Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Preacher Takes a Stand???

There’s nothing more vacuous than the attempt by ministers to somehow reconcile their faith with political correctness whenever an obvious contradiction between the two occurs. Since time immemorial, preachers have argued about the facets (doctrines, theology) of the faith itself and folks are accustomed to that in-house, normal activity, even when it obscures far weightier matters introduced and evolved in scripture, not to mention history, culture, and current-day media.

Enter Paul Prather, who is the pastor of a church in the Mt. Sterling, Ky., area and a self-proclaimed evangelical-Pentecostal-charismatic, a designation shared by him with Jim Swilley, who is the pastor of a mega-church in Conyers, Georgia, and who in 1998 was consecrated as a Bishop in the International Communion of Charismatic Churches (ICCC) and, in that capacity provides oversight and covering to more than 170 churches and ministries. Swilley, twice divorced and the father of four, has recently “come out” to his congregation, proclaiming his homosexuality.

Prather devoted his column of 27 November in the Lexington Herald-Leader, Lexington, Ky., to somehow excusing Swilley or at least making him okay, mainly because, after all, he’s just like most folks regarding sin, citing such things as gluttony, temper tantrums, divisiveness, divorce, lying, cheating in business, fornication, fantasies of heterosexual adultery, drunkenness, wavering faith, selfish ambition, unforgiveness and greed. He also threw in fat people, doubters and fantasizers for good measure.

So…Prather implied that folks should cut Swilley some slack and presumably let him continue on in his good work. According to Prather, the Bible is ambiguous (of two minds) anyway, but if that’s so, one wonders why Prather bothers with it, assuming he uses it in his ministry/preaching. A Bible that’s always non-specific is just like a blueprint that’s always non-specific for…say, a building of 75 stories. Just draw the lines anywhere, build it and hope the thing doesn’t collapse.

Swilley has stated that he was “born” homosexual but managed two marriages and four children in spite of it. Really? Gene Robinson, homosexual Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire, lives with his “partner” but has also been married and has two children. Really?

Prather said, “Wait, it gets more complicated. When any particular human frailty becomes too prevalent to ignore, we agree it's not a sin anymore. We're selective about what we condemn.” This may be the truest statement in Prather’s entire screed, and he seems to be living proof of that declaration. What he did was define the accommodation that the leaders of many denominations, especially the “mainliners” (actually not Prather’s charismatic tradition…he’s an exception) are attempting to inculcate.

Some, maybe all, of the mainline denominations are losing membership exponentially at the very time they are trying to decide whether or not men should marry men or homosexuals should be ordained to the ministry. The catalyst: political correctness vs. scripture, with scripture losing out. Congregations/denominations are torn apart because of this brainless exercise. The scriptural keystone of marriage is the establishing of families…through births (be fruitful and multiply). Men just can’t bring that off.

Bishop Eddie Long, pastor of another mega-church (said to have 25,000 members) in Lithonia, Georgia, (is something in the water?) and his organization have recently been sued by members (or perhaps former members) of his outfit for coercing them to have sex with him when they were boys. One wonders what Prather thinks of that, not to mention all the pedophile priests in the Catholic Church. Just cut them some slack and let them continue their good work? That’s what the church did until it was caught simply transferring the low-lifes to different parishes, where they continued their wicked ways…and the church has paid dearly financially, but the victims have been scarred for life.

The main issue in this matter is not Swilley and his peccadilloes. He can live any kind of life or double- or triple-life he desires. The issue is whether or not he should continue in his position. In Long’s case, the likelihood is that the lawsuits will be settled out of court, with the money coughed up by the congregants, and Long will probably soldier on. Swilley apparently will stay in his position, though his church and denomination are splitting over the matter, and who could blame them? Nothing is more condemned – and very specifically, very unambiguously – in scripture than homosexual behavior…in both the Old and New Testaments.

Prather wrote that he would give Swilley a hug, operating via “mercy and grace,” something only God can do anyway. What sort of message does that send to his congregants, especially his youth groups? This is how Prather the elitist wound it up, “But that's not to say I don't understand those who walked out. They acted from fear. They were doing what they hoped was right, even though I might think they were wrong.” Apparently, he just doesn’t get it. They were not acting “from fear.” Fear from what? They were acting on the basis of disgust, pure and simple. Would Prather give a hug to a preacher/adulterer, preacher/pedophile, preacher/thief and suggest he should continue in leadership? Who knows? Political correctness rules!

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Friday, November 26, 2010

Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde, POTUS & Cass

It’s just past one a.m. in the little room off the Oval Office and Dr. Jekyll and his alter ego Mr. Hyde are meeting with President Obama and his regulation czar, Cass Sunstein, hereinafter referenced as J, H, O, and S, respectively, if not necessarily respectfully.

