Thursday, January 27, 2011

Obama "Oopsy-Daisy"

Teachers unions throughout the country were scratching their heads over a major "oops" in Tuesday's State of the Union address.


Here's the scoop. Obama's  speech praised the Bruce Randolph School in Denver, Colorado for its dramatic turnaround.


The President stared into the camera for dramatic effect and repeated the words of one student:  "Thank you Principal Waters, for showing us that we are smart and that we can make it."


A touching moment in presidential speechifying.


Unfortunately, the crack presidential research team overlooked one tiny inconvenient truth: Bruce Randolph School excelled by throwing out union rules and school district supervision.


Principal Kristin Waters put kids first, by fighting for and winning autonomy from the teachers union contract and from the bureaucracy of the school district.


The National Education Association union was none too happy to hear their president praising a union-busting school principal. You'd  be unhappy too if it sounded like a double-cross by a politician that's been properly bought and paid for.


 To be fair to the President, the  NEA can't complain too much.


After all, Obama recently cut off funding for private school vouchers in the District of Columbia. This will help prop-up the continuing culture of incompetence in public education.


Virginia Walden Ford, Director of D.C. Parents For School Choice, complains that Obama puts the interests of the Union above concern for poor children.


So listen up, teachers union. It was just a stupid mistake. Leave the President alone. Maybe Biden's gaffluenza is just rubbing off on the President.


Obama will not make this mistake again. I understand that he is getting research tips from his two daughters.


You see, the presidential daughters have developed terrific research skills while attending Sidwell Friends Middle School in tony Georgetown. The Obama's can afford the tuition at the elite private school.


 Choosing the best school for your children is great, isn't it?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Not In Our House, Mr. President

Not since JFK has a president cut such a dashing figure in a tuxedo.


Barack Obama's  megawatt smile created such electricity at the state dinner honoring Chinese President Hu that we might forget that simultaneous to that gala affair, other events occurred back in Mainland China.


As Michelle Obama helped Mrs. Hu spread caviar on a piece of onion toast, a young village girl outside of  Xiang  Province is handcuffed to a gurney.


Government doctors inject the general anesthetic, and in a few minutes, the remnant body parts of her unborn child will be deposited in the dumpster behind the hospital. Exceeding the one child limit leads to another forced abortion.


The crab-stuffed croissants are to die for, don't you think, Secretary  Clinton? Tell President Hu that we obtained  the recipe from the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Hong Kong.


And just 75 miles north of Hong Kong, two families gathered for Bible study are jolted by the sound of a battering ram at the front door. Soldiers with bayonets seize the holy books. A small child watches in wide-eyed fear as her father is led away in handcuffs. Five years hard labor awaits him, if he's lucky.


Here is another contrast of events. As our president leads a salute to the Chinese president, he sips from a glass of champagne that we paid for at $2000 a bottle.


 At that precise moment, the Chinese government holds tens of thousands of political prisoners in barbaric prisons and torture chambers disguised as mental hospitals. The World Psychiatric Association has condemned China's abuse of psychiatry as a political weapon.


As the world hurtled toward a global conflict with a madman in 1938, Britain's Neville Chamberlain deluded himself into thinking he could deal rationally  with Adolph Hitler.


He was wrong.


Look, we know that China is an important world power. It is probably impossible to ignore the leader of the world's largest nation.


But we indirectly endorse policies of murder and torture when we break out the candelabra and the good silver for the world's leading purveyor of human misery.


President Hu wore the finest clothes at the presidential banquet and smelled of the finest Cologne.


But as far as I am concerned, those fine linen tablecloths were dripping with blood.


Looking through a truth lens, I saw  forceps, electric cattle prods, and a gruesome array of human remains surrounding the Chinese president.


And I am distressed to see the leader of history's greatest democracy joking, complimenting, and making merry at his side.


Have a meeting with the man if you must, Mr. President, but don't entertain him in Our House.


I don't want my president spattered by  atrocities dripping from the hands of immoral leaders.


I remember a President who once intoned "Tear down this wall, Mr. Gorbachev!"


 It sometimes takes Chutzpah to stand up to despots.


 Draw the line, Mr. President, draw the line.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Beware Fiction Posing As Reality

Fiction can be unfair. The following story is pure political fiction, something Tom Clancy might consider plot-worthy.  It is absolutely untrue.


As Vince Foster sat in the comfortable leather chair in the smoking room of a country club in a posh Washington suburb, he couldn't believe what he was hearing.


Two days later, Park police discovered Foster's body, the victim of an apparent suicide.


You see, Foster, unfortunately, told some very important people that the plan hatched by White House operatives went too far.


This seems to be what happened.


Powerful and rich, those who are the brokers of all the real important decisions  in the Clinton White House developed a secret plan to minimize the ability of conservative leaders to launch a political comeback in the United States.


The project was dubbed "The Manchurian Project"  because of its similarity to the plot in a political thriller called the Manchurian Candidate that later became a very popular movie. In the Manchurian Candidate, a patsy is programmed psychologically to carry out an assassination when exposed to certain visual cues.


The plan that came out of the Clinton White House was developed by Professor Florence MacKenna. It was a very straightforward plan for carrying out psychological espionage.


It went something like this. In order to stem the tide of conservative politicians making headway, conservative political thought would be portrayed in the media as inciting violence and therefore dangerous. So dangerous that the public would be afraid to identify with conservative thinking or rhetoric.


The idea was to accumulate a list of people with psychological problems and  have them focus their violent attitudes in the political arena. Have them listen to Rush Limbaugh every day and get them to see Glenn Beck as a religious leader, instead of merely as a political commentator.


Foment their anger by connecting them with other crazies. Send them literature inspiring hate as a catalyst for irrational action. Finally, make sure that they have access to weapons and opportunities to commit heinous acts of violence.


If this plan were to work, it's launch could tamp down a resurgence in conservative political power just when those with a liberal political power base would need it.


When Vince Foster's objections to this plan were voiced several years ago in that oak paneled smoking room, Vince Foster became dangerous to the cause and he disappeared from the scene.


No one knows what became of the Manchurian Project or Professor MacKenna. You won't find anything about it on the Internet or in your local library.


That's because this entire story is fiction. Dangerous fiction.


In some ways, no more and no less dangerous than making up the connection between conservative talk shows and the shooter in Arizona.


The fiction that I invented deserves no credibility. So why has the media given credibility to those who have drawn a connection between conservative political pundits and recent acts of violence?


Fiction is fiction, and those  willing to portray fiction as reality are willing to tell any lie to the public if it serves their interests. Be warned.



Thursday, January 6, 2011

Social Greeting Creates Hairy Situation

         The Holiday party season has finally ended and I have learned some harsh realities.  Here are two of them.


Let's face it.  The "Greeting Kiss" is here to stay.


It's completely platonic,  and  involves a simple  peck on the cheek.  The Greeting Kiss can be exchanged between women or between  a man and a woman.


The Greeting  Kiss  is a handy substitute for the cold handshake when something more seems to be called for.  It can  be given to a relative or   as  a sign of  friendship.


Take Dan and Louise.  They've been great friends for me and my wife for years. Dan and I shake hands while Louise and I exchange a brief hug and a peck on the cheek. I call the  Greeting Kiss  "The Cheeky".


Saying hello to Aunt  Lucy at a  wedding?  The Cheeky is the perfect way to show you care.


The other day I ran into Rita.  Years ago we worked together.  She is such a gem and she took such good care of me.  A Cheeky was definitely in order.  It felt right.


So we all know the Cheeky and we all do  The  Cheeky.


Enter the evil one, The Lippy.


The Lippy is the peck on the cheek that ends up being a peck on the lips.  Right on the  lips!


Grandma Nanna used to do that. I'll never forget that first  horrifying experience.


Hi Nanna, I said.   We moved closer for that first encounter half-hug to be  followed by the expected Cheeky.


Everything went into slow motion.  Her face grew larger in the lens of my eye like the close-up on the villain in a Hitchcock film.


And before I knew it, she was softly kissing me not on the cheek but on my lips!  It was such a weird feeling.


 I remember each disturbing detail, all the way down to the soft bristles of the mustache Nanna was working on.


The Lippy.  It's just wrong I tell you.


My wife told me its just an old family custom and don't worry.  I accepted that explanation and kind of  buried the scary   memory after Nanna died a few years ago.


But then my wife told me about a friend while we were at a party recently.   Apparently Ed does the Lippy too.  Nothing improper intended says my wife but Ed's family carries on the idea of the Lippy instead of the Cheeky.


So to Ed's of the world and the families who prolong this strange tradition,  I want you to know that no one appreciates it.  We want  you to know that it makes the rest of us uncomfortable.


Please stop.  Long live The Cheeky.  Stamp out  The Lippy. 


Especially The Lippy from Hairy lipped Octogenarians.