Saturday, July 27, 2013

et ceteras

The Scandalabra
Several days ago I heard someone quip that George Zimmerman changed his name to Ben Ghazi so that the media would never talk about him again. While driving home that evening, I saw a work van from a small landscape company whose name I failed to commit to memory. On its back was a bumper sticker for the Tampa 912 Project -- and a dry-erase-board scrolled with the words: "We Were Targeted by the IRS."

That got me thinking about how quickly people tend to forget about important events. In May, pundits couldn't stop talking about a trio of scandals (Benghazi, the IRS, and spying on journalists) that were hanging around Barack Obama's neck and constricting like a python. Fast forward to today, merely nine weeks hence, and those stories seem older that the ones about four lads from Liverpool coming to America to bewitch teenage girls with songs about loving them do and wanting to hold hands.

Of course, the scandals shouldn't seem old at all. They are so current that they are still unfolding, and yet the MSM is less inclined to discuss them than they are to chirp about the 41-year-old (and comparatively minor) transgressions of Watergate. Fortunately, there are some people in the media who stand out as exceptions, and Peggy Noonan is one of them. Her recent Wall Street Journal piece about the IRS investigations was especially enlightening. Rather than replicate her work, I am providing the link here so you can read it for yourself.

Speaking of...
...Obama and his media protectors, have you heard of the repulsive things he said this week about Ho Chi Minh? Of course you haven't, because as I just observed, the media protects him. Here is the gist: While wooing the current dictator of Vietnam, Obama waxed poetic by claiming that Minh was "inspired by the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and the words of Thomas Jefferson."

Is he completely ignorant of history, completely devoid of reason, or does he simply have no decency? Minh was a murderous dictator with no regard for human life, human dignity, or that thing called freedom that we once held dear. Minh enslaved much of the Indochina peninsula and is estimated to have been complicit in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of his countrymen. 58,209 American soldiers perished in a noble effort to save the innocent people of South Vietnam from his torture squads, and as of today, an additional 2,489 American soldiers who went missing during that effort remain unaccounted for.

Yet our president has the audacity to liken Ho Chi Minh to our Founding Fathers, who stood against everything Minh represented. Who the hell does he think he is? His comments pissed on the graves and loved ones of the 60,000+ Americans mentioned above, each of whom was a better man in his brief life than Obama will ever be in his. His comments also pissed on the graves of countless Vietnamese peasants who were better and braver than our president could ever hope to be. Yes, I am writing with emotion, which is something I usually advise against -- but this emotion is informed by reason and truth, and I do not regret it one bit.

And, Detroit
Detroit is not the first significant American city to file bankruptcy. Out in California, San Bernardino and Stockton beat it to the punch by more than a year. All three cities share a common denominator that is largely, and perhaps primarily, responsible for their predicament. But another denominator is present only in Detroit, and it is one that makes its chances for recovery far less likely there San Bernardino's and Stockton's.

All three have fallen victim to a rapacious public sector that sucks the private sector dry, refuses to adapt to reality, and thereby leaves devastation in its wake. In the words of National Review columnist Kevin Williamson, these public sectors are parasites that have outgrown their hosts. What makes the California cities more likely to bounce back is very simple: Their citizens, in the aggregate, exhibit better character than those of Detroit.

I know that sounds harsh, but it is true. I clearly need to elaborate, and intend to do so in my next post.

However... track record is, shall we say, less than stellar when it comes to following through on statements that "my next post will ___." Sometimes I have followed through but there have been times I didn't. For example, I still need to get around to completing parts two and three of the "three-part series on gay marriage" I started in April. All I can say is that after publishing part one, other topics percolated up that struck me as more important, and as I wrote about them, gay marriage got moved to the back burner. I don't expect that to happen with Detroit, but since I am aware of my history, I ain't making any promises either!

And with that, I will sign off for now. Au revoir and enjoy this last weekend of July!

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