**O: Glad you could make it guys, you’ve always been a big help when I need…
**J: I say, Edward Hyde, did he refer to us as “guys,” representatives of Her Majesty and the empire on which the sun never sets…okay…not quite the same now…but I feel somehow so dirty…guys…
**O: Sorry about that, Henry…I’ll just repeat my apology from the last time you were here and I forgot…
**H: And corrected himself to call us mateys…oh hoo hah, Benjamin Franklin must be tossing in his…
**S: So what’s wrong with mateys, Mr. Hyde…you’re dangerously close to exhibiting a racist demeanor and that just doesn’t get it in this land of the free…
**H: And the home of the knave…as you so ably describe yourself in that remark, Mr. … I say, have we met? I’d at least like to know whom I’m about to bludgeon…oh hahahahaha…blood everywhere…get out from under the table, Mr. Whatever…just a bit o’ the blarney, as they say in the Irish colony.
**O: Gentlemen, meet Cass Sunstein, my regulatory czar. He’s in charge of seeing that everyone and everything in this country runs smoothly, that there’s no discrimination and that…
**H: Oh…I get it…he’s the one who decides when the death panels are remiss in seeing the old codgers off to eternity and sets them right. Oh…what a jolly good job…maybe a lethal injection or even better, land mines in the nursing-home corridors…oh hahahahaha…
**J: Stop it Edward. What he means, Cass, is that you’re on the right track. We have that rationed care already in the kingdom and can promise you that costly transplants are never done if the patient is just allowed to live until…
**H: He dies of pneumonia or blows out his brains, whichever comes first…oh hahahahaha…
**O: Gentlemen, gentlemen, let’s get to the matter at hand…now where’s that damn teleprompter when I need it? What IS the matter at hand, Cass? John Kerry told me he thought of it day before yesterday or maybe last week or last month or…I’ve had a long month and…
**S: Please accept my apology, Mr. Hyde. I didn’t mean to imply…
**H: Apology accepted, Cass. Every time I visit any of the colonies I have to remember that refinement comes hard to the natives.
**J: By the by, Barry, back in June when we were last here in this dreadful and notorious room – do you, too, have cute interns in here occasionally, you know, let the good times roll – you asked us to tell you whose arses to kick in the BP-Gulf fiasco that you didn’t bother to look in on for weeks. How many did you kick under the bus, as you colonials quaintly put it?
**S: No asses were kicked, Mr Jekyll, after I explained to the commander-in-chief that the fault lay solely with the Bush/Cheney/Osama/Halliburton cabal. It’s well-known that a rogue submarine outfitted by Halliburton and manned with some Muslim jihad-types headed for the virgins was crashed into the well-head and…
**H: Oh…hahahahaha…too deep for anyone to go down and prove you to be a liar, eh, Cass, old boy? Did any blood rise to the surface with all that oil and…oh dear…maybe even a few arms or legs.
**J: Stop it Edward! The term “liar” is just a generic term that Edward uses to describe strange people…oh dear, that didn’t come off too well. Oh well, since I’m into the muckety-muck already, is it true, Cass, that you think dogs and cats should have the right to sue their masters over ill-treatment, perceived or real…you know, soy products instead of polar bear livers in their feed-bowls?
**S: Let me just preface my answer by informing you that I’m a graduate of Harvard Law, meaning that I’m absolutely…
**H: On the lunatic fringe…oh, Barry, that’s rich…aren’t you also Harvard Law…
**S: …And that animals have the right not to be mistreated…and Mr. Hyde…REALLY…masters is so…well, gauche, uncivilized, racist. The term is partners, as in two-of-a-kind.
**J: Oh…that’s jolly well interesting Cass. Does that mean that humans can bite each other on the leg when it’s deemed necessary…like confronting a recalcitrant postman about being late?
**O: (jumping up) NOW I remember. It’s the Tea Party thing, gentlemen. I need advice on how to deal with these people.
**H: EGAD! Have you no shame, Barry? That’s a touchy subject in the empire…even now, after all these years. We still never go near Boston, the seat of incivility.
**J: And the location of Harvard, by the by…right, Edward? By the way, Barry, didn’t you mention in your campaign that you would share an afternoon tea anytime with that monster, Ahmadinejad…absolutely no pre-conditions…
**H: Maybe throw in a beheading or two with the crumpets just to make for a happy time with hugs all around…except for the beheadees, of course…oh hahahahaha…all that blood with the sugar-cubes…
**J: I’ve heard of the democrats and the republicans and the greens and the independents…but, the TEAS? I’ve never heard of that party. Who is its head LEAF…oh dear…pardon the pun. What’s the matter, Cass…you know…tea leaves…get it, Cass…tea leaves, the head, oh…never mind.
**O: All jokes aside, gentlemen, the Tea Partiers are out to get me! They don’t have a party…they just have a lot of…
**H: Nerve! That’s it…a lot of nerve, the scoundrels! Just fight nerve with nerve, Barry. Challenge them to a duel…something like box-cutters at three inches…oh…hahahaha…blood everywhere…aortas spewing!
**J: What Edward means, Barry, is that you must engage them on their own turf, that is, do what they say or as the mountain-williams in your Kentucky say, take low and go down until you can get the upper hand again, usually by using bribes. After all, this is government we’re talking about…how deucedly clever of me, eh, Edward…and without a bit of blood!
**H: Oh, I say, Henry, even though I prefer at least some sort of concussion, which is the play of choice in vulgar American football, you have made the point.
**S: Please, Mr. Hyde, you have the habit of speaking so disparagingly about everything American but to make light of football is akin to secular blasphemy, which is almost as bad as spiritual blasphemy, which is s-o-o-o-o impolitic…even irreligious…
**J: Speaking of which, Edward, do you think this tea served in Styrofoam cups instead of fine china is more than a bit demeaning? Careful there, Cass, fainting at just a slight insult is s-o-o-o-o unmanly.
**H: In merry old England, I would use the Sir Danvers Carew Treatmentthat I invented, otherwise known as the “crushed-skull-protocol,” but in deference to our hosts and their fellow democrats, why not just leave them to where they’re headed…the dogs, of course? Ta-ta!

