30 April 2010
A principle of good storytelling is that every word counts; since the depiction of sexual intercourse does not advance the plot of a fictional work, it qualifies as pornography. Do you realize, then, just how much pornography (and lack of narrative quality) there is in what now passes as mainstream entertainment?
20 April 2010
On Ash Wednesday, a formerly prestigious newspaper that's published in New York ran a front-page story titled "Party Gridlock in Washington Feeds New Fear of a Debt Crisis." It's unclear why what the paper calls "gridlock" should contribute to fear of a "debt crisis" (as if we weren't undergoing such a crisis already), especially since it might help to prevent Democrats from burdening the country with spending programs that would balloon the national debt; the lurid headline, though, exemplifies one of the many annoying characteristics of leftists, which is that they whine about "gridlock" whenever things aren't going their way. During Clinton's presidency, even before public disgust at his incompetence and corruption resulted in the loss of his party's majority in each house of the US Congress, the Left was condemning Republicans with this same word; an observer who didn't know how our political system is intended to operate might have thought that some sort of gentlemen's agreement bound the opposition not to oppose bills favored by the chief executive, even if those bills would, should they be enacted into law, have a detrimental effect on the country. Now, however, things are even worse; the same blowhards are complaining of "party gridlock" even when Democrats have majorities of 37 seats (236-199) in the US House of Representatives and 18 (59-41) in the Senate! What the ruling party seems to not understand (or, more likely, to understand but to not care about) is that when you hold that many more seats than the opposition does, and you're still unable to run the USA in the way that you want without resorting to disingenuous tactics like budget-wreckin'ciliation, your agenda must be really unpopular.
In a way, the Leftists are right to say that "the system is broken" (although, as explained above, they are right for the wrong reason); one of the prime reasons why our government hardly ever gets anything done is that the president and one or both of the legislative majorities are so often of mutually antagonistic parties. Nonetheless, lack of change is preferable to change for the worse. (Or, at least, it usually is; very often, lamentably, under our system, the only way to discredit a party in the eyes of the voters is to allow it to discredit itself through misgovernance, as the Democrats currently are.)
15 April 2010
Most of the current dissatisfaction with Emperor Nerobama has resulted from his foisting upon us the unpopular, unconstitutional, unmanageable, and unwholesome ObamaCareless; for now, though, let's forget about that—I'm sure that most of my readers would like to be able to forget about that forever—because our President's worst legacy might actually be in the field of not domestic but foreign policy. Take, for example, his recent pronouncement that the USA will not use nuclear weapons even if attacked by such weapons, unless the attack should be made by so-called rogue states like Iran or North Korea. (I say "so-called" because "rogue state" implies the status of an outsider in regard to the world order. I think that it's questionable whether a "world order," as opposed to a world disorder, truly exists; the countries of the "international community" seem to share little other than an indifference toward everything except making money and clamoring for more "rights.")
President Obombast's declaration is notable in more than one way. First, he seems to take it for granted that Iran and North Korea will become nuclear powers, if indeed the latter does not already qualify (as Kim Jong Il's regime says that it does). I must charitably assume that his motivation in making his statement was not to acknowledge that his mishandling of international relations is helping to make such an outcome inevitable, but, rather, to dissuade the polities in question from becoming nuclear powers, for fear of atomic retaliation by the USA; even if that's the case, though, hasn't he betrayed a lack of confidence in his own policy of "engagement?"
Second, and more importantly: In the 65 years that have gone by since the two-ever uses of nuclear weapons, the threat of employing the US atomic stockpile has served the purpose of helping to deter foreign attack upon the USA (and upon our allies). Has it not occurred to Obama that this very purpose is what he now publicly denies it will serve, with, he says, the two exceptions mentioned above? I can only hope that Russia, the People's Republic of China, and other non-"rogue states" have learned that what our President says bears no relation to what he does, so that our shrinking and obsolescent nuclear arsenal can maintain whatever credibility it yet retains as a deterrent. Only God knows how Obama would actually react to an atomic assault upon this country; my guess is that, like Stalin in the wake of the Axis invasion of the USSR, he would fall into a coma-like state, as a result of his inability to reconcile the fact of the disaster with his belief in himself as a sort of secular messiah.