition, of course, is the Declaration of Independence, wherein the only God mentioned is the Judeo-Christian God of Abraham and Jesus. Observing the requirements of the First Amendment, neither God nor any other deified entity is properly not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, though worship of any entity or none is neither abridged nor required.

Subsequent to the formation of the nation has been the installing by Congress of the name of the Judeo-Christian God on governmental entities ranging from buildings to Congressional hearing- rooms to money, both coin and paper. Not installed have been any references to Buddha, Allah, the Earth or any other entity presumed to be divine or otherworldly or supernatural or whatever. Presidents most always end their speeches with “God bless America,” not invoking any blessing from anywhere or anything else. George Washington even added the phrase “So help me God” to his affirmation of the oath of office. He was not invoking Allah or Confucius or “the man upstairs.”

In other words, by definition the only God endemic to any function or agency of government is the Judeo-Christian God, never mind whether or not any other “faith” has tax-exempt status, as the Wiccan organization and, presumably, the Muslim branches, have. So does the Red Cross, other denominations and other non-governmental agencies, for that matter! The obvious conclusion is simply that neither the Wiccans nor Muslims nor Buddhists should expect or receive any recognition, tangible or intangible, since the only Deity recognized by the Declaration and acts of Congress is God.

The hue and cry to be raised over that position will accrue to discrimination or some perceived violation of the First Amendment, notwithstanding that no restrictions are placed on the members of the military to observe spiritual elements any way they like as long as their actions do not adversely impact others. This may sound harsh, but the warm-fuzzy, can’t-we-all-get-along approach does not apply across the board, especially in the military, which commissions and supports chaplains to minister to GIs, who are often in areas where traditional worship and counseling are not possible.

It’s not unfair to mention that Muslim Major Nidal Hasan of the U.S. Army, the butcher in the Fort Hood massacre in which he killed 13 people, had been very much in touch with his Muslim mentor in Yemen and made no secret of the fact that he wanted no part of fighting against Muslims. That latter, however, had nothing to do with his wanton killing of innocent people, so the only explanation had to do with his religion, which has as a requirement that Muslims kill infidels (anyone not Muslim) at every opportunity.

Only a handful of Muslims, probably not any in this country, will own up to that, but the governments that are Muslim-controlled recognize that facet of their “faith” as binding, Iranian President Ahmadinejad even promising the annihilation of Israel in the name of Allah, perhaps as the trigger of the holocaust his belief requires to happen before the advent of the Twelfth Mahdi, for whom he’s constructed his own mosque, to reign for eons over Muslims and enslave infidels.

Gavin and Yvonne Frost, immigrants from Great Britain, co-founded the Church and School of Wicca in 1968 in St. Louis, and wrote among other things, The Magic Power of Witchcraft. Translated: Wicca is a cult. Islam is the seventh-century product of Mohammed, an illiterate Arab. It, too, is a cult, though a much larger one. Whereas on 18 November 1978, 912 followers of American cult leader Jim Jones ("Peoples Temple") committed collective suicide, for the most part, in a remote South American jungle compound called "Jonestown" in British Guyana, many followers of Mohammed do the deal through suicide/homicide/terror, killing others in the process.

By contrast, the God of this nation, as established by the founders, is the God of the Holy Bible and the worship of God goes back to the beginning mega-millennia ago. Awarding either Wicca or Islam a place in or on a government institution is what might be called secular blasphemy. None of the military academies should accommodate any religion but Judeo-Christianity, the latter deriving from the former and overwhelmingly well-documented by both scripture and history. This is not to suggest any restrictions on how others express or not express religious beliefs, only that the God of the nation is the God of Holy Scripture and that all other religious entities are not to be revered, recognized or accommodated.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Friday, February 12, 2010

In Your Face?