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

U.S. Hostage to Muslim Jihad?

There can be little doubt in the jihadist capitals (caves and otherwise) of the world that the Muslim monsters are laughing uproariously as they celebrate holding the countries of the civilized world hostage.
Just remark how they’ve co-opted the liberties of a supposedly free people in this country, reduced now to virtual sexual abuse (exposing of carnal knowledge) in the nation’s airports, whether by the groping that would otherwise be a felony or x-rays that turn up the strangest abnormalities.

Shades of Abu Ghraib…dogs sniffing all over the place while travelers re-attire themselves with socks and whatever else they’ve divested in the name of safety, maybe artificial limbs or pouches or implants of one kind or another. One wonders if explosives can be squirted into the wrinkle areas via the Botox route and later set off when the passenger punches in the numbers and sends her/his head off to Paradise, along with a few hundred others, already at 40,000 feet.

The talking-heads and pundits are having a field day with the whole matter, most of them against such invasions of privacy as body-scanners and “enhanced pat-downs,” not as bad as enhanced interrogation procedures, though the talking-heads, especially with a view toward making Obama the villain, are making it so. Is Reagan International in Washington a reflection of Gitmo? They think so.

These elitists can say anything they like, interview anyone they like and pooh-pooh the current safety measures until the cows come home, and, of course, continue to fly relatively safely as much as they like. What they actually seem to be saying is that suspicious people should be checked, not suspicious things. This is the approach taken in Israel, they say, and, of course, amounts to profiling, a monstrous no-no in this country, lest someone be offended.

Of course, in Israel there are only 7.5 million folks (less than the population of New York City) compared to 310 million in this country, so how long would it take to have a friendly conversation with all those U.S. travelers to determine if they’re carrying explosives in baby-feeding bottles? The current methods will be modified but it needs remembering that those elitists who are caterwauling are also not responsible for a single human life. If methods were relaxed and a plane was blown-up, they would be just as quick to condemn the TSA for not doing its job.

The alternative to the naysayers is simply to take the bus or the train, although both are currently far more susceptible to sabotage than the airlines since there are no safeguards at all in place for their operations. The brutal fact is that attempting to deal with uncivilized people can be done successfully only by fighting them on their own turf. This is the reason there are wars. Hitler and his gang were brutes and could be brought down only by commensurate brutality at the cost of millions of lives.

The Muslim jihadists are monsters for whom the cowardly killing of innocent life is the weapon of choice. It doesn’t even matter to them if fellow Muslims are the victims. Terror, not armed conflict, is their tactical approach to warfare. Israel is a nation today only because it fights terror with retribution by its military, with the hope that civilians don’t get hurt in the process. The Muslims have no such qualms. For them, blood is blood, no matter whose.

The Muslims see the U.S. as one big patsy. Sheik Khalid, mastermind of 9/11 and probable beheader of Daniel Pearl, has been imprisoned at Gitmo for years, has pled guilty and has asked to be executed. The response by the administration was to bring the butcher to New York and try him in whatever kind of court could be contrived/convened. Even to imagine such a disastrous proposition boggles the mind.

The Muslims look at this and seem to realize that in time their way will win. Miranda Rights are a ridiculous laughing matter with them. Khalid should have joined the promised virgins long ago but reckoned, when he found out about the now-failed New York plan, that he wasn’t so guilty, after all, and is looking forward to spreading his manure before the public in a trial. He was educated in this country so his English is quite good enough for spreading the vitriol.

Before he took office, Obama boasted that he would take on the Pakistanis if they were lax in ferreting out the Taliban and al Qaeda butchers. They’ve been quite lax but the president wouldn’t dream of such a thing, another indication to the Muslims that the U.S. lacks the will to get in the trenches and fight, whereas neither Bush in their presidencies held back. Instead, Obama and Holder are concerned about water-boarding, which neither injures nor kills but forced Khalid to start singing.

One would hope that in the back-channels of diplomacy the word has gone out that the U.S. will adopt an eye-for-an-eye, tooth-for-a-tooth policy in the event of further terrorist attacks or attempts at same…sort of trading the WTC for the tallest building in a specified Muslim city. That might get the attention of the rogue-state dictators and the ayatollahs. It worked with Qaddafi, first with Reagan, then with George Bush, whose invasion of Iraq convinced the Libyan honcho to get out of the nuclear-bomb business altogether. Like the use of the a-bombs that ended WWII, this policy would save lives in the far long term.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Schoolteacher & Water-boarding!

In an op-ed column in the Lexington Herald-Leader, Lexington, Ky., of 20 November, Roger Guffey, a retired high-school math-teacher, condemned President Bush for water-boarding three terrorists, claiming that water-boarding is torture, a no-no in a Christian nation, Guffey’s accurate non-definition of this country, simply a nation in which millions of its citizens claim to be Christians.

Strangely, Guffey used as an example of torture the depiction of Christ’s treatment in the movie The Passion of the Christ. He attempted to compare this with water-boarding and, citing scripture, declared that it produced nothing from Christ since Christ, representing no government or military power, did not furnish any useful information, though no questions amounting to any sort of strategy or national defense were asked him because he was consequently and absolutely no threat and not even handled clandestinely. Rather, he was simply beaten and berated in public, hardly a water-boarding chamber.

