Don't miss today's year-end editorial in your New York Times. The President of the United States, who has kept the incompetent whiners in lower Manhattan safe for the past six years, is without integrity, principle or decency, and uses the powers of the presidency dishonorably.
While we suppose that various psychoactive medications might provide some relief, we are of a mind to take up a collection to purchase airline tickets to someplace more amenable to the editorialists. Caracas perhaps?
Remember that kid in grade school who reminded the teacher that she'd forgotten to assign homework? And always knew when the teacher's birthday was, and organized a party? The line-leader? The frickin' little tattle-tale establishment power-freak ass-kisser . . . .
His second- grade teacher, Cecilia Sugini, says he often led his peers when they lined up single-file for class and was quick to let her know when other pupils misbehaved.
It would be a useful exercise to imagine what each of our presidential candidates was like in Sixth Grade. Romney's hair was always combed, and he always had his homework, but he didn't wave his hand to be called on. Giuliani was the kid who organized the games, and then wanted to be the referee. Hillary was the smart girl who also took piano lessons from the teacher, the girl who did your homework for you, and then ratted you out to the teacher (and received lavish praise for being so honest). John Edwards was a little slow, but popular with the girls and the principal for all that -- plus he got beat up on the playground a lot.
And our man Fred? Is there any doubt that Thompson was the kid whose socks sometimes didn't match (which the girls found cute, and the boys way cool), who sometimes didn't do his homework, but always had a plausible story, was everybody's friend, skipped school to go fishing, and (in 8th Grade) got caught smoking out behind the girls' gym? We still like Fred.
Assume that you don't know that this is Fred Thompson, the lazy guy who doesn't know how to campaign, the guy who doesn't seem terribly keen on being president. Instead, pretend that this is just one more smart fellow you know. Assume that he believes what he says. Assume that he won't change his mind next week when a new poll comes out. If you do, you'll discover that he's saying things that you already know. You'll discover that you agree with most of what he says he believes. Unless, that is, you're an idiot:
Your proprietor will be traveling to deepest, darkest Fauquier County the rest of this week, so posting will be scant. Broadband has not reached so deep into God's country, and connecting to the internets is like trying to eat chili through a soda straw.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
It's always best to tell the truth, rather than to say what you think your listener wants to hear. But politicians are selling every second and, unlike most salesmen, they have a wider field of play in representing just what the product is. A used car is, after all is said and done, still just a used car, and no amount of slick talking can make it into a blimp -- but a favorite book could be anything, and who's to contradict you?
Sometimes, however, you get called out by the most unlikely critics, as Mike Huckabee learned when he decided to talk down to the wrong little girl:
“Who is your favorite author?” Aleya Deatsch, 7, of West Des Moines asked Mr. Huckabee in one of those posing-like-a-shopping-mall-Santa moments.
Mr. Huckabee paused, then said his favorite author was Dr. Seuss.
In an interview afterward with the news media, Aleya said she was somewhat surprised. She thought the candidate would be reading at a higher level.
It's hard to know if Governor Huckabee is a truly gifted political strategist and an inspired tactician, or if he's just lucky, or if his current series of largely flawless moves is indeed Providential. We are inclined to discount the last, believing that The Lord will wait until at least the South Carolina primary to make up His mind.
But it's the joyous season of Christmas, when America celebrates retail excess, credit card debt, and office party groping. Meanwhile, many who harbor even mild Christian orthodoxy steel themselves to be more or less irritated and offended by the annual Christmas Culture Wars.
At which time Huck releases a campaign ad that does not wish everyone the happy greetings appropriate to their season, nor does it use the phrase, long since banned from the public square, "Merry Christmas." Instead, Governor Huckabee refers to the "celebration of the birth of Christ." But see for yourself:
This has the political junkies at National Review Online chattering away in breathless awe at the brilliance of it all, and they may well be right. Jonah Goldberg:
If Huckabee had simply said this is a time to celebrate Christmas, it wouldn't have had nearly so much cultural oomph. A generic Christmas ad would still have been smart, because it would humanize him and makes him seem like he was taking the high road, but the "Birth of Christ" thing taps perfectly into a very common resentment about Christmas: that the Christianity is being taken out of it. This gives Huckabee's ad just the slightest spin as a volley in the "Christmas wars" but not enough for him to be fairly tagged as trying to politicize Christmas. Rather, that charge will be aimed at anyone who complains about the ad. It really is quite deft.