The president’s White House “Civil-Rights” concert was aired on the local public TV station the other evening, marked by some of the biggest African-American names in entertainment joined by some of the biggest white-protester names of the 1960s, the folk singers who played their guitars and wailed against Vietnam. The litanies of discrimination – certainly a fact of life until the 60s – were repeated again for the white folks in the audience, though none had ever owned slaves and were part of the “freedom” generation…or at least their forebears were. The glitz and glamour screamed the polar opposite of the downtrodden.

Morgan Freeman spoke of the “change” that had come to Washington, the change who was in the audience, the president. He was justified in doing that, but didn’t note that he and the president had made their fortunes as the result of the actions of white folks, mostly republicans, who actually DID change things in the 1960s, and of the voting of other white folks, of course, who actually DID elect Obama over a white woman and a much-revered national hero and statesman.

Freeman probably also meant the CHANGE promised by Obama during the campaign and which, especially with a supposedly compliant Congress preparing the way since 2007, should have by now inculcated the “transformation” of the nation as promised in the campaign. It has become obvious since the election that the president had in mind “transforming” the nation from entrepreneurship as economic engine to government as its replacement, i.e., placing the populace on welfare, just as much of the black community has been placed on welfare since the 60s.

It’s considered politically incorrect to call the president’s approach socialism, but facts can’t be ignored. The tragedy of the Obama presidency lies in the fact that instead of building on the foundation that has brought it to prominence and power, it has blundered from one extreme to another on everything from economics to national security. His party, largely if not almost exclusively, has been complicit and has mostly proven that common-sense-challenged people can be elected to high office.

Obama has surrounded himself with some of the quirkiest people ever to come down the pike, some of them already gone, but others remain. A number had to be thrown under the bus because they loved this country too much and showed it by not paying their taxes. Some, like Van Jones the avowed self-admitted communist who was eased out one midnight, admire strange people like Mao and Hugo Chavez, who is even now clamping down harder on the Venezuelans. This is scary as the nation continues its downward spiral, spending like a drunken sailor and printing constantly devaluing money as fast as the presses allow.

It’s unseemly that the first black president, with the opportunity to prove the innate ability of his race to accomplish anything it tackles, has settled for a sort of in-your-face approach to governance that is off-putting to a degree not often seen. This has been seen in sports on all levels as blacks have become dominant – strutting, posturing, taunting, trash-talking, bragging, belittling opponents and generally making jackasses of themselves in the process. They’ve brought a crudity into the games that was never there before. It’s an in-your-face, payback type of mentality used on people who allowed/propelled them to be successful and actually glory in that success with them. It’s mostly the exercise of brawn over brains, the exact opposite of what’s needed.

Obama tipped his hand when, without any substantial proof, he rather glibly said that white policemen in Boston acted stupidly. That was an in-your-face pronouncement that Jesse Jackson would have had more sense than to make. Or, take his pre-trial claim, as well as that of his attorney general, that Khalid would be found guilty, something no other law-professor would do.

Concerning holding the trial in New York City, Obama said, "I don't think it would be offensive at all when he's convicted and when the death penalty is applied to him" (New York Daily News, 18 Nov. 2008). Even a law-school student would know better than to pre-judge an accused person. So…is Obama (and Holder) doing his “in-your-face,” number regarding the Justice Department and the public, or is he just shallow, or maybe an egomaniac? Who knows?

In 2009, the president had an overwhelming majority in the House and a filibuster-proof Senate to do his bidding, i.e., the passing of any and all legislation he wanted. The fatal flaw: He left it to Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid to do that bidding. In so doing, he gave the task to non-leaders and indicated thereby his own non-leadership ability. The nation is better off for this, of course, since his major legislation has died, but has he learned a lesson to apply to three more years? In the meantime, the November elections will tell the tale regarding the actual state of the union.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Word to the Wise(?)

Dear President Obama:

I’m taking the liberty of contacting you with respect to your recent mispronunciation of the term “corpsman” in your state-of-the-union address, preferring instead to use the perfectly justifiable, phonetic “corpse-man” version, as any well-educated third-grader would also prefer. I’m sure you knew what you were doing and had a purpose for that particular pronunciation (English can be bothersome at times!), but on the very slight chance you simply goofed I’m offering you the services of the Institute for Modifying All Government Entities, known around Washington as simply IMAGE, of which I’m the CEO.