Actually, Christ was a slave in the Roman Empire and by virtue of his ability to command a following was to be exterminated. Ironically, Pilate, the Roman head honcho, was perfectly willing to let Christ go on his way, proving that Christ offered no civil threat and certainly did not deserve torture. The religious establishment was out to get Christ, however, considering his brand of the faith as threatening to the religious hierarchy’s power, and Pilate, not caring one way or the other, aided and abetted in letting the torture and crucifixion be carried out…anything to keep the religious zealots happy, off his back and out of his sight.

In the Merriam-Webster Collegiate, 11th Edition, torture is defined thusly: to cause intense suffering to: to punish or coerce by inflicting excruciating pain: to twist or wrench out of shape. Water-boarding neither injures nor kills nor wrenches anybody out of shape and is therefore not torture. Guffey mentioned that Sheik Khalid Mohammed was water-boarded 183 times, but the man has been routinely in the news for years, complete with his picture and has never shown any sign of either being hurt, twisted out of shape or, obviously, killed. Guffey said the water-boarding didn’t work but the truth is that the Sheik, after enduring the water-boarding until he got tired of it, coughed up valuable information, well documented in the media. Water-boarding is also employed in the training of segments of the U.S. military but it’s doubtful that Guffey would accuse the government of torturing its own.

Guffey predictably attempted to use the scriptures to make his point, but did not mention that Jesus Christ made a whip with his own hands and at least on one occasion lashed a group of people with it, driving them out of the temple. Would Guffey, a self-confessed Christian, consider that to be torture? No wonder the Pharisees (religionists) wanted to get rid of Jesus…he was messing up their game! Nor did Guffey mention that Christ, shortly before he died, instructed his followers to secure swords even if having to sell part of their clothes was necessary in order to get the cash. It’s doubtful that he meant for them to use the swords as toothpicks.

The test of Guffey’s position would come, of course, when Guffey would have to decide whether or not to water-board a terrorist known to have vital information concerning the safety (or imminent death) of Guffey’s family. Especially considering the fact that water-boarding neither injures nor kills, what would he do? Indeed, even if water-boarding were torture, what would he do? This corner has no problem with that answer, just as George Bush has stated he would have no problem if faced with the same circumstances regarding the nation’s safety again. In a perfect world (Guffey’s world?), this would not be the case but this world ain’t Camelot, not by a long shot.

If Guffey would not water-board in order to protect his own wife or children or siblings or parents, he says more about himself than about water-boarding, the government or most anything else.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Thursday, November 18, 2010

DNC Memorandum #20

From the office of Tim Kaine, chairman, 17 November 2010

***Please be advised that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has declared that the democrats won hugely in the elections, and the wag who posted a note on the bulletin board insisting she meant a Pyrrhic Victory of losing only 60-65 seats will be disciplined as soon as he/she is discovered. That kind of victory belongs to the republicans since they picked up too few Senate seats to govern. Pelosi has been elected to the minority leadership in the new Congress and this ensures that the president’s program will be furthered, albeit through propagandizing rather than through substance. Pelosi has made it plain that losing the most seats in an election since 1948 (or 1932, who’s counting?) is actually a tremendous win since democrats now have the opportunity to blame republicans for every bad thing that happens, in the same vein as the president in blaming Bush for all his troubles, even the accusation of racism when he accused that white policeman of acting stupidly.

***It has come to my attention that there has been snickering around 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/red-state-map, and Bush/BP/Limbaugh-dartboard to the effect that the appointing of Congressman Clyburn to the new position of Assistant House Leader amounts to condescending patronage. Speaker Peloisi has explained that administering democrats is too heavy a burden for just two new people, her and new Whip Hoyer (though neither one is new – little joke there), and that Clyburn will have specific duties, though no one has thought of them yet. Consequently, it’s been requested of the DNC that a red/yellow/black/white-paper (diversity neutral) be prepared outlining what those duties should be, aside from riding in a chauffeur-driven limo and cadging a huge raise in salary. The wag who pasted Rush Limbaugh’s picture entitled, “Driving Ms. Nancy,” on the bulletin board will be fired or sent to the Durbin Reeducation Camp for proper discipline.

***Regarding the above mentioned matter, the rumor that a special appeal by the Amalgamated Union of Rappers to SCOTUS Judge Sotomayor for an order making Clyburn instead of Pelosi the Minority Leader is untrue, notwithstanding Justice Sotomayor’s ruling a while back that African-American firemen are superior to white firemen in Connecticut because they are black. The reason is obvious, to wit, that fighting fires is not to be compared to fighting republicans. The rumor that Justice Sotomayor, for the same reason, is also working on impeachment proceedings for all the white men on the SCOTUS to be replaced by a group nominated by Al Sharpton is untrue and Sotomayor has promised not to do this again.

*** Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos recently publicly expressed disapproval of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” notwithstanding that the House has voted for repeal, though the Senate has been too chicken to do so. An offshoot organization of the recently discombobulated community organization known as ACORN (formerly represented by Obama), something called NUTCASE (National Utility Tasking Corps for Amenities/Sensitivities in Eroticism), is asking the DNC for volunteers to carry petitions calling for Amos to be cashiered out of the Marines dishonorably, stripped of his rank and pension, and court-martialed for insubordination, since he has publicly defied the Commander-in-Chief, who is an expert on everything military, his main qualification being that he has never been in the military. Volunteers will be rewarded with time-off (a trip to San Francisco for an orgy or three) for this important activity but may not wear rings in either ear while canvassing.

