Memorial or Just Another Campaign Stop?

If you read Obama’s speech delivered last night at the Tucson memorial rather than watched it, you probably have a better opinion of it.

First of all, you didn’t have to watch Obama’s usual preachy, stuffy, pedantic delivery. Or watch the nauseating scene of  someone using other peoples’ grief for political advantage. Not even die hard media Democrats would deny that there is an element of campaigning when a politician inserts himself into a tragedy.

He starts out all right, appropriately mentioning the victims. Surprisingly  his usual high number of “I’s” gave way to an abundance of  “we’s.”  The imperial we, however.

“We cannot and will not be passive in the face of such violence. We should be willing to challenge old assumptions,” he said. OK. Old assumptions such as innocent til proven guilty or the right to free speech as assumed in that old Constitution document? He continued, “in order to lessen the prospects of violence in the future.” Seems like a reference to his personal fears.

“Perhaps we question whether we are doing right by our children, or our community and whether our priorities are in order.” Obama continued “that process of reflection, of making sure we align our values with our actions.” A jarring note that suggests using Organizing for America, the SEIU or MoveOn.Org to get a leftist agenda accomplished?

“And if their deaths help usher in more civility in our public discourse, let’s remember that it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy, but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to our challenges as a nation, in a way that would make them proud.”

A diagram for this sentence, please! It’s a maze. Is he saying that the loss of a full life to a 9 year old girl is worth a few more civil words? What if it doesn’t? Does her mother agree with that, or the other victims’ families? And isn’t a civil and honest public discourse what Fox News and thinkers on the right do? Does MSNBC contribute to it or the New York Times? Don’t think so.

If you watched the speech, though, you might have thought you were at a pep rally or campaign stop rather than a solemn memorial service.

The “Together We Thrive” T-shirts on each seat can only be described as repugnant. What kind of thing is this? Is it a memento for  people to enjoy or a slogan the Obama campaign wants to test drive?  Wonder what the background is on that slogan, but it definitely has a Marxist tinge. The underlying thought is you can’t make it on your own. Smells like a 2012 theme.

The venue, a college arena stuffed with students  smacked of a campaign to get back the youth vote. The clapping and cheering seemed inappropriate for a funeral service. As one reader commented, “no lasers? No fog machines? Did someone yell Freebird?”

I wonder if the programs included a coupon for a free Slurpee. Tacky.

With an absence of priests, ministers or rabbis, it was all too political also to have a Mexican professor deliver a Native American blessing. Two political birds with one stone, you could say.

Somehow, Sarah Palin’s dignified and brief address, far away from the madding crowd. honored the victims – and our country – much better.

Palin Takes Charge

Sarah PalinSarah Palin: “America’s Enduring Strength” from Sarah Palin on Vimeo.

Even though she was among the first attacked – figuratively and not literally – Sarah Palin waited until today to release her thoughts on the Arizona shooting.

Her video on her facebook page is titled “America’s Enduring Strength.” In its eight minutes she manages to encapsulate America’s feelings on the event brilliantly and in a Reaganesque manner. Her pitch and tone are perfect.

“Like many, I’ve spent the past few days reflecting,” she says. I like that. I like that she didn’t rush in, but paused until facts were at hand and high pitched emotion began to subside. The media made jerks of themselves as did the politicians who thought they knew what we wanted to hear, but didn’t listen to us at all.

“If you don’t like a person’s vision for the country, you’re free to debate that vision. If you don’t like their ideas, you’re free to propose better ideas. But especially, within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible,” Palin notes.

She goes on to put the shooting in context. As she explains, the founding fathers saw slander, angry words, even duels in their time. Today is not unusual. What troubles her is the attempt “to muzzle dissent with shrill cries of imagined insults.” And that is not a reason to blame others.

“Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own. They begin and end with the criminals who commit them, not collectively, on all the citizenry of a state, not with those who listen to talk radio, not with maps of swing districts used by both sides of the aisle, not with law abiding citizens who respectfully exercise their first amendment rights at campaign rallies, not with those who proudly voted in the last election,” Palin says.

It was a single evil man who did it, Palin points out.

Like Reagan, she is uplifting. “A bittersweet irony is that the strength of the American spirit shines brightest in times of tragedy.”

Then she calls upon politicians and journalists to “respectfully embrace our differences” and for the public to pray for our country.

