Monthly Archives: February 2009

Paul Harvey, RIP.

It is truly the end of an era. Paul Harvey has died. I think of my grandmother, who is ailing, and all of the times I’d ride in her big grandma car, the “old lady music” punctuated by Paul Harvey broadcasts. I can still hear his voice, even though I haven’t listened to him in ages. I love radio because of him. His voice was warm and cheerful, like so many of the voices attached to my grandmother’s friends. I grew up in a little church that only filled up in the winter, when the Canadian elderly flooded the town for its “warm” winters. The legion of surrogate grandparents that I’ve had over the years all sounded a bit like Paul Harvey–strong, sure, northern and midwestern accents. Comforting and very American, regardless of where they spent their summers.

Oh, how he will be missed.

The change we’ve all been waiting for.

I’m not at all comfortable with this. Doctors and nurses who are morally against abortion should not have to worry about their job security, something President Bush understood well.

President Barack Obama wants to rescind a Bush administration rule that strengthened job protections for doctors and nurses who refuse for moral reasons to perform abortions.

[. . .]

Federal law has long forbidden discrimination against health care professionals who refuse to perform abortions or provide referrals for them on religious or moral grounds. The Obama administration supports those laws, said the HHS official.

The Bush administration’s rule adds a requirement that institutions that get federal money certify their compliance with laws protecting the rights of moral objectors. It was intended to block the flow of federal funds to hospitals and other institutions that ignore those rights.

I don’t see the problem with denying federal funds to institutions that refuse to honor the rights of moral objectors. Of course, pro-abortion groups immediately conjure up Atwood-worthy imagery of women being refused birth control in a Christian theocracy that actually resembles an Islamic state under shari’a law. The details aren’t important, as long as that old hyperbolic fear is present.

Illusion vs. reality.

While some nominally conservative pundits seem to be distracted by Obama’s shiny exterior, serious writers are taking a look at the content and are dismayed by what they see.

Between this, Tuesday’s speech, Thursday’s budget, and the appointment of a Saudi apologist to head the National Intelligence Council this must have been a tough week for that small but determined (if misguided) band of conservatives who tried during last year’s campaign to persuade themselves and others that Obama would not govern from the left. We have seen compressed into one week some element of more or less every worry the most pessimistic conservative Cassandras might have expressed before the election. (Cassandra was right, after all).

The contrast could not be more apparent. Noonan has proven herself utterly irrelevant to conservatism at this point, and her saccharine suck-up columns contain little, if any, substantive material. I was slightly nauseated upon reading her column, because regardless of how smoothly regal and presidential Obama looks, he is still determined to exploit our economic crisis to advance his socialist agenda. And that is far from governing from the center.

Benadryl.

The Benadryl I took to calm my mystery allergic reaction is kicking in, leaving little of my grey matter active. I just found myself pondering the Megan Fox/Brian Austin Green split. I mean, she’s pretty and everything and I actually like her, but the scruffy, older, disaffected Brian Austin Green is such an improvement over 90210′s David. He’s actually kind of…attractive now. God help me, the Benadryl has made me stupider. Pray this is not permanent.

For Pete’s sake.

Is there anything the president doesn’t rip off? It’s one thing to respect history and refer to it, it’s another to use the ideas of others to give the appearance of substance.

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Down the memory hole.

I hear a lot about this financial crisis that President Obama has inherited–the implication being that he’s inherited it from our former, unpopular (and my favorite) president. Nevermind that George W was a governor at the time the Clinton administration got this snowball rolling. Nevermind that PrimaBama™ himself was in Congress when George W warned of the coming financial meltdown.

This Fox News report was sent to me by a friend who has got a firm grip on all things economic, and he cannot believe the arrogance of Congress on this issue, as well as the disappearance of fact down the media memory hole. My favorite part of the video you are about to watch is Barney Frank’s smug cartoon bulldog assertion that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are solid.

The next time you hear the president whining about the mess he’s inherited, remember who he’s inherited it from, and that he is complicit as well by virtue of his own inaction and inattentiveness.

Do it.

I say do it. Tax the hell out of weed. It’s a step in the right direction–why risk going through a dealer when you can buy weed at the AM/PM?

Ammiano’s measure, AB 390, would essentially replicate the regulatory structure used for beer, wine and hard liquor, with taxed sales barred to anyone under 21.

He said it would actually boost public safety, keeping law enforcement focused on more serious crimes while keeping marijuana away from teenagers who can readily purchase black-market pot from peers.

I don’t know about keeping it away from teens–I drank plenty of booze before I hit 21 and had little problem procuring smokes–but the rest of it sounds good. I have no use for potheads, but at least they’d be giving something back to society.

Better things to do.

I will concede that chimps are disease-ridden, psychotic, freaky monsters, but I’d swear that Congress has more important things on its agenda. Hold on, let me think about it… I’ll get back to you when I can remember what it is.

Utopia.

I’ve got to admit that I’m an habitual contrarian. I try to keep it under control, dampening it from knee-jerk reaction to carefully considered one, but it’s a constant battle. So, to spite the guy Steyn’s quoting in Maclean’s, I may just have two more kids. Just to make it an even three.