***Planning is in the initial stage for seminars tentatively entitled “How to Succeed in Washington” to be conducted by a select group of Senators and Representatives. The average per capita personal wealth of House members is now $765,010, while that of senators has grown to $2.38 million, making these people experts in how to succeed doing the nation’s business. Congressman Rangel was originally scheduled to head this activity but for reasons noted recently in the media has bowed out, although his commission for carrying out this difficult task was rumored to be a cool $1.5 million and some of the solons thought that looked bad in the current economy. George Soros, who is funding this vital activity while attempting to drive the dollar out of existence, has suggested that Rangel be replaced by Treasury Secretary Geithner, an expert on working the system, as indicated by his proven ability to dodge paying taxes. Only a select group of staffers will be allowed to participate and will be required to submit essays for eligibility based on the subject “From DNC Staffer to Millionaire” in 25 words or less.

***The president has approved of scanners and enhanced pat-downs at airports at least if and/or until the SCOTUS rules these activities un-constitutional. If such a ruling comes down, the president will discharge an executive order continuing the same. This is in line with the administration’s position that the Constitution is old-fashioned, antiquated, anachronistic, age-challenged, and altogether antagonistic, thus in bad need of adjustment, especially in the area of alien arrangements for amnesty. A commission is being impaneled to study this matter, headed by William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn of Weather Underground, Pentagon-bombing, and cop-killing fame. A special unit is being set up at Guantanamo for instructions in enhanced pat-downs. Any staffer with anything to hide (STDs rumored to be scan-discoverable) is advised to travel by car, train, or whatever cycle/scooter/skateboard is available.

***Most of the banks bailed-out by 800 billion tax-dollars in 2008 paid off their “loans” in a matter of months but staffers are not to make much of this since it tends to prove that the banks were never in trouble in the first place. Also, do not mention that the Wall Street gang is getting even larger bonuses and “golden parachutes” than it cadged before the financial emergency. In this vein, red/yellow/black/white papers are invited regarding the manufacturing of emergencies, which the president agreed with former Staff-chief Emanuel should never be wasted. In other words…the more emergencies the merrier! The president’s friends in big-business love this and those friends contribute to campaigns like mad.

***Under NO circumstances, mention the position of top-democrat propagandist Nobelist Paul Krugman as expressed to a talking-head the other day that the economic/deficit situation will be settled by a combination of death panels and raising taxes. While this is true, most Americans will not like this idea, especially the old codgers who haven’t the decency to make the point moot, in the first place.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Monday, November 15, 2010

Nanny & the WARNINGS!

The newly proposed health-warnings for placement on cigarette-pack wrappers were as predictable as night-following-day and vice versa. The purpose is to stop young people from even being tempted to smoke. Teenagers being what they are, the warnings will most likely encourage them to light up for the first time, just for the heck of it. One can tell the average teenager not to do something but had better not hold his breath.

Perhaps pictures of blackened, cancerous lungs or even of corpses with cigarettes dangling from their mouths will be used since written warnings have been on cigarette packs since 1965, when they were mandated by Congress. The solons didn’t get around to making the whiskey crowd do the same thing until 1988 but that’s another story. Maybe pictures of people vomiting on themselves and others or pictures of crashed automobiles with blood rolling off the dashboards could be placed on the bubbly-labels, but don’t count on it.

This is not a brief for either smoking or drinking, both of which are bad, the latter worse than the former, just a remarking of the nanny-state, epitomized perhaps in Obama’s “Regulator Czar,” Cass Sunstein, the former Harvard Law professor known for his argument that animals should be entitled to lawyers. After all, shouldn’t a dog be able to sue his “partner” (“master” is so politically incorrect) for some sort of abuse or other – maybe the cheap dog-food instead of the best.

The folks who run San Francisco (where else?) have just clamped down on McDonald’s and legislated when and how (enacted salt measurement, for instance) McDonald’s may furnish a toy in the kids’ meals. The solons in New York have decided that salt intake for its citizens must be legislated, else the citizen-morons will either shorten their lives (preferable according to Obamacare death panels) or become a nuisance health expense for the city as they dry up their blood.

Perhaps a Big Mac wrapper should have a picture of an obese person having a heart attack or even (gasp) giving up the ghost right there in the middle of the restaurant, with the caption One Too Many, Bozo!. Maybe a car dealership should have a picture on its compact-car advertisement showing an eighteen-wheeler on top of a pancake-thin piece of twisted metal, with a ghost arising from the wreckage.

Perhaps a bottle of Jack Daniels should have a skull-and-crossbones on its label pictured atop a creature in a straitjacket slobbering “Just one more for the road, Jack!” Or, maybe an egg-carton in the grocery should sport a picture of a tombstone with the inscription R.I.P. – E Coli!. Doesn’t just about everything eaten or done carry a certain amount of risk…and isn’t ol’ Uncle Sam supposed to protect all citizens…from even themselves?

Airplane ventilation systems that mix inside and outside air constantly are said to sometimes be full of every germ imaginable…especially those big-time bacteria/viruses from countries where sanitation is not a big deal. Should an airport sign at the departure point suggest using careful breathing patterns and an on-board presentation include directions on how to breathe safely as well as how to operate the oxygen masks and emergency procedures? Maybe operating-room masks should be made available for the faint of heart.

Tobacco smoke is a part of the atmosphere (although an infinitesimally small part) in most towns and cities. Perhaps a sign should be placed at the City Limits warning everyone who enters that “This is not a smoke-free zone…be warned.” The exhaust from one 18-wheeler passing through the town would leave more carcinogens in the air than about a hundred trillion cigarettes/cigars but that’s beside the point. Nanny must do her job.