IMAGE has a record of serving elected officials for many years in many ways, helping them to reconfigure their various personae into ones that are more attractive and, more importantly, more believable. Former president Bush was offered IMAGE’s services when he mispronounced the term “nuclear” on a regular basis, but he declined, simply explaining that he did so on purpose because it made the pundits on CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, and NBC (collective propaganda arm of the Democrat Party) froth at the mouth on camera when commenting on his speeches, to which they rarely listened, actually. He performed his “Texas swagger” for the same reason, though he regretted that Vladimir Putin threw his hip out of joint trying to imitate it, although to his knowledge neither his speech nor swagger ever made MSNBC’s Chris Matthews’ leg tingle.

The IMAGE bureau that would help you is named the Conference On Reconfiguring Presidential Semantic Errors, or CORPSE, for short. CORPSE would fashion for you a perfectly valid reason for your phonetic approach to speech, noting the history behind the nation’s halcyon days of top-flight education, when phonetics was important in teaching grade-schoolers how to both read and speak. A product of a later time, you could simply say that you made a sacrifice word-wise so that school pooh-bahs would get the message. Or, you could say that in your grade-school days in Indonesia you were not required to understand navy verbiage, and that in your high school days in Hawaii the term “corpse” was used on signs at beaches to warn surfers about the sharks; consequently, you felt the need to repeat that warning as a public service…maybe even referring to those nasty, insensitive republicans (little joke there).

Since your use of the term “corpse-man” involved one basic part of speech – the noun – the arm of IMAGE known as the Management of Adjectives and Nouns, obviously known simply as MAN, could help you or perhaps your speech-writers, since you used the noun “corpse” as an adjective to modify another noun, “man.” This is a no-no, as any fourth-grader would tell you. Applying MAN to the overall program would give you the tandem of CORPSE-MAN, in other words a feature to help you reconfigure your use of adjectives and nouns so that those vultures at Fox News would stop lampooning your teleprompters, not to mention most fourth-graders.

I’m sure you understand that the term “corpse-man” was gender-discriminatory, most likely because the ladies at the National Organization of Women have probably already been on your case. The rumor is that the NOW head honcho actually sent Rahm Emanuel a dead fish, blaming him for your teleprompter’s miscue, though she had to apologize to PETA and SPCA for such an insensitive fish-treatment.

One of our latest clients is Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano, who also called attention to this rather obvious but just as obviously avoidable gaff by Emanuel or whoever handles the teleprompter operation, maybe Robert Gibbs, whom IMAGE has taught the proper use of the term “uh,” which I’m sure you notice he uses often. Ms. Napolitano reminded me that she introduced the term “man-caused disaster” to be used instead of terrorism, thus shifting all blame for mankind’s ills onto men, where it belongs.

As a result, IMAGE has put into operation a new department known as the Watchdog Overseeing Masculine Authority Nullification, or WOMAN, by its acronym. WOMAN will help you to avoid all references in your speeches that smack of gender-insensitivity or anti-diversity or homophobia or lack of appreciation for multiculturalism and cat-lovers. It would have prevented you last year, for instance, from characterizing Boston policemen as acting stupidly and being forced to bring that white cop down for a beer out in the garden. SCOTUS associate justice Sotomayor tried the same deal as Napolitano when she ruled that black firefighters should be promoted because of who they are, not what they know. That backfired in the SCOTUS, of course, so we have to be careful as to how far we can go with male nullification (little disclaimer there).

In any case, you can see how IMAGE can help you through the use of both CORPSE-MAN and CORPSE-WOMAN. It will help your teleprompter crew (phonetic pronunciations also available) or even yourself, assuming you may write your own remarks at times, to avoid the pitfalls associated with public comments. I hope to hear from you soon.

