Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Grover Norquist and the Right Ear of God

We've all seen the cartoon image of everyone's
conscience at work, an angel on one shoulder,
the devil on the other. Why not one for God?
(Maybe that's been done, but I haven't seen it.)

Picture God in the usual manner, with a cruelly
conservative little devil on the right and a pretty
multi-colored angel on the left. (Sure, such an image
is extremely, simplistically polarizing, but I'll
risk it just this once for Grover Norquist.)

If Mr. Norquist were drawing this cartoon he'd
make the devil much larger and God's face would be
smiling. Ol' Grover is that confident of his
power over events, which so far has proven an
accurate notion. He really needs to broaden
his own perspective's informational base....
reading President Hoover's entire oeuvre,to the
exclusion of much else, if true, doesn't give
anyone an emancipated view of the world.

In spite of Hoover's disastrous approach to
the oncoming Great Depression, I too admire
Hoover for a few of his qualities. He was
an outstanding engineer, deserved to have
our huge hydroelectric miracle called the
Hoover Dam. I suppose Mr. Norquist bristles
whenever he reads critiques/criticisms of
Hoover, but he needn't. No U.S. president,
politician or person possesses perfection,
INCLUDING Grover. (-Say, was he named after
Grover Cleveland?)

The appalling pledge that every DC republican
office holder purportedly has signed just
takes my breath away. But I do understand:
in Mr. Norquist's cartoon drawing, God's face
would be his.

Monday, November 21, 2011

U.S. Congressman Joel Walsh Is Wrong--AGAIN --Insult our vets?

Just because someone has a bully pulpit
doesn't mean they should use it. Some of
the current crop of Republican office holders
put the whole history of the party, and its
voters, to shame. Former office holders
like Lugar, Hagel and Percy must be annoyed,
embarrassed, frustrated. WHY doesn't Joel
Walsh just keep STILL and do a LOT more
reading and thinking BEFORE opening the
maw he calls his mouth??

If I ever encounter him at some public
function, I'll "give him the benefit of
my views":

(1) "Have you no shame sir, none at all?"
I'd be SHOCKED if he'd grasp the timeliness
or historical significance of that world famous

(2) "Have you smoothed out your OWN financial
improprieties/injustices??" (--I can just hear
the tinny, tiny cog wheels, er, 'twirling'
in his little mind: "Well, gee, ya always
hurt the ones you love(d), waddn't that a top
40 tune way back? Duddn't 'at validat( ) me" ?
[Even when this guy thinks, he can't spell right.]

Ranter running away now, but this guy is a
dangerous, hopeless embarrassment to my state,
Illinois. Can he be so high on his ego fumes
that he doesn't see his own shabby, shameless
hypocrisy, or rank disjunct between his public
and private persona?

How he can attempt to sway public opinion
away from more sane reflections by insulting
our VETS--that's QUITE beyond me. Yes,
the nation's (and world's) "Occupy" movement
folks deserve some criticism; some individuals
SHOULD go to jail--but not the whole of the many
thousands, and ESPECIALLY....

Respect our VETS, and our police. Yes, there
are bad ones, but they inevitably stand out,
sooner or later. Chicago retired policeman
Burge has been formally outted as the sick,
sadistic soul he is/was. Justice occurs,

But don't expect fairness from Rep. Walsh.
All he wants is to see his pretty face
plastered all over the media for a few
more years. What ELSE, I'd like to know,
DOES the man have to offer?

You know, I might like to have seen Walsh,
Bachmann and Palin in the movies or on
TV. But since they depart from even the
simplest rational scripts, I'll
only accept their presence in the funny

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hey, 99%ers: Time to Take the "Occupy" Movement to the 2012 Elections

I feel sad and angry, probably much like the
99%ers occupying NYC, Chicago, Portland and
elsewhere. Inexperienced or incompetent or brutal
police have upped the ante, (along with demonstrators);
blood's been spilled and hundreds are arrested.
Intransigence will now, predictably, harden,
and much of the righteous moral message/
outrage will be obscured by the grim street
theater. There is a real danger that public
perception/approval will start shifting away
from the "Occupy" folks.

A few of the many complex aspects of these issues
swirling around the phenomenon occupy ME right
about now:

(1) This U.S. recession and wretched capitalist
excess does NOT equal the Arab Spring, although I'm
certain that has inspired many of the young
"Occupiers". Neither is it a new idea; "Hooverville"
was a DC tent city which sprang up when Hoover didn't pay
veterans long-promised bonuses which were needed
during the desperate depression era of the 1930s.
The campers were evicted by troops/police; if
the bonuses were EVER paid, I'd be extremely surprised.

