Monthly Archives: June 2009

Over?

I’m afraid that the days of looking to America as the defender of democracy are over, at least for the next four years. I think of Natan Sharansky’s sense of victory, even as he sat in the gulag, when Reagan spoke directly to those who fought for democracy around the world. I don’t quite understand this president’s refusal to stand up for freedom, as if a world of dictators and thugs is preferable to a world of free people. Freedom is messier than authoritarian rule, but who wouldn’t want people to be free? If they desire freedom, shouldn’t we support them in any way we can? Who are we to decide that some are unworthy of the advantages we enjoy and take for granted?

I’m no longer certain that the president is blundering out of inexperience. I’m inclined to believe that his reactions to recent events in Honduras and Iran come from a deep cynicism masking as “realism.” Or perhaps he is more comfortable with dictators and thugs, as Andy McCarthy has posited.

Just sayin’.

Maybe he’s afraid the same will happen to him. (Did I go too far? Oh yeah, I forgot that I don’t care.)

Of course Obama’s going to agree with Chavez and Castro. Like attracts like.

Ew.

Really? I’m sorry, but that’s just embarrassing. Life isn’t worth living without the King of Pederasts? There are just too many weird, creepy people out there.

Speaking of creepy, I caught the Joe Jackson/Al Sharpton presser this afternoon and I’ll be damned if Joe Jackson didn’t make Sharpton look like a class act. Joe was downright giddy to have such a large audience at his disposal, and must have plugged his fledgling record label at least twice. It was a disgusting display, though Sharpton was not an offender this time around. He was trying his best to keep Joe under control.

I couldn’t help feeling sorry for MJ, because life couldn’t have been easy with that man as your father. MJ’s decisions were his own after he hit adulthood, but it must have been hard in that house.

No such thing as a free lunch.

I’ve got to admit, I didn’t watch the Obamacare infomercial. Those things bore me to tears, and with the ennui I’ve been suffering from as of late, I didn’t think I could make it through the entire thing without throwing up. I knew that I could get all the information in text form and read it at my leisure, without having to witness the great ABC ass kissing. So I waited. And I read a lot. And then I saw this lovely Cato synopsis that clocks in at just over five minutes.

Are you ready for this? I’m sure as hell not.

Employer provided healthcare has done well for my family. We had Aetna, United and Blue Cross at one point or another throughout Mila’s short life, and I don’t remember paying but a handful of bills. We had three open-heart surgeries and twice that many extended hospital stays. We had one of the top three heart surgeons in the country, as well as an amazing group of cardiologists. Our experience with the American healthcare establishment was miraculously painless, aside from the obvious. Right now we’ve cycled back to Blue Cross, and I’m happy with it. I like my healthcare and I also like having choices. I’m not excited about Obamacare and I’m thinking you shouldn’t be either.

That’s the good stuff.

If you’ve been reading this site for any length of time, you’ll know how much I admire the writing of Eli Lake. I like that he seems to confound some folk who can’t understand why he writes for The Washington Times as well The New Republic. I happen to like TNR quite a bit, though reading the comments just annoys me. Any way, Lake’s got an excellent column up at TNR on just how much our intelligence community doesn’t know about the opposition in Iran.

It should be obvious that Mousavi has tapped into a deep vein of discontent among Iranians, and that this is all suddenly about so much more than election results. I can’t imagine that it would matter all that much, but who are the others Mousavi has aligned himself with? I’ve been assuming the student democracy movement, but who knows?

The Middle East is a complicated place, and it pays to have as much information as possible about the fellows who do business there. I’m hoping the president will remedy our info deficit. At least that’s one deficit he’d help reduce.

Surprise!

Um, that’s a lot of sharia courts. Britain’s really not that big.

Just ignore him.

And Israeli settlers give Obama the finger. Well, not really. They just don’t care about him, which I think I like even more.

Deeply concerned.

Good news, folks. Obama is “deeply concerned” about the unrest in Honduras. It’s like he used the same template for the tepid Honduran statement that he did for the limp Iranian one, only with the names changed. I’m sure that he’ll come out with a blistering condemnation of relevant parties whenever he’s figured out which way the wind is blowing.

Listless.

Sorry I’ve been silent, folks. I had to get out of the bubble. I was in Argentina with my mistress, crying like a baby… No, wait, that’s not it… I’ve been suffering from a bit of cultural ennui insofar as our culture has been making me feel a bit languid and listless. Cap and trade? Really? 24/7 Michael Jackson tributes? The news cycle is killing me, people. This afternoon, I found myself lying on my couch, windows open and the breeze blowing through, feeling not at all unlike Daisy and Jordan in Gatsby. This country’s determination to destroy itself has stopped making me angry and has started to bore me.

The only problem is that when this country finally succumbs to the siren call of Big Brother, there will be nowhere left to go. Once we’ve stranded ourselves on the rocks, hobbling industry with this stupid cap and trade tax based on inconclusive science and celebutrend, and destroyed our healthcare system with Obamacare, there is nowhere left. When your mother needs a hip replacement and gets put on the three-year-long waiting list, there won’t be an American hospital to skip across the border to in order to relieve her suffering. When your child is diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia–God forbid this ever happens–and Obama’s “fair” system deems her case hopeless, and advises you to give her pain meds and say your goodbyes, where will you go?

The great Michael Jackson Distraction is in full swing this evening, and I expect it to continue on for weeks. Congress will make use of this and continue to ram destructive legislation through the House and Senate. It’s disgusting and depressing how few people I talk to in the real world care about any of this.

Mark Steyn’s weekend column had some very interesting observations. My favorite is this one:

The more the citizenry expect from the state, the more our political class will depend on ever more swollen Gulf Emir-size retinues of staffers hovering at the elbow to steer you from one corner of the fishbowl to another 24/7. “Why are politicians so weird?” a reader asked me after the Sanford news conference. But the majority of people willing to live like this will be, almost by definition, deeply weird. So big government more or less guarantees rule by creeps and misfits. It’s just a question of how well they disguise it. Writing about Michael Jackson a few years ago, I suggested that today’s A-list celebs were the equivalent of Mad King Ludwig of Bavaria or the loopier Ottoman sultans, the ones it wasn’t safe to leave alone with sharp implements. But, as Christopher Hitchens says, politics is show business for ugly people. And a celebrified political culture will inevitably throw up its share of tatty karaoke versions of Britney and Jacko.

Kind of depressing, but it makes sense. I don’t think I’m going to be feeling any better any time soon.

About Michael.

There are so many things going on in this world, so many very serious things, that I really don’t feel like taking time out to pay homage to a strange, marginally talented, abused man who took to abusing children himself. Death doesn’t erase one’s trespasses, but apparently celebrity death does. Michael Jackson’s story is sad and twisted and disgusting, but his passing doesn’t warrant this media storm. I feel for his children, but who knows what their relationship was like? If life had been kinder to him, perhaps he would not have ruined the lives of other children, but we all make choices.

Let’s put this public freakout into perspective: In Iran, people are dying, being gunned down by their countrymen at the behest of their leaders. North Korea is apparently going to start a nuclear war with us, hellbent on its own destruction. Preisdent Obama wants you and I to approve of a federalized healthcare program in which the government would have the power to approve or disapprove end of life care. When I apply this to my own life experiences, it freaks me out a little.

Mila, had she been deemed terminal under Obamacare, would not have received many of the procedures that improved her quality of life and gaveus more than six months with her. I mean, there was little chance she’d have reached adulthood anyway. Maybe we should have just given her some painkillers.

There’s a lot more going on right now than the death of a sad, lonely, rather icky man.

Rest, Farrah.

Wow. Farrah Fawcett is gone. It doesn’t seem real. She was such a fixture in our culture, a sex symbol before I was born, the face of the ’70′s. She was one of Charlie’s Angels. Life had not always been kind to her, and her son spent her last moments in a jail cell, only able to say his goodbyes via phone. From all accounts, she suffered greatly from her cancer, and it is a blessing that God took her home. Her partner, Ryan O’Neal, has issued a series of beautiful statements over the past few weeks, and he is clearly devastated by her passing.

“I won’t know the world without her,” he has said.

To some extent, each of us experiences a different, personalized world, colored and defined by those we know and love. When we lose someone close to us, the world becomes rather alien and strange, for that influence, that light, is no longer there. We’ve lost a filter which we’ve used–knowingly or not–to translate our world and it is scary and sad and things will never be the same as when that light was burning.

Rest, Farrah. You’ve earned a bit of peace.

Buh-bye 2012.

D’oh. Sounds muy exótico, no? At least he admitted it. Well, goodbye 2012 nomination.

Fun with crazy people.

This is good, and you must read it. If you’re half the Andrew Sullivan fan I am, you’ll truly enjoy it.

Links broken. Me sad.

WordPress ate my links. They have disappeared and I’m working on it. If I hadyou linked before, I’m not rejecting you but my wordpress might be. I’ll fix it!