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Things that recently caught my attention

TOM BURGUM
Staff Columnist
burgum@lbknews.com

Last week was interesting and irritating at the same time. President Obama gave us his version of the state of the union. ISIS continues relieving people of their heads with two Japanese newsmen the latest victims. Meanwhile, the folks at the White House and the State Department continue to validate Orwell’s vision in “1984.” Our leaders continue to do the verbiage dance, insisting, in some cases, that self-confessed radical Islamic terrorists are not really radical, Islamic or terrorists but simply armed insurgents.

I’m sure the recently beheaded Japanese journalists would be relieved to know they were only victims of an armed insurgency, not nasty Islamic terrorists.

I don’t know how or when congress is going to realize that their sycophantic reception of the Executive Branch during the State of the Union address makes them look ridiculous to one and all. During the speech, members of the president’s party manage to do an imitation of the Monkey with Cymbals as they clap and leap to their feet every time the president stops for a breath. It matters not at all as to which party the president belongs to as the reception is always the same. One party cheers and chants approval, the other party glowers. It’s embarrassing.

Even worse, just when you thought the State of the Union extravaganza couldn’t get any shabbier, we are treated to the god-awful, phony, grating, hypocritical chants of solidarity with the slain employees of Charlie Hebdo and freedom of speech. Mark Steyn reported that Gwen Moore (D-WI) led other members to hold up yellow pencils to, in the words of her press secretary, “Rather than divide and intimidate us, these brazen and barbaric attacks have united the international community and prompted a global response in defense of the freedom of expression.” Other than the color of the pencils, nothing about the demonstration rings true.

There is no international solidarity about freedom of speech unless Russia, China, Cuba, Egypt, Iran and most other nations have suddenly come under the spell of  Locke, Hume, Montesquieu and Madison. Hell, freedom of speech is under threat in the United States.

The left is driving a movement to amend the Constitution to allow Congress to limit fundraising and spending on political speech. The Supreme Court has held that bans on spending are also bans on speech. If you disagree, try getting your political ideas out during a political campaign if you can’t pay for TV, radio and newspaper ads. Congress is also seeking to criminalize political demonstrations if they interfere with an event of national importance and, that would include most events as I’m sure most congressmen believe any event including them is of national importance.

So, to members of congress: either really join with those defending free speech or take those pencils and, and − stick them in you ear.

Another item caught my attention. Mark Steyn observed that there are similarities between jihadists and climate-change alarmists. “Both,” he believes, “are fanatical. Both hew to ideologies that brook no dissent or criticism. Both go ballistic− albeit in markedly different ways − when some ’blasphemer’ has the audacity to make withering fun of them and their orthodoxies. Most crucially, however, is the fact that both are control freaks who seek to micro-manage our lives, the climate-change alarmists via onerous environmental regulations, the jihadists via Sharia law.”

If you think Steyn has now gone over the top, consider this item in the January 21st edition of the Guardian (UK), “Greenpeace Activist Calls for Climate Change ‘Deniers’ To be Beheaded.” (He may have been kidding.) The American grown activist isn’t quite as blood thirsty.  Robert Kennedy, Jr., only advocates prison sentences for those who disagree with his environmental views. I suspect beheading would be out of the question but Kennedy has yet to make known his views on the suitability using beheading as a means of correcting those who disagree.

Under the heading of “no good deed goes unpunished,” Raul Castro thanked President Obama for the almost unilateral agreement to normalize relations between Cuba and the United States the White House negotiated with the Castro regime.

In response to America’s new “niceness,” Cuba’s President Raul Castro has demanded the United States return the base at Guantanamo Bay, lift the half-century trade embargo on Cuba and compensate his country for damages if Mr. Obama wants to re-establish normal relations. Castro chose a meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States to announce his new demands. Who would have guessed Castro would throw it back in Mr. Obama’s face? He seemed like such a nice guy.

The Super Bowl provided an item of interest. Pete Carroll decided to pass on 2nd and one at the goal line. The pass was intercepted allowing New England and Darth Vader, their coach, to capture their 4th Super Bowl title.

The conspiracy theories immediately flourished. Since many held the call inexplicable, they came up with the League didn’t want Marshawn Lynch, Seattle’s mute but destructive running back, to become the games most valuable player. Carroll knew that Seattle had run Lynch from the one yard line five times during the season and he had only scored once. Carroll also knew that the type of pass play they ordered up had been tried approximately 110 times during the season by various teams and not one had been intercepted. So, Carroll’s decision was not inexplicable. Wrong maybe, but not without reason. So fans, it wasn’t a League conspiracy.

Lynch ended his silence with a classy statement. When asked if he was angry he had not been given the ball on 2nd and one. He answered, “No, it’s a team game,” thus establishing that he would have made a very worthy “Most Valuable Player.”

 

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1 Response for “Things that recently caught my attention”

  1. ghostrider says:

    “We’re going away,” George Carlin told his audiences in his last years of life. “And then Earth will be just fine.”

    It’s either the news, how much your house has gone up in price, or the desire for tennis spas with helicopter pads and boutiques and facials and….

    Fortunately they can’t take away the view but they’re workin’ on it.

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