Archive for January 19th, 2011


Why do I not post on FaceBook?

January 19, 2011

1. I don’t have pithy thoughts every day.

2. I figure nobody cares what I had for lunch.

3. I teach high school, and I don’t want to get sued.

4. FaceBook seems to follow Sturgeon’s Law. (That would be the second one.) Why should I add to it?

These are the same reasons I don’t Tweet.

If I was as clever as Frank Fleming, I’d be Tweetin’ up a storm.


They lost control of the discussion again…

January 19, 2011

Political Theater at its best

Well, Republicans, y’all missed the point again…

For the past couple of weeks the news cycles and talk shows have been obsessed with two things: the Tucson shooting, and this whole issue of mean-spirited speech. It’s actually broader than that, but my point isn’t to clarify anything about those subjects. The Tucson sheriff is apparently politically motivated and he got his 15 minutes of fame. He chose to use it poorly. The liberals pulled out their “control of speech” playbook and found ways to shoehorn it into this situation. Despite what Rahm Emmanuel says, the liberals weren’t about to let this crisis, manufactured as it was, go to waste.

My point has to do with what should have been going on instead. The Republicans in Congress just lost control of the discussion again. They should have expressed their condolences and their hopes for a swift conclusion to this whole affair with justice being served. Then they should have gone back to the people’s business and moved on.

Instead, we have this “religious event”/pep rally last Wednesday night, which sounded like an embarrassment all around – I didn’t watch it. Even if Obama did speak eloquently, it has absolutely nothing to do with his job or the nation. What about one of those multiple-car pileups on the expressway, when as many people can be killed or injured as in this situation? Would Obama be able to make some sense about how that should impact the entire country? Of course not.

“But it’s a Congresswoman, so it matters!” All attacks matter. All murders matter. Every innocent kid who is gunned down in gang crossfire in Chicago matters. But Obama doesn’t come home and eulogize them. This was a political event staged for national political purposes. It had nothing to do with helping the victims’ families through their grief, seeking justice or even the greater moral issue of identifying and treating the mentally ill.

I don’t want to sound hard-hearted and say that congressmen don’t matter. But they don’t matter more than others, dear friends, despite what the chattering classes tell you. I am saddened by all the deaths and injuries that resulted from this madman’s rampage, but even though he focused his rage on a Congresswoman doesn’t mean the judge who died protecting another person doesn’t matter as much, or the nine-year-old girl. If anything, the young girl should elicit more grief from us – she had the most life before her to life, and was a completely innocent bystander.

But as Rush Limbaugh would tell you, thinking is more important in running the country than feeling. The Democrats would lead you to think that you should feel a tremendous outpouring of grief for these people. Then, when you realize you don’t, because the 24-hour news cycle of such things bombarding you daily has burned it out of you, you will feel guilty about it – and wonder to yourself, “Does that mean I’m one of those people they are saying are so bad? The ones who don’t care, like those Republicans in Congress, or Rush, or Hannity, or Mark Levin?”

Nope, you are just a human being. It’s pretty difficult to expand our relationships past that of our family, or our tribe. People die all the time for one reason or another that seem senseless. (That’s a question for another day.) It’s really impossible for us to feel deeply about all of them any more…in fact, I’m afraid it makes it more difficult for us to feel as deeply about those close to us, unless we focus on that sometimes. (Again, another topic for another time.)

But in this case the Congressional Democrats were using this in a cold and calculating way to divert attention from the actions and momentum of the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives. They are far better at this than Republicans ever have been, and to a degree that’s good – we should be taking the “high road.” But we can’t let them take over the national agenda time and time again, with manufactured items they tell us to pay attention to. Nothing about this was something Congress needs to pay attention to right now. Not this “new tone” business, or “spirit of compromise,” or whatever the Democrats call “we’re no longer in power but you’re still going to let us have our way.”

At least they got the Obamacare repeal through the House today. It won’t pass the Senate, probably, and if it does, Obama will veto it. Mark Levin says if that happens, send it again. And then send it again. And again, until the American people are up in arms about it enough to pressure him or it’s 2012 and he’s fired.

Speaking of which, I heard Donald Trump was looking at a 2012 Presidential bid. At first I thought it was silly. My son said, “Didn’t he declare bankruptcy once?” I think it may have been more than once. Still, how does that make him worse than your average Congresscritter? Look at the deficits they are running up! At least Trump knows how to run a business!

And it would be worth it just to hear him say to Obama, “You’re fired!”