This is not to say that the powers-that-be should not be concerned with the welfare of the citizens. It IS to say that government’s job is to EDUCATE the public, and it does rather well discharging this responsibility already. Add in the media and one might conclude that only those with brains made of marbles are not already aware of good health habits.

It’s when government, after doing all it can to be educationally responsible, steps into a citizen’s life to actually run it with regard even to what the citizen may eat or what kind of car he must drive or how warm/cold he may keep his house that the last straw has been expended. Perhaps Nobel Prize-winner Paul Krugman of New York Times notoriety put his finger on the culmination of the nanny-state on a talking-head program the other day when he mentioned the final analysis – death panels and taxes.

Well…there’s nothing more certain than death and taxes, so maybe he had a point…just let the government decide who does what, how much, when, and where…and the devil take the hindmost! In the meantime, kids…oh, never mind!

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Nanny Rides Again!

The nanny-state has been gearing-up for some time now, mandating all kinds of ways to protect the citizens from themselves. The republicans will take control of the House in January but the likelihood that this circumstance will change is remote. Citizens are simply too emotionally-, mentally-, and (gasp) willfully-challenged to guard themselves from harm to be allowed to function normally, so the elitists have to govern every facet of their existence, right down to the amount and kind of calories consumed to the proper setting for their coffee-makers to their proper body-weight/mass to the proper kind of automobiles they drive.

The current Administration/Congress is, if anything, even more determined to run everyone’s life. Folks need to have their contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere monitored, though one wonders what to do if someone is found to be exhaling too much or too often; or have trees that are not extracting enough of it from the air; or avoid stirring up the waters of the streams and seas, from which most of the CO2 derives. Health-care is a problem for folks, especially for those who prefer to select their own lifestyles, doctors, hospitals, treatments, insurance. The nanny-state has enacted the proper legislation to ensure that no one is allowed to wander from the live-forever-and-be-happy plantation of the Administration.

Private enterprise must be un-privatized, the better for the state to determine what can be made and when, where, and how. The president checked recently on the American work-force in India, where many jobs have been outsourced from the USA. Apparently, the Indian government does not determine wages, levels of education and background for those workers. Outsourcing has been going on for years under the republicans, democrats, labor unions, management and Congress – driven by greed and regulations – as the nanny-state has slowly expanded until now practically nothing is made in this country and workers are walking the streets.

Banks and manufacturing have been taken over – GM, Chrysler, Freddie, Fanny, AIG, for instance. “Clunker cars” were removed from the streets as nanny helped folks buy the proper cars. Whether they like it or not, folks wear seat-belts, although those riding motorcycles, buses, or in the beds of pickups don’t have to do this. No one is allowed to take a chance on hurting himself. Parents are facing lawsuits if they discipline their children in ways the elite has determined to be wrong. Predictably, the jails/penitentiaries are filled to overflowing.

The latest example of the nanny-state gone amok is found in (where else?) San Francisco. The city fathers/mothers/cross-dressers/trans-genders have decided that McDonald’s is evil in that it entices children to eat “happy meals” by including toys in the packages, something that has been going on for decades. In this writer’s experience in the 1930s, the going thing was the “Guess What” that included a trinket with two pieces of chewy candy (not even to mention Crackerjacks) that was certain to cause unlimited tooth decay with unlimited ecstasy.

Of course, the toys can still be included if McDonald’s accepts the elite’s abridged menu mandating how much salt, calories, and fat (the good stuff) are utilized along with a side item of fruit or vegetable. One can just imagine a “Little Mac” garnished with broccoli or spinach. Parents are incapable in the nanny-state of handling something as important as food…naw, those crazies might even like “happy meals” themselves. One wonders when San Francisco will come down on the pizza-makers, with all that cheese and those little sausages. Can anyone imagine a pizza with a topping of pineapple or kiwis?

Okay…McDonald’s will just leave out the toys but probably not lower the prices so there’s management happiness all around and the food-giant doesn’t have to take any of the blame for being party-poopers. Of course, there’s an ominous development in New York, where Mayor Bloomberg has declared war on salt, or at least salt-intake. The word has gone out that New Yorkers pose a health-risk (and terrible health-costs) by eating too much salt. This writer remembers that on U.S. Navy ships back in the 1940s there were salt-tablet-dispensers by the scuttlebutts (water-fountains), but that was in the Dark Ages when people walked occasionally or even picked up heavy objects.

The mayor worries about salt when the traffic on just one block in Times Square emits enough CO2 and whatever else is designed to kill people to keep raising the life-span of folks – folks simply killing themselves by invading the sidewalk and living longer. In the writer’s (non-smoker’s) town of Lexington, Ky. (300,000 or so souls), smokers are banished to the sidewalks (to stand by semis roaring by and filling the air with tons of whatever is killing everybody) to take a few virtually imperceptible drags, although they may still do so on some properties, though standing on vulnerable grass is bad. This is no brief for smoking…but disallowed in the open air?

Admittedly, obesity, smoking, jay-walking, driving too fast, are all bad but shouldn’t folks be allowed to notice all the information that’s out there (there’s plenty of it) and then decide how they want to live? The elitists don’t think so. They don’t trust the hoi polloi to take care of themselves, another way of saying – DUMBELLS! Never has this been more evident than now, with an administration that seems hell-bent upon configuring every facet of a citizen’s life. Stinks!