(2) There are few who understand/respect the
concept of public or private outdoor spaces
or places. I knew it would all roll downhill
when the tents went up and people didn't leave
at around 10 P.M. every night. Twelve hours
every day, from 10 A.M. to 10 P.M., is STILL
a powerful statement, but noooooo....

(3) There is less than a year to influence
Congress and the state legislators to heed
the better angels of their natures. It's
STILL possible, why not try it?? I have, and
I think I succeeded, at least temporarily.
Changing the laws, i.e., the system, is where
the rubber meets the road, make no mistake.
Not all advances toward civilization have
occurred via violence or revolution, although
many did.

I'll be happier when the "Occupy" leadership
circles tackle this tactic, which has a better
chance to make an impact....

If only I could get more people to believe it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Republican Field: Wide but not Deep

--So many candidates, so little time! The Republicans
should surely be able to produce better candidates
than the likes of Michelle Bachmann and Herman Cain.
As to Mr. Cain, it is disheartening to see him still
at the top of Republican voter polls--what DOES it take
to knock this rich ignoramus off of his top perch?
Maybe all he has to do is keep talking; after awhile,
even the most blinkered among his supporters will have
to notice the big foot he keeps in his mouth. Republican
women won't be able to blithely ignore four or more
separate sexual harassment complaints forever.

Eight or more candidates, none of which seems particularly
promising, line up for debates these days. I predict Romney
and Gingrich ending up as the top contenders for the nomination.
Gingrich should have bowed out of the limelight years ago,
his Contract with America having proven an ill-advised failure,
many of his true believers in Congress having been summarily
turned out when voters came to their senses.

--And Romney? Well, he seems a bit improved since 2008. Still,
none of these guys are getting my vote. I'll go with Mr. O,
or a Green Party candidate, depending on who that is.
Where are the distinguished Republicans of yore? You know,
Percy, Lugar, Hagel, etc., intelligent, thoughtful moderates
that served in the Senate.

Since we've all been immersed in football lore lately,
I'll steal one of its metaphors; the republican field:
wide but not deep.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

PSU, P.U.! Paterno Scapegoating Backfires: Everyone Who Knew Should Go

I'm not particularly a football fan, even though
I was a fairly good athlete in high school. This
latest scandal, though, has hit my last nerve.
Top officials at Pennsylvania State, attempting
to shift the spotlight's glare away from themselves
by excoriating old Joe Paterno have ironically
emphasized their OWN legal as well as moral
culpability instead.

According to the Redeye, a "sib of the Trib"
(-Chicago Tribune), Joe Paterno followed state
law by notifying his superior when Mike McQueary
came to him with his horrifying eye witness report
of abuse. However, after PSU ignored the charge, Paterno
didn't inform police, as both he and Mike McQueary
should have done if they cared about children's welfare
more than their jobs or friendships. These two did the
legal minimum, nothing more. How they could continue
their employment with a PSU administration which allowed
the Sandusky outrage to go on for God knows how long
quite escapes me.

I have often quit jobs where unfair practices occurred.
It didn't matter whether I, my supervisors, or my clients
were being badly treated: if I couldn't stop it, I left,
period. I never had a savings account or cushion to land
on, but some things MUST take priority over one's personal
needs/concerns. I survived taking these risky stands, even
though surely paying a price--well worth it.

I'd love to see a federal law be enacted that mandates if
any adult witnesses a serious crime, particularly against
minors, but fails to report it, such a witness becomes
legally liable (-something on the order of accessory after
the fact). Some states do have such statutes, but why not
all 50? Meanwhile, moral compasses must be relied
upon, and many are defective or non-existent, sadly.
--Update: Mike McQueary is still on staff after the firing
of Paterno and crew. Shouldn't EVERYONE who knew but
sat on their hands have been fired? --Years ago??

Scapegoating Joe Paterno didn't protect PSU's reputation.
It's now obvious just how bankrupt the sports culture there
has become, where children are sacrificed to protect image
and friendship.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Weakening the Moral Argument: Bad Behavior

The moment someone crosses that invisible line,
any cause is seriously compromised. Whoever
piggybacked onto the peaceful "Occupy Oakland"
demonstrations really doesn't care about positive
outcomes or whether criminal actions harm the
movement. There is a strong element of irrationality
here as well: in a down economy, why would anyone want
to cause taxpayers, AHEM, the 99%ers, to shell out
more money to clean up/repair Oakland's downtown

The "Occupy" demonstrators all around the U.S. really
should decamp at 10PM every night, to shower, sleep,
leave the parks and public areas relatively pristine,
again saving taxpayers precious monies for upkeep
and any extra police. Defying the park closing laws
isn't logically or morally supportable.

Meanwhile, in pursuing the lofty goal of justice for
everyman, we'd best be careful not to sink to
objectionable methods or actions.

When we aren't, people will stop listening.
Who wants to follow anybody uncomfortably
similar to the bad guys?