Warmest regards,
I.M. Otherself, CEO


And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Sunday, February 07, 2010

The Latest Protected Species - Daters!

There’s a brand-new demographic class now under consideration by the Kentucky Legislature – the “dating class.” This class is not exactly defined yet, but it is not made up of people who now, for the asking, have domestic-violence protections – those who have been married, lived together or had a child in common, presumably the natural way, according to the editorialist in the Lexington Herald-Leader of 07 February. The editorialist called the people involved “dating partners.” Most daters are partners in the dating process, so that seems reasonable.

So…the “dating class” seems to be made up of people who…well, date. The Legislature – mostly under the pressure of Speaker Stumbo – is desperately trying to protect anyone who feels threatened by someone he/she is dating. The editorialist called this “domestic violence,” which means that just about anything that happens in an untoward way anymore is simply domestic violence. Two people go out on a date, get a little soused, have a dustup of some kind, and the one who hates the other the most or acts the fastest goes down to the judge and gets a protective order of some kind against the other.

Of course, it all goes back to the Amanda Ross murder for which Steve Nunn is alleged to be responsible and has even been undergoing tests to see if he has all his marbles. It seems that Ross and Nunn had been engaged at one time, but were not even dating at the time of the alleged murder.

Get the connection? No? That’s because there isn’t any. Ross had already requested and received a protective order against Nunn account some skullduggery on his part. Like most protective orders, it would have been worth no more than the paper upon which it was written if the other party decided to wreak havoc, as Nunn allegedly did. Whatever happened was not “domestic violence” because Ross and Nunn did not live together, with or without marriage.

HB 189 would create a database of “intimate partner crimes,” according to the editorialist. Apparently, an “intimate partner crime” has not been defined as yet, so the lawmakers will have to decide just what it is. Is a dustup between two daters (or maybe even among a threesome) a crime if the partners haven’t been intimate? Apparently not! But, then, of course, “intimate” will have to be defined.

As of now, if a guy slaps his “dating partner” on the way home from the movie and dinner but does not become “intimate” in the usually considered way, his name won’t go into the database. But, if they go all the way and she doesn’t scream “rape” she can get a protective order, even though the slap happened before the hanky-panky. Make any sense? Of course not, but this is the Kentucky legislature, remember?

Well…this might discourage some of the frat boys over at the university from feeding the drug “ecstasy” to their dates and then, when the lady of the night is a zombie, take advantage of her. When the lady screams “rape” under those circumstances, she’s likely to be unsuccessful in getting even with him, never mind that she had no business getting herself into that predicament in the first place. But these ankle bracelets being considered under HB 189 might slow a guy down since his every move would be on somebody’s radar. Having that siren go off on the bracelet when he’s an “intimate partner” with another “significant other” could be embarrassing.

One supposes that an “intimate partner crime” wouldn’t be as bad as a “hate crime,” the going thing right now among the social engineers, but why not just lump it in with that category – if the state has it – and let it go at that? Whoever gets the HB 189 protective order probably would hate the “dating partner,” anyway, so what’s to lose?

Of course, as the case with a lot of protective orders, the one who gets it against a “dating partner” could decide to kiss and make-up, in which case, if the law doesn’t hear about it down at the City Building or Courthouse, a deputy or policeman might make somebody mad trying to enforce it…and get shot. Happens all the time.

Oh well…the whole thing takes everyone’s mind off the state’s near-bankruptcy. In the meantime, the guy who asks a girl for a date had better be sure they go in separate cars and eat at separate tables and say “goodnight” over the phone. Those electronic ankle bracelets could be bothersome, and to be put into that “intimate partner crime” database…gangbusters!

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Friday, February 05, 2010

Prayer Breakfast 2010

Okay…POTUS had a TOTUS-moment in his speech at the Prayer Breakfast the other day. It seems that at least some of the media quickly chose to delete that part of the speech from earlier transcripts in which a couple of times he pronounced the term “corpsman” as “corpse-man.” One hopes the teleprompter plainly indicated “corpsman;” otherwise, the prez was badly served by his speechwriters if they gave a phonetic hint that caused the error.