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Saturday, November 06, 2010

John, Hillary & Al

It’s midnight and Senator John Kerry has set up a conference call with State Secretary Clinton and Planet-savior Al Gore, hereinafter referenced as K, C, and G, respectively if not respectfully.

**K: Hi, you two…just thinking last Monday, or maybe it was day before yesterday or maybe it was last evening when Teresa and I were dining by candlelight…I always get brilliant ideas in candlelight – so much like Olde Europe – or maybe it…
**C: Stuff it, John, just like you were for the war before you were against it and…hey, do you know what time it is here? This better be good.
**G: Yeah…I’m right in the middle of a…just a little to the right there, sweetie…ah, that’s better…
**K: Another massage session there, Al? Better watch it, those masseuses sometimes have loose lips that sink more than ships. You oughtta know!
**C: How disgusting! Before I hang up, John, you’d better tell us what…
**K: I was just thinking that since the elections turned the whole country between glorious New England and that heathen land known as California totally republican that we’d better map out a strategy for 2012 – all those governors and state legislatures turning red and the U.S. House even redder – or else we’ll…
**C: meaning that you’re thinking of another try at the brass ring…is that it, John?
**G: Oh…I get it, too, John…little to the left there, Moon-girl…ah…so you’ve got another campaign on your mind and you expect us to help out with our corner on gravitas, like the mainstreamers claimed for that ogre Cheney. Is that it, John? The Big O’s outta the country checking on all the new American jobs he’s created in India and you’re…perish the thought…not back-stabbing him. Hoo-Hah!
**K: No, nothing so crass as that, although your suggestion that I run might be…and STOP laughing!
**G: I made no such suggestion…oh, sorry, sweetheart, I didn’t mean to jump up and throw you against the wall. See what you did, John…shocked me into inconvenient-mode, and that’s the truth.
**C: Well…I hope you didn’t mean what Al just pointed out, John.
**K: Apologies all around, Hillary, big Al. I’m just suggesting that we have a big-time loser on our hands now and we need to…anyway, Hillary, you already said in two or three places overseas that you have no designs on 2012 or 2016, either one.
**C: Well… that was overseas as you mention, John. I haven’t made that statement on Larry King Live, which means it’s not official, just for Malaysian consumption. Nobody in Hoboken or Peoria knows where Malaysia is.
**G: Better watch it there, Hill. That sounds awful racist…lotsa ethnics in Hoboken and Peoria!
**C: Sheesh, Al. YOU don’t know where Malaysia is, either, because there are no polar bears there. I’m just saying that I’m open to being called by my country to make a sacrifice.
**G: Like I’m not, huh? Is that it? Like I’m…ah…much better there…now, dearie, move to the other…
**K: Look, Hillary, I was just taking you at your word. And Al…old friend Al, surely you can’t leave your work at saving the planet…haven’t I conned Lindsey Graham into helping me on the cap-and-trade stuff…your stuff, Al. Surely you see my loyalty to the cause in that.
**C: The cause! What cause? This manmade-climate-change stuff is being ripped apart every day and…
**G: But, Hill, you’ve been in my corner all along…even started making out in the financial end and…
**C: Of course I’m all for that stuff. Ya gotta be…in this day and age with all the Nader-nutcases joining you in the sky-is-falling scare, but people are beginning to catch on. I mean the little people…the little ignoramuses who vote.
**K: Say, Hillary, did you put that New Zealand honcho up to introducing you as PRESIDENT Clinton at your speech in New Zealand the other day? Was that a shot across the bow of the Big O? Or was that a shot? WOW! What nerve! Gotta hand it to you!
**C: Of course not, John. You think I’m that dumb? He was just that dumb, not me.
**G: But it has a nice ring, huh, Hill…a nice ring?
**C: Look, I’m still trying to collect the multi-millions I loaned to my campaign in 2008. It’s hard, what with everyone telling me a State Secretary is small stuff compared to buying a senator or a congressman. Besides that, Bill’s trying to reinterpret the Constitution so he can run again!
**K: Well, we gotta get together on at least one thing or we’re down the drain. It’s Goldfein…he’s making waves about making the run. You saw how he dodged the Big O’s visit to Wisconsin the other day and…
**G: Yeah, but it did him no good…he lost to that Johnson guy anyway…rolled the dice and lost.
**C: It’s Feingold, John, not Goldfein. Sheesh…you’re in the Senate with him everyday and you can’t get his name right? No wonder you lost to the cowboy! Hoo-Hah…both of you lost to the cowboy.
**K: I’ve always had trouble with those Jewish names, seems like they’re always backwards, and I didn’t lose…I never lose or fall off my skis…I just didn’t have enough votes.
**G: He’s the guy to watch all right…ouch…careful there…little farther up…a-a-h-h-h…watch it, John, that sounded awfully politically incorrect…that’s better…o-o-h-h-h…anyway, you’re part Jewish yourself, huh, John, so you oughtta know better.
**C: Russ could be dangerous. Remember how he frothed at the mouth during the Roberts and Alito hearings. I even heard that he and Biden and Schumer were caught baying at the moon one night. He’s got a lot going for him, but old turncoat Arlen was the chairman of that committee, not him. He picked up a lot of support in that hearing, snapping off his questions like a drill sergeant.
**K: Yeah…small problem, though. None of them knew what Roberts was talking about. They’d all been in the Senate so long campaigning 24/7 that they’d never heard of the precedents and didn’t know anything to say but “stare decisis,” no matter what Roberts or Alito said.
**C: Look, I’m on Air Force something-or-other and have no idea where I am but I gotta get some sleep, John, so you and Al argue over which one of you will challenge me. In the meantime, Al, never conduct business during a massage since your grunts are worse than the huge sighs you made in that debate with the cowboy in 2000. Hoo-Hah!!! (click)
**K: You interested in a deal, Al?
**G: Naw…I’m still trying to explain to the world…ouch, little sunburn there…why I left the limousine motor running during my entire speech in some country-or-other the other night to keep the car warm. Tried blaming it on the chauffeur but those Europeans stick together…measured all the carbon I put in the air and printed it in the newspapers. This is a tough old world, John, when a guy can’t stay warm…goodnight. (click)
**K: Now…where did I leave that Nader phone number? (click)