Palin rose to the occasion with this speech. Her well chosen words reflect a sane voice at last.

The left has already attacked the speech because it is – pardon  me – on target. Contrast her with President Obama who immediately made a statement and insert himself. Going to Tucson to the memorial is more about him than about the grief of the stricken.  Maybe someone will keep track tonight of the number of “I’s” in his delivery.

Sarah Palin recognizes it is not about her, but about the victims.

Mediacracy

If last weekend’s shooting rampage in Tucson showed me anything, it was that we live in a mediacracy.

The first news to come out of the affair was that Representative Giffords had been shot, followed quickly by Rep. Giffords being reported as dead. Then, the shooter was described as an Afghan war veteran. It took at least 24 hours to find out about the other people killed in the spree. The sheriff came on for a news conference and assumed angry rhetoric was the cause. All that was incorrect.

The truth struggled to get out and even after it did (in spite of media efforts) it was immediately twisted to suit Democrat purposes. That’s when I realized we are living in a mediacracy.

Facts just don’t have a place in the new journalism. They can’t promote what the media wants so it shapes what we learn. It didn’t take long for the network coverage to explode. Networks called in their big guns, skipped commercials and doubled down on the speculation. It was hard to find what else was happening in the world. And this went on for days.

Politicians reacted by postponing legislation for a week. The health care reform repeal wasn’t brought down by votes, but by the media’s insistence that this event was so important it eclipsed the needs of 300 million Americans.  Politicians raced to get face time on air and to make sure we all know they decry these things. The media took charge and we all danced.

So they let liberals do what they always do, which is to use a tragedy to promote their issues. Calls for greater government control, censure of talk radio and Fox News, gun control and the Fairness Doctrine all got aired again. TV pundits got to decry America for her prejudices again, direct hate to Sarah Palin and the Tea Party and show us what a violent people we are.

Few stand up to the mediacracy and if they do, like Sarah Palin, they get put on an enemies list. Even the president gets yanked around by the media and was prodded to call for a moment of prayer and now to go out to Arizona and contribute to the dirge.

We can elect our representatives, but we cannot elect our newscasters or reporters. Even when we vote with our remotes and go to other stations, somehow they survive and continue to foist themselves on the public. That’s how NPR, PBS and MSNBC plus the New York Times operate. If the government doesn’t pump tax payer money into them, then they consider bailouts. So who really is running the country?

The mediacracy has propelled us to mediocrity by doing these things. They rush to snuff out entrepreneurship and achievement by casting them in light of taking advantage of others. They tell us what to they want us to know and slant it in their direction. The one think mentality is a Marxist/Communist dream. Don’t think outside the box or you will pay the consequences.

No wonder the country is floundering.

Blame Game

Every time a shocking, violent event occurs as it did yesterday in the shootings in Tucson, AZ.,  politics rears its ugly head.

It did yesterday and it continues today.

The Tea Party, Republicans and Sarah Palin get blamed for the actions of a crazed person. How ridiculous!

Paul Krugman of the New York Times joined in the political games and blamed Republicans. The Daily Kos and Crooks and Liars blames Sarah Palin. So does Keith Olbermann who adds Allen West, Bill O’Reilly, the Tea Party, Sharron Angle and Glenn Beck.

Jane Fonda tweets, “Sarah Palin holds  responsibility as does the violence provoking rhetoric of the Tea Party. It isn’t enough that Palin just removed the map of Giffords’ district with gun crosshairs off her website. She holds responsibility.”

Fonda goes on to blame Glenn Beck, too.

Nevermind that the shooter liked “Mein Kampff” and “The Communist Manifesto.” I guess all right wingers love them.

Nevermind that Sarah Palin knows what it’s like to be a target and has a daughter herself about the age of the 9 year old killed.

Nevermind that a classmate of the gunman said he has become reclusive in 2007. Catie Parker  said “as I knew him he was leftwing, quite liberal and oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy.”

Can’t they manage to work George W. Bush into it, too?

The greater ramifications are that it paves the way for increased intrusion into our privacy. It’s already being done with the new FCC internet rules. Laughner’s YouTube videos give the government ammunition to go further.

Let’s hope Congress restrains them.

No More Moms and Dads

Remember how Hillary Clinton famously said it takes a village to raise a child? The implication behind it is that mom and dad are inadequate to rear children by themselves.  The village is just a euphemism for government or the state. Already, Michelle Obama has said parents don’t know how to feed their children and that the school cafeteria must take over this role.