More likely, the slip of the tongue was due to the fact that Obama has no clue with respect to anything military, although one could hope that in his highly touted education-process he might have learned how to say “corpsman.” Imagine calling the president’s band the “Marine Corpse Band” or alluding to the “drum-and-bugle corpse” that often participates in parades, etc. John Philip Sousa would flip in his grave. Maybe the pundits who made so much of George Bush’s mispronunciation of “nuclear” will shut up now for a while. The suspicion here is that he purposely did that anyway, just for the heck of it.

The president’s astuteness came into play when he said this: “But there is a sense that something is different now; that something is broken; that those of us in Washington are not serving the people as well as we should. At times, it seems like we're unable to listen to one another; to have at once a serious and civil debate. And this erosion of civility in the public square sows division and distrust among our citizens. It poisons the well of public opinion.

That, of course, was the mother of all understatements. The “brokenness” began with the gloating in 2007 as the democrats took over Congress and was enhanced last year when Obama began what has turned out to be a disastrous first-year presidency, his constant mantra having to do with the fact that he inherited a mess (the case with all incoming presidents), the implication being that he should be cut some slack. He should, but only up to a point, certainly now reached.

The most egregious approach to governing shown by the president thus far was seen in the “stimulus package,” which made ordinary earmarking look like very small potatoes. It was designed ostensibly to create jobs but it has mostly created government jobs at a time when government workers, on average, make about $30,000 more per year (taxpayer monies) than all other workers. Government jobs are also highly unionized (some 52% of all union jobs), so labor-union hotshots can often run the show. Teacher-unions are among the worst, providing teacher-immunity from everything from teacher-ignorance to teacher-incompetence to curriculum-stupidity.

As for listening to each other, the Congressional democrats and the president determined last year to construct/enact cap-and-trade, health-care, and most everything else as exclusive products of the respective democrat caucuses and the administration. The well-publicized method ballyhooed the fact that lawmakers no longer had to read the bills on which they voted – and they didn’t. The citizenry DOES see the efforts as evidence of a totally broken government.

As for civility, it’s doubtful that current lawmakers are any worse at exercising it than those since the beginning. Even worse than name-calling is that of being ignored, as the republicans have been. Even worse than that is the blaming of republicans for recalcitrance regarding debate/compromise when the deep rifts among the democrats are the cause for entirely shutting down their agenda. They have or had the votes all year for doing anything and everything they wanted, up to and including the closing of Gitmo and wars anywhere.

The president said this: “It is this spirit of civility that we are called to take up when we leave here today. That's what I'm praying for.” He should have prayed this prayer last year when the tawdry wheeling and dealing accruing to trying to pass a health-care bill was front-page news or TV-talk-fodder on a daily basis. This dirty linen was rotten to the core but in this age of the Internet and 24/7 cable-news it was aired for all the world to notice…and laugh.

The president has learned some, but not everything, in the last year. This is what he said at the Prayer Breakfast of 05 February 2009: “But no matter what we choose to believe, let us remember that there is no religion whose central tenet is hate. There is no God who condones taking the life of an innocent human being. This much we know.” Innocent women and children are being blown to bits all over the world today because of a tenet of Islam (Allah as god), to wit, “kill the infidel at every opportunity.” Not just soldiers, of course! No…people just eating in a restaurant or in school or walking along a highway or in a mosque or working in a place like the WTC and Pentagon of 2001.

The main concern of the Prayer Breakfast might well have been approaching the God of the founding fathers and beseeching him to help deliver the world from the terrorists who slay in the name of their god. Then, shoe-bombers and skivvies-bombers and plane-hijackers would be treated like the monsters they are, not hurt, of course, but also not read their “rights” and handled with kid gloves. Harsh? Maybe…but try that epithet when talking to a scarred-for-life survivor or the family of a victim.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Thursday, February 04, 2010


The nation is going down the drain financially, fighting two wars against terrorism (man-caused disasters, actually, according to Homeland Security Chief Napolitano, the nation’s highest-profile female chauvinist), and suffering all other adverse consequences connected to the last general elections. The Congress is naturally tuned-in and turned-on with respect to the great affairs of state, domestic and otherwise…cap-and-trade, for instance, or health-care or where to non-water-board the Christmas-day “skivvies-bomber,” whose well-heeled family has been air-lifted in to convince the young idiot to sing like a canary, though he may know little more than how to effect a hot-crotch-caper.

Well…not all the time. The House Judiciary Committee, headed by Michigan’s John Conyers, has been having hearings on an actually serous problem – concussions suffered by football players across the board but especially in the NFL. One wonders why this subject isn’t covered under a committee having to do with health and welfare but, of course, the National Football League has antitrust immunity and thus the financial aspects of the matter – much better than those of the nation – just have to be examined in light of the concussions. Make any sense? Of course not, but this is Congress, remember.

The big deal in professional football, contrary to all the poop about playing the game with integrity, etc., is how to win since winning is good for all the extra earnings the big guys can make as outlined in their contracts, worth multi-millions. In any “contact sport,” the best way to win is to knock the opponent senseless, thereupon reducing him to wondering where he is and what month it is instead of figuring out at the same time how to preemptively knock the other guy senseless and reducing him to wondering why there are two of everything in sight.

The main man on any team is the quarterback, the guy who calls the offensive shots that are called by the man upstairs (in the press box, not the other). He gets the ball on virtually every play and makes disposition of it, either by giving it to someone else to be knocked silly or throwing it downfield to someone who often is knocked into the middle of next month, totally senseless and wondering why, when he looks straight ahead, he sees only clouds.

So…genius-level thinking is not required in order for the coach or other partner in crime to ascertain that reducing the quarterback to babbling about the stars floating through his range of vision is the best way not be scored-upon, to dangle a preposition in collusion with a verb for emphasis. The solution, obviously: CONCUSSION! In other words, get to the q-back BEFORE he can get rid of the ball and set his brain to sloshing around inside his skull instead of planning how to get rid of the ball before he gets killed.

Even better would be a skull-fracture but that sounds so…well…cruel, even though it might foreclose ever seeing that quarterback again. Also looking bad would be an obvious attempt to break a q-back’s arm or leg...right in front of that huge crowd and all. But a hard lick to the head, besides not upsetting small children, is hardly noticed – just a “ding,” as it’s called in the trade. By no mistake is such a “ding” called a “sack,” since it amounts to total destruction the same way as cities and towns were “sacked” by Attila the Hun.

Perhaps the NFL equivalent of Attila is a guy, among others, named Ray Lewis, a linebacker with the Baltimore Ravens, who was fined at least twice this season for purposely inflicting bodily harm to other players, mainly to their craniums, notwithstanding the supposed-protection of otherworldly-type helmets worn these days. His modus operandi – the same for any linebacker worth his salt – is to run at full speed toward his objective and slam his head topmost (and prepared) into the side of the other (unprepared) player’s helmet, thus bouncing the sides of his brain off all that separates it from the atmosphere. Dislocating a vertebra or two in the process is simply icing on the cake.

Tackling used to be done well below the head-area, but the style now could be called the body-slam, same as in professional wrestling, literally slamming full-body into the unsuspecting opponent and knocking him flatter than the proverbial pancake. One suspects that mixing a concussion with a rib-cracking body-slam is probably worth an under-the-table bonus in the locker-room. That’s why q-backs today wear all that armor under their jerseys. “It’s all about my life, stupid!”

Okay, Lewis paid $25,000 for one such afternoon and $5,000 for the other. Since he earns about $6.5 million a year, it’s easy to see why he figures to profit from the SKULLduggery! A playoff game – maybe a couple – or (gasp) a Super-Bowl bonus can be worth a lot. As for the guys whose brains get scrambled – tough, they knew what they were getting into, didn’t they?

