Friday, June 25, 2010

Purely Bureacratic Socialism

Through a seemingly weird confluence of events we are limited to watching PBS on my old TV from my days in the Army. The TV was built over 20 years ago, in the U.S. and works fine. It's the programming that's lacking.

We've been subjected to green-Loft-living, anti-War, anti-American, suicide voyeurs wrapped in pitchy tunes by bands of foreigners with no real stage presence. There is a steady onslaught of shows about arcane topics that explore mysteries like "did they smuggle a Warhol onto the lunar lander?" to which I say, "Andy was already on the moon without ever leaving earth and even if they did who the F cares other than people who willingly watch this channel." And even if the topics of these shows were about anything with a glimmer of interesting content they would still evoke sleepiness due to the monotone narration by pasty faced liberal know-nothings.

Their spy show is British but it is no James Bond. The villains are eco-terrorists. I guess that makes the mere notion of their plan "edgy" because the audience will feel it is morally ambiguous whether or not the British agents stop the terrorist plot. Go Global Warming enthusiasts! Force us to see the error of our wicked ways by killing a bunch of innocent people! All humanity is bad for the planet! I'll have to check the credits to see if John Holdren was a contributing writer to this episode's screenplay. Oh no! One of them has ties to the Katrina disaster. More moral ambiguity along with a tacit reference to Bush. And the lead agent has an acute hang-nail or some such nonsense and might not be stable enough to complete the mission. Split screens and sudden zoom-ins may be too much for septuagenarians on heart medicine. Maybe they should run a disclaimer every ten minutes to warn that demographic in their audience. "Warning: cinematic devices and not merely our wacky world view may be disorienting, troubling and cause heart palpatations."

The news is read not only with a British accent but with a European perspective, where the lead reporter is "on the ground" at the G20. I didn't know there was any other option but for them to be "on the ground". Then again, I hear they made a "fake lake" so maybe there is also an airship contingent at this year's G20 floating above it all. How fitting that PBS, which takes great strides to be about nothing tangible or meaningful does news reports on events that will have no tangible or meaningful outcomes.

When we are back to normal, the delivery man says it will be Monday, then I feel we will be back in a red, white and blue America again, with near lethal doses of entertainment, choices of programming, commercials that don't try to pretend to be corporate sponsorships and a big enough dose of this PBS drivel over the last five days that I won't even feel the need to loiter over this channel again for at least six months.

I've glimpsed into a future where Obama is not just President but where he becomes King for Life and even the preachy, good-for-you even if it is just not any good, government approved TV programming in this one channel future is enough to cause a revolution. At least progressives will have their sanctuary after 2012.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Empty Middle Seat

Two things strike me about the Helen Thomas "controversy":

Helen's ridiculous geriatric verbal gymnastics, trying to say her apology is "heartfelt" after peppering her commentary with the word "Hell" about where Jews in Israel should go undermines her entirely. Her "passion" on the topic outweighs any rational thought she might have on the subject. Perhaps I can't define hate speech but I know it when I hear it.

Second and more alarming was Robert Gibbs White House press briefing on the first day of Helen's "retirement." Gibbs says, " . . . because obviously those remarks do not reflect certainly the opinion of most of the people in here . . . ."

He seemed to be saying that because no one that was left in that forum agreed with her opinion, that there was a consensus against her opinion, even as vitriolic as it was, that she wasn't welcome in the briefing room and this is what justified their official position. Isn't this just the White House way (formerly the Chicago Way)? Deride any contrary opinions and vilify anyone with a dissenting voice? This is concerning, not because we need more anti-Israel hate speech flying around in the midst of the mounting tensions in Gaza. No, it is disconcerting because the real dissenting voice in that room is the sole voice of Major Garrett. Robert Gibbs’ comment promotes media group-think by demoting the opposition and that makes one wonder how long before the other shoe drops? When will the conservative correspondent gets the bum's rush?

Even though I was shocked by the audacity of her comment I know she has a right to voice it. Of course she's responsible for those words, even more so given the fact that words are, or at least they have been her stock and trade for decades. As a journalist perhaps she should have practiced a bit more economy when using them.

But as shocking as it was to hear Helen commit such a blatant faux pas it hardly was the most egregious sound-bite of the week. That honor goes to none other than the man of the hour, Campaigner in Chief, "Mad Dog" Obama.

Barrack Obama threatened to "kick ass" in one of the most contrived, labored and insincere displays of emotion in his presidency. But that didn't bother me. It was truly laughable. The sound-bite I can't endure even one more time is the one where he talks boldly of firing BP CEO Tony Hayward. I would run out of red ink circling everything that is wrong with this declaration of lunatic hypocrisy.

So is he saying he is incensed by Hayward's lack of competence? If this puts Obama in a "firing" mood then it begs the question, why does Napolitano still have a job as HHS Secretary?

Is it the CEO's insensitive remarks about how Hayward himself is personally plagued by this catastrophe in spite of the fact that eleven others clearly had a much worse day on Day 1, so much so that there was no Day 2, 3 or any other for the eleven who died? Insensitive yes, but Hayward is beset on all sides by this crisis and is showing at least that the overwhelming nature of this situation is eating at his mind and eroding his composure. Although it may not be what is most needed in the situation at least it illustrates a level of complete engagement totally lacking in the other One. And again, if it is the insensitive nature of Hayward’s comments that raises Obama’s dander then why is that “Tard”, Rahm Emanuel still Chief of Staff?

Perhaps it is not so much that the comments were insensitive but that Hayward's words and actions since the Oil Well explosion are "bad form" or inappropriate and therefore inconvenient for all of Hayward’s BP colleagues but oh, wait, again why do any of the Czars still have jobs. I guess if Barrack would man up and take responsibility for firing his doppelganger, Van Jones I’d give him points but that admission has been long overdue. Amidst the oil spill crisis in his rare press conference he refused to take executive responsibility for the firing of the MMS Director, Elizabeth Birnbaum, which makes his comments about firing Hayward even more disingenuous . . . Obama's record of "firing" people speaks for itself at this point . . . but then again . . .

. . . the most ridiculous aspect is that Obama’s real frustration is not in relation to his own ineptitude or the rampant and all too apparent inadequacies of his administration. It is not the faux emotion in his ridiculous blurt about “kicking ass”. It may be that he has revealed his genuine cause for anger over the fact that he has yet to be crowned King of the Known World in which case he would take over BP like he took over GM and Chrysler and then he would be in a position to fire the oil company CEO just like he did with the auto company executives. Right now "British Petroleum" is safe from molestation by Obama if only because it is not an American company.

Or we could still take it a step further and remind everyone that this dime-store messiah promised to make the waters subside or some such hyperbolic nonsense? That would come in very handy right now.

And that’s it. I am out of red ink.