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Oligarchy or Term-Limits?

The pundits and media-types have had a field day dissecting the election results of 02 November. Reasons have ranged all the way from the ridiculous to the sublime with respect to the cataclysm in the House, throwing support to the democrats, and the very modest gains in the Senate, still controlled by the democrats, but barely, and not actually at all when considering the Senate’s strange filibuster rule. In any case, the president’s veto power is perhaps the element that is most domineering.

Public rage has been an operative term in the whole mess – folks tired of what they consider business as usual, generated and maintained primarily by various self-interests, frequently via corruption of one kind or another. Jobs-lack has been accounted as a primary concern, the blame for the high unemployment rate placed squarely on the shoulders of the president and the democrat-controlled houses, and largely justifiably so, especially since the big winners in the Obama administration have been the Wall Street gangsters and not the “little people.” Obama, a multi-millionaire himself, has surrounded himself with Wall Streeters and academic economists, not realists. Voters resent this and the vote showed it.

Climate-change-control has been a constant drumbeat by Obama and the so-called progressives, with the ultimate demanding of a cap/trade global fiasco at a time when the Europeans, who have tried this, are running away from it as fast as possible. Significantly, however, the man-in-the-street has become aware of the gigantic fraud connected with manmade-global-warming claims or manmade-anything else, thus making this issue a non-issue and blaming the powers-that-be for the enormous lies connected to it. The current house democrats passed that infamous cap/trade bill last year – without reading it, of course – and John Q. Public resents being made a fool of. The vote shows this.

Perhaps the main reason for the political tsunami, however, may simply be more philosophical than anything else. Most folks understand the nation to be a republic operated by democratic means, with the people making the decisions, albeit mostly through elections in which they find success or betrayal. What they’ve seen since Obama’s inauguration, however, has been a relentless effort to change the government into an oligarchy, a government not by the many but by the few. This recognition has been enhanced as they’ve watched the Congress – actually the democrats – become a willing tool, not even bothering to read the legislation they pass, simply a collective rubber-stamp for the chief oligarch, the president, operating through Reid and Pelosi. This small band constitutes the oligarchy. Hopefully, that’s changing.

This oligarchic approach was obvious from the get-go as the media reported each day on the identities of the new “czars,” a small group of people merely “hired” by the president to carry out his mandates. Though often operating with more power than cabinet heads, they were exposed to no vetting by the appropriate Congressional committees, though with the democrats holding a sizeable majority they wouldn’t have had to worry anyway…just automatically joining the Congressional democrats in becoming part of the oligarchy.

There was the czar appointed to oversee the car industry, as if there was not a transportation secretary. There have been czars appointed to oversee economics, drugs, Afghanistan/Pakistan, Israel/Palestine, AIDS, “Green jobs” (Van Jones banished quickly because of being a communist), Guantanamo closure…you name it…a czar for just about everything and a czar to oversee the czars, none of these people accountable to anyone but the president. That’s a bureaucratic oligarchy. There are cabinet secretaries responsible for all of those things but they have to go through the confirmation process, ergo, just bypass them, a hundred times easier and faster.

In the right atmosphere, judges become part of the oligarchy, legislating from the bench what the chief oligarch wants, often with decisions directly contravening the laws passed by Congress and flying in the face of the Constitution. Two California judges have recently decided that Congress may not make laws dealing with marriage and homosexuals in the military, so they, with a stroke of the pen, nullified those Congressional enactments. Obama’s first SCOTUS appointee actually had just been overturned by the SCOTUS regarding her decision that ethnicity (or at least the “right” ethnicity) trumped proven ability in the matter of assigning jobs to public employees. The Senate democrats confirmed her. This is oligarchy, and it’s scary.

Perhaps the most effective tool in guarding against oligarchy is term-limits, something selfishly recognized in part by Congress in 1949 when it passed the resolution restricting a president to two terms, ratified in 1951 and now a part of the Constitution. That Congress, with the best opportunity to guard against oligarchy up until then, proved its hypocrisy in not placing term-limits on Congresspersons, thus making politics a career-choice, with those with the greatest seniority actually conducting the nation’s business and once entrenched almost totally un-susceptible to being replaced. Think Byrd, Kennedy, Thurman, Helms, Dingell and a host of others marked by being either smart, unscrupulous or complete nincompoops rising to high places in the oligarchy.

The Congresspersons will never vote themselves out of office, even after a term of 12 years or so, the ideal maximum, and gaining the predictable “golden parachute,” so it will be up to two-thirds of the state legislatures to force that proposition, also not likely to happen. So…the alternative must be used as it was during the recent election, to wit, vote the bums out of office…and keep doing it.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark