30 October 2009
Barred by the constitution of Honduras from serving another term as president, Manuel Zelaya sought to overcome this hindrance by staging a popular referendum (with ballots sent courtesy of Hugo Chávez, who used the same strategy to indefinitely prolong his rule in Venezuela), in early summer, to cancel the upcoming elections. This is unlawful (as is what else he did: foment mob violence in order to carry out his bid), and so the country's highest court and the Congress deposed him. He was arrested and escorted into exile by troops, which may have given casual, careless, prejudiced, or merely stupid observers the impression that he had been ousted in a coup d'état. This ought to have been the end of the affair, for a Honduran issue had been settled by Hondurans, right? Alas, it was not, for a number of other countries in the Americas, including, most shamefully, the USA, have been demanding that Zelaya be restored to power. Not contenting itself with insolent protests, Obama's administration has been trying to bully the small and poor Central American state with tactics, such as sanctions and acts of diplomatic pressure, that go beyond any that his regime has tried with, for instance, Iran. Doesn't Obama believe in "engaging" Honduras?
The first paragraph of this uncommon commentary might seem to break one of my rules for the Doman Domain, viz., avoid addressing issues that I know to have been dealt with adequately by other pundits, but it's only background; the question that I want to explore is, what would motivate the USA or any other country theoretically dedicated to freedom to pursue so obnoxious a policy toward Honduras? Emperor Nerobama has referred to the removal of Zelaya as a "coup," and it may be that, as some commentators have suggested, he jumped to the conclusion that Zelaya had been ousted illegally, and now his ego won't let him admit that he was wrong. This sounds plausible, but Obama had at least one previous knee-jerk reaction (to the Russian-Georgian war in August of this past year; the then-candidate called for "restraint on both sides," as if the Georgians, who were straining to defend their country from a vastly superior invading army, could have imposed "restraint" upon their armed forces without being annihilated), from which position he subsequently backed down. If he could flip-flop on that issue as well as so many others, why not on the pseudo-coup in Honduras? An even worse, but perhaps more likely explanation, is that Obama is just more in sympathy with the left-wing Zelaya than with those who favor the rule of law in Honduras.
24 October 2009
In compiling your long list of things that you thought would never happen in the USA, but which have happened under Emperor Nerobama, don't forget about "attempted muzzling of the press."
On the struggle versus terrorists in Afghanistan, our President's mind can perhaps be likened to the bed of a double amputee, in that someone has to make it up for him. There is, however, one war that he has shown determination to win: that versus Fox News. His administration apparently is indignant that journalists from that network have dared to ask him and his underlings probing questions rather than pay him homage, and it has responded to their independence by refusing to have any dealings with Fox, as when Obama impolitely declined a talk with Chris Wallace. (The White House Communications Directrix has defended the boycott by characterizing the Fox News Channel as "opinion journalism masquerading as news"—but doesn't that description suit the press in general?) The latest offensive (by the politician whose phrase "never stop campaigning" has acquired an ominous new shade of meaning) came on Thursday, when reporters from Fox News were excluded from access to "Pay Czar" Feinberg. The D.C. bureau chiefs of the other networks, however, told the Gestapobama (see the list of domanisms, below) that if their colleagues from Fox were not allowed to interview Feinberg, he wouldn’t be interviewed by anyone; in the face of such solidarity, the Oval Office had to capitulate.
Obama has heretofore been given more favorable press coverage than any other President in history; indeed, even during his quest for the Democratic nomination, which he probably would not have won had it not been for slanted reporting, the bias was evident, and so for him to complain about allegedly partisan media may be the ultimate hypocrisy. Although it's easy to be too optimistic, though, the remarkable fact that at least some influential newsmen have stood up to his bullying could be a sign of a developing change (but not, unfortunately, to the dominance in media of leftists who see their job as an opportunity to alter public opinion; the best that we can hope for is that they will simply forsake Obama, and search for a torchbearer whose approval ratings are not going downhill faster than an Olympic skier).
Seldom do I have cause to praise anyone connected with the media. The taste of alcohol has never held much appeal for me, but I might start imbibing just to drink a toast to the Fox personnel and to those bureau chiefs.
15 October 2009
In a patrilineal culture such as ours, there is really no such thing as a feminine surname; perhaps our culture ought to be matrilineal, as some others are, but the fact remains that it's not. To allege that a woman "loses part of her identity" in adopting her husband's family name is juvenile and egotistic.
09 October 2009
Over the past two decades, Nobel Peace Prize recipients have included a communist autocrat (Mikhail Gorbachev), a terrorist (Yassir Arafat), a terrorist and Marxist (Nelson Mandela), an ineffectual boob (Jimmy Carter), a foreign enabler of Iran's nuclear-arms program (Mohamed ElBaradei), a disseminator of alarmist propaganda (Al Gore), and now Barack Obama. The members of the Nobel committee probably wish that they were members of this body 70 years ago, so that they could give the award to Hitler and Stalin for the Non-Aggression Pact between Germany and the USSR.
The verb "exploit," in popular parlance, has acquired an undeservedly pejorative connotation; what this word really means is simply to make use of (something), not necessarily to do so with ruthlessness or immoderacy. What's wrong with exploiting natural resources, so long as the exploitation is carried out responsibly?
06 October 2009
Sense 2b of my dictionary's entry for the word ("easily detected or seen through : OBVIOUS") is the only way in which Emperor Nerobama's government can be called "transparent."