This "Merry Christmas" thing is ingenious. In essence, it's playing the secular media off against his GOP rivals in order to solidify his base. I'm no Huckabee fan but, like Peter, I think he's been amazingly nimble and very sophisticated - as a campaigner, I hasten to add: the policy's another matter.
I wonder what the long-term consequences will be for the GOP. Huckabee turns the conventional wisdom on Republican outreach on its head: Instead of being fiscally conservative and socially "moderate", he's culturally conservative and fiscally populist. But right now he's making these big-money consultant-led rivals look very arthritic.
One reader observes that the ad "underlines the message that he's the Christian in the race (distinguishing himself from the Mormon, the adulterer, the movie star, etc, etc.)" Indeed it does.
We're not particular Huckabee partisans around these parts, but he's fun to watch.
Has anyone ever wondered why people with guns who have kissed sanity good-bye never take out their uncontrollable rage on the nearest police station?
Nor do they drive off to the nearest Army base, shooting range or hunting club to vent their murderous frustration.
It should only take a moment's thought to understand why: Those places have people who have relatively easy access to weapons themselves.
It's one thing to be homicidal and suicidal, but it's quite another to consider that one's murderous intent could be brought to an untimely halt through the immediate application of superior firepower.
Suppose someone had figured out a way to game the Social Security system, so that people who were not entitled to Social Security checks could get them. And suppose the federal government did nothing about this. And suppose their doing nothing about it made some fair-sized segment of the electorate mad as hell. Would those people be "anti-Social-Security"?
I think we ought to be out there talking about ways to reduce energy consumption and waste. And we ought to declare that we will be free of energy consumption in this country within a decade, bold as that is.
Once upon a time, more or less in 1980, two youngish, smartish fellows acquired devices much like the one over there -------> They discussed things like AppleWriter, and wondered about whether they could afford the big upgrade represented by a 16K RAM card. There wasn't anything called the Internet, and communication was peer-to-peer. We didn't know that, and referred to it as "calling up Jack's computer using the 300 baud modem." No, really. Would we kid you? We would not.
What happens, more or less 25 years later, when those same two guys journey into the land of Facebook, in order to stalkcheck up on maintain contact with their twentysomething kids? Are there some things in his daughter's Friends list that a father just shouldn't see? What is the answer to the dad's plea, "How can he have 225 friends, and include no plain-looking girls?" We'll be exploring these and other important questions of the 21st century.
From his remote hideaway in dampest Oregon, or Washington, or British Columbia, or one or another of those states north of Los Angeles that isn't San Francisco, the Old Timer writes: "So, how are you doing keeping up on current events? Do you know the identity of the subject of the following news report: 'the tiny bitch was whisked away under an assumed name after receiving about 20 threats.'"
Each year, the Merriam-Webster folks (the ones who publish the real dictionary that's not the OED) come up with their "Words of the Year," based on online lookups (not to be confused, one must suppose, with online hookups).
Following the misery inflicted on Islam by a toy bear that ended up with calls for the execution of an English woman, more Muslims are stepping forward with stories of long-suppressed emotional trauma imposed on them by so-called reality. This has led to the creation of support groups and social networks that help followers of the Prophet Mohammed cope with the agony of learning about life outside of their immediate environment, offering assistance with technical resources, practical guidance, and strategies for early intervention and punishment of those who offend Islam.
Studies conducted by mental health professionals have shown that Muslim men and women are often offended by the most unexpected items, including baby rattles, hummingbirds, home appliances, or geographical maps with polar ice caps. On the top ten list of the most offensive things are rectal thermometers and the word "allometric," which many consider an underhanded insult to Allah.
NEW YORK—Steaming black-guy heads, the traditional sign of approaching winter for generations of football fans, have been occurring later in the season with every passing year, a fact that may be evidence of a climatic change with long-term effects on football itself, top scientists in the meteorological department of the National Football League said in a study released Monday.