The chipping away at the family continues. At Hillary Clinton’s State Department, passports now will eliminate the terms “mother” and “father.”

“The words in the old form were ‘mother’ and ‘father’,” said Brenda Sprague, deputy assistant secretary of state for passport services. “They are now parent 1 and parent 2. These improvements are being made to provide a gender neutral description of a child’s parents and in recognition of different types of families,” she continued. “We find that with changes in medical science and reproductive technology that we are confronting situations now that we would not have anticipated 10 or 15 years ago.”

Evidently the Family Equality Council has been lobbying for years for this change. FEC executive director Jennifer Chrisler said, “The government needs to recognize that the family structure is changing.”

Really? As far as I can tell it still takes a man’s sperm and a woman’s egg to bring about a baby. What dynamics have changed in that simple fact?

As Selwyn Duke at the American Thinker points out, “Family is the central building block of civilization and nations rise and fall with its fortunes.”

Preemptive strikes have already been made what with day care, pre-pre school, talk of children eating dinner at school and Michelle Obama’s obsession with controlling the family diet. Television glorifies non traditional families. Look among your friends and see how many children have grown up with their original mom and dad.

Churches in this country need to wake up and fight this battle effectively. What’s next? “Our Parent 1, who art in heaven?”

We are living in scary times.

A Swift Response

On Saturday, a 6-year-old girl on the outskirts of Manhattan fell victim to a deadly seasonal hazard that lands dozens in the emergency room every year about this time: marshmallows.

Marshmallows, or Jet Puffs as many call them, are made by using corn syrup and gelatin, and are a staple among  children in the hot chocolate season. The average child consumes his or her weight in the darned things before the onset of puberty and  mostly in the winter months.

While harmless to most, marshmallows claim a handful of lives every year by getting lodged in the throats and blocking the airways of crumb crunchers. According to the New York City Fire Dept., this traditional food sends over 100 patients to the hospital every year in the block around Zabar’s alone – half of which end up in serious condition or worse.

During last week’s blizzard, consumption shot up and so did the emergency room numbers.

With the reports of this year’s marshmallow injuries mounting, American bloggers are beginning to wonder out loud why this concoction isn’t regulated.

“Will someone please contact Mayor Bloomberg,” one anguished mother asked. “Surely the federal government will stop this tragedy,” another added. “I snatched my 8-year-old’s hot chocolate cup full of marshmallows just in the nick of time. I shudder to think she could have been laying on a stretcher now, waiting for a doctor to cut her throat open and extract them!”

The sticky, gooey quality of the confections prized by the young is the source of the problem.

“I think the greedy S’Mores lobby has hidden the facts,” said food administrator Prudy Katts. “The profits on these things are through the roof! We need warning labels, at least, on all of them.”

Others suggested Congress needs to look into the CRCC – Crisp Rice Cereal Conglomerates.

“Clearly, they are culpable in the high sales of the popular treats,” said consumer activist Alf Nadir.  “They push their product as a harmless treat, but we know better. Corporate profits are all they care about!”

But lest you think the big square pillows getting stuck in your throat are the only problem, consider the mini marshmallow.

“My toddler tried to stick some up her nose,” said GwynethPaltry. “I don’t think Nazzy’s the only one who’s ever done it.” Katts acknowledged that they didn’t have any statistics on that problem – yet.

“I think if Michelle Obama would look into this we’d get some of the national attention this issue needs. At least we could get them banned in school cafeterias nationwide.”

“We need our government to move on this issue and move fast,” said Betsy Van Worthington.  “Pretty soon the hot cocoa weather will be ending and the public will go back to its usual complacency. How many more have to die because of marshmallows?”

“The least we could do is to require marshmallows only be sold to those over 18. We already have to show our licenses for beer and dry ice and be patted down at the airports. Right now your child could be gone in a puff,” said Nadir. “Literally.”

Numbers Mumbo Jumbo

Today’s jobs numbers seem to have given a boost to whatever side you’re on.

The number of  jobs created was a puny 103,000. Earlier in the week analysts were touting the Household Survey and ADP numbers which pointed to a jump of 297,000 jobs.  Seemed shaky to me. Those numbers rarely hit their mark and didn’t this time either. That small number of  actual jobs is not enough to lift us out of high unemployment. In the Bush years, economists expressed disappointment throughout the 50-ish month streak of  job increases in the triple digits. This number seems pathetic.