If we didn’t have so much motherhood, we wouldn’t have all these people eating apple pies, manufactured in a plant in Guangdong and then shipped on some massive floating carbon footprint all the way to Price Chopper in Cedar Rapids. Motherhood is the root cause. As Mr. Kotler says:

“You don’t need to ask what you need to do for the world. You already know.

“Stop having children. It’s that easy.”

It really is! So he’s calling for a five-year moratorium on having children, planet-wide. The Soviets had five-year plans but Mr. Kotler wants a five-year ban—“because a billion less people is a great place to start.” Key word: “start.”

Oh yeah, buddy? All the girls I know here in this stronghold of environmentalism are on their third kid. A couple of friends are on their fourth. A friend of mine just had two at the same time. I’m not going to wade into Steyn’s territory, demographics, but the stubborn belief that utopia lies just this side of mandated euthanasia and abortion is madness.

Everyone just needs to read Children of Men. Skip the movie, no matter how tempting Clive Owen may be.

Sir Jonathon Porritt, the British government’s “sustainable development chair,” opposes “environmentally irresponsible” breeding. The Daily Mail found a group of Englishwomen, at the peak of their reproductive years, who decided to have themselves sterilized to “protect the planet.”

I’m not convinced that it’s a bad thing that those particular women aren’t breeding, to tell the truth. But I’ve got just one word for this woman:

Rather less high-mindedly, the French author Corinne Maier has a huge bestseller with her book No Kid, and even planted a new word in the language, abbreviating “mère de famille” (i.e., homemaker or “full-time mom”) to merd’euf—or “egg-shitter.”

Garce.

Totally. Weird.

This is totally weird. As a kid, I watched pretty much every Disney musical ever made, and even now, fragments of songs from long-forgotten films rise unbidden to my consciousness and I find myself humming “Benjamin Harrison/He’s far beyond comparison/He’ll keep our land a garrison/Of life and liberty”. No lie, that song has been popping in and our of my head for years. Until I read this week’s Song of the Week, I had no idea what musical that song appeared in. All I’ve been able to remember was a young Kurt Russell, a lot of flouncy dresses and those impossible button-up granny boots from the late 1800′s. It was actually kind of bothering me that I couldn’t place the name of the film.

Thank you, Mark Steyn, for allowing me to rest more easily.

Darfur: it’s the new Tibet.

I don’t know about you, but I am so relieved that Gorgeous George Clooney is on that Darfur problem. The Obama administration will give the Hollywood armchair activists everything they love. There will be special envoys, press conferences, photo ops, air time, free publicity, and a whiff of legitimacy–and the best part is they all get to use an official-looking White House backdrop.

I’m sure that while Darfur makes a lovely and exotic logo for a $55 designer tee, Hollywood has a long, hallowed tradition of doing exactly nothing substantive for victims of genocide–other than “raising awareness” and throwing lavish “fundraisers” at which to pat themselves on the back. I’m not sure I’d be comforted, were I a resident of Darfur’s Christian (and rapidly dwindling) population if I heard President Obama announcing not to worry, Gorgeous George is on the case.

This most recent meeting of the minds is just another episode in the hot new Hollywood/D.C. crossover series. Backslapping self-congratulation and ego stroking. I’ve always been surprised that real politicians could refrain from collapsing helplessly into convulsions of mocking laughter every time one of these celebs came to earnestly discuss serious issues. But now they’ve got one of their own (in spirit, of course), the Paris Hilton of American politics. Famous for nothing but famous anyway.

I’ve got a suggestion for George’s charity tees: “Darfur: It’s the new Tibet.”

[Note: I was informed of a typo turning "armchair activists" to "armhair activists," a phrase that conjures up some of the most ridiculous and unexpectedly hilarious imagery.]

Your tax dollars at work.

I think what happened to poor Pluto is messed up, especially since planetary scientists are awarding dwarf planet status to anything in the solar system that is even remotely round (Ceres, Eris, Haumea, Makemake etc.), but I don’t think that legislation is the answer. Legislation is never the answer. And it’s just silly in this case.

Pluto will always be a planet to me. Charon is its moon, Ceres is an asteroid and Eris is a new planet. Planetary scientists are dwarf planet whores at the moment, so I’d suggest waiting until this phase passes before we start passes stupid legislation.

Brilliant.

Of course. It makes perfect sense.

The United States plans to pledge more than $900 million to help rebuild Gaza after Israel’s invasion and strengthen the Western-backed Palestinian Authority, a U.S. official said on Monday.

The money will be channeled through U.N. and other bodies and will not be distributed via the militant group Hamas, which rules Gaza, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton plans to make the announcement next week at a Gaza donors conference in Egypt.

I’m sure that none of that money will fall into the hands of Hamas. It’s not like they stole emergency aid supplies during the recent conflict or have been known to engage in any sort of money laundering.

This has got to be the most worthless and floundering administration I’ve seen in my lifetime. Bill Clinton is looking downright presidential in retrospect.