It remains to be seen if old John and his committee can stop this CONCUSSION antitrust profiteering by such as Ray Lewis and the team-owners, but the odds are that the carnage will roll on!

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Brand-new Soap Opera - General Arena!

Basketball is little short of sacred in Kentucky and as a result demands much newsprint. The Sports Sections of newspapers are therefore required to have basketball stories everyday – even in football season – and thus pay appropriate homage to what certainly would have been one of the peaks on Mount Olympus if in operation during the times of the gods and goddesses. Oops! Maybe goddess is not a good word anymore, Olympus notwithstanding, since it smacks of gender discrimination. Let’s just say, “god-persons” and be done with it.

It might have just been a slow news day (even for basketball) the other day when a large section of the sports pages of the Lexington Herald-Leader was devoted to what might be called the “mother of all sports-soaps.” It involved the relationship of Coach Calipari with his star player (so designated by the coach) John Wall, identified by all the sports networks as the high-school super-god when he arrived for his freshman year at the University of Kentucky.

Make no mistake! Wall IS good, although he, just as do all freshman gods, has found out that playing in the Southeastern Conference means playing against other high-school gods who are just as good as he is, if not a bit better. Apparently, according to the paper, Wall got his feelings hurt because the coach said out loud in public that he (Wall) had played poorly at South Carolina. This would have been no big deal, except that freshman basketball-gods never play poorly. Maybe they can have an “off-night,” but poorly – absolutely never!

So...what could a star god – er, guard – do but have a little talk with Calipari about that arrow slung right through the non-god-fearing press? Actually, Calipari had also said about that South Carolina game that, “John Wall really hurt us.” He said it – right out there in public, with all those sportswriter geeks in attendance, whereupon Wall remarked later – also in public – that “I didn’t think I played that bad,” another way of saying that Calipari is not up to snuff on his judgment of freshman gods – er, guards, that is. Translated: Calipari is just a plain old flesh-and-bones mortal – completely out of his league on basketball Olympus.

Something had to be done, naturally, so Wall went to see the coach. Hurt feelings can be serious, maybe not as bad as a sprained ankle, but a sprained ego can cut right to the quick. Wall said right there in public before the sportswriters, “Me and Cal talked.” It seems that Wall said he also hadn’t been having fun while playing, and any student of the god-persons knows that those entities enjoyed perpetual orgies, ecstasies beyond comprehension. Not to have fun, especially for a star god – er, guard – is simply unacceptable. Wall said, “I ain’t had a dunk in I don’t know how long,” and any fan or player knows that reaching/jumping up and dropping the ball in the basket (dunk, for the nerds) is a thrill experienced only by the best...and it’s the most fun, almost as good as an orgy, not to mention a three-pointer!

During that little tete-a-tete, according to the paper, Calipari told Wall it was OK to play bad [sic] and even named a couple of other star-gods he had coached who had also had bad games, but that Wall should go out there and have fun. Wall wasn’t too satisfied with that, especially since he had come to UK so that Calipari would make him ready for the National Basketball Association in one year, there to join Lebron James and other basketball professional basketball god-persons.

Of course, Calipari has already said out loud in public places that Wall will be at UK for only one year, moving right along then to the NBA, there to make his millions. Problem: Despite his obvious superior talent, Wall has a bad habit of losing the ball to the opposition and is often totally out of control, spending a large part of the game on his derriere. So...his scoring and high number of assists is sort of offset by his proclivity for turnovers, a no-no among coaches, notwithstanding a player’s status as a basketball god-person.

So...listen in for any new developments in this soap, which perhaps could be called General Arena, (get ABC’s General Hospital) and feature spellbinding afternoon entertainment exploring whether or not one player’s coach can deal with the everyday problems of Unrealized Olympian expectations. Egad!

And so it goes.
Jim Clark