I don’t see how that few jobs could lower the unemployment rate .4 to 9.4%. Liberals will tout this drop today, pressing people to believe that Obama’s plans are working.

But others say that 6.4 million are still unemployed and that the work force shrunk by 260,000.

Why the seeming discrepancy? People may have given up looking, thus lowering the unemployment number. Some attribute the unemployment benefits expiring for long time lookers and they just gave up. Or, it could be December; an odd month with seasonality a big part of the drop.

Probably this number is a good litmus test for politics. Democrats  will rejoice at the 9.4% and Republicans will worry about the mere 103,000 added jobs. Next month’s results will prove interesting.

SRLC Returns to NOLA

Last spring I was lucky enough to attend the Southern Republican Leadership  Conference in New Orleans. I got to hear and see Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Mike Pence, Bobby Jindal, Haley Barbour and Sean Hannity.

Evidently it was such a success that organizers want to do it again in New Orleans, this time celebrating the legacy of Ronald Reagan in the year of his 100th birthday.

 Joining those speakers will be Michele Bachmann, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio.

It will be held June 16-18 with events taking place at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. Last year’s event took place there also, and it is a very nice, well located hotel. You can register for the event at www.rlc2011.com. Registering before January 31 will cut a $100 off the fee.

Last year, a group from Memphis took the train to New Orleans and had a great time!

Strickland Shares His Views

Our City Council representative, Jim Strickland, addressed the Midtown Republican Club last night.

The first topic he delved into was the continuing school charter mess.

“On one day everything changed,” Strickland said. “As of March 1st, there could be no city schools.  Right now, there is literally no plan. It’s an interesting legal situation,” he said. “The statute is dead silent on whether the suburbs can vote.”

Strickland believes the election commission will get some guidance from the state on setting a date and thinks that voters will pass the surrender of the city school charter “overwhelmingly.” State law would put David Pickler in charge of both city and county school systems then and his term would run until 2012, even though he doesn’t live here. “We don’t know what changes they would make,” he said, noting that Pickler has said there would be no optional schools. “We don’t know the ground rules.”

Acknowledging that the city pays a billion dollars on schools  for its approximately 105,000 students – at a cost of $10,500 per student – Strickland would like to see smaller districts.  It would be a plus to elect a new school board, or boards, monitored more directly by the residents, he feels.

As for the city in general, Strickland is optimistic, even though he agrees people “vote with their tail lights.”

“For the first time in 2010, MLGW had fewer customers than the year  before. Certain council members didn’t believe we were losing people.” This has made his job harder, but he hopes they are beginning to recognize the true situation.

“People leave an area for three reasons,” he said. “Public safety, schools and taxes. We need to dramatically reduce crime,” he said, noting, crime rates have been going down. The move to revamp the school system is good, too, he adds. As for taxes, Strickland said he needs some support and emails to avoid higher taxes. He related that surprising as it sounds, it is easier to raise taxes than to cut government jobs. The backlash on the latter outweighs tax increase anger.

Still, “I’m optimistic in Midtown about Overton Square,” he said, believing that an upscale grocery store will happen in that area, along with some other projects. He feels the Bass Pro deal will happen; “they are spending a lot of money towards it,” which indicates they’re planning on it.

Members had lots of questions to ask and Council man Strickland graciously accommodated us. We greatly appreciated his time.

A Shining Example

Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn  was on Fox Business Channel’s Varney & Co. this morning to talk about lightbulbs.

Tomorrow she with  Congressmen Burgess and Barton, will file a bill “that would repeal the legislation that effectively  bans the incandescent lightbulb when we are sworn in tomorrow.”

“It’s an example of what happens when you over legislate and government reaches into an area where government has no business reaching,” she explained. “No one has proven that the CFL bulbs last longer or save money. When they break, individuals at recycling centers say what are we supposed to do with these? And, it’s a job killer, too,” Blackburn said, pointing to the recent closings of incandescent plants in California and West Virginia.

She couldn’t give an assurance that it will pass, but hopes it will.

This is absolutely the right thing to do. The government has no right to tell Americans what they must buy or use in their own home. Thank goodness Ms. Blackburn has persevered.