Scraps of Consciousness

16 08 2009

For those of you might be paying attention, I’ve been absent for a bit. In lieu of the usual rant, here are some bits and pieces.


Can somebody please tell me why Cynthia McKinney continues to get press coverage? She is not a member of congress- or any other elected body. She does not fit the usual definition of “celebrity”. And yet, she continues to attention-whore her way into the news cycle at least once a month.


Queen Nancy has managed to win the Hypocrite of the Month Award just before undergoing surgery to remove both feet from her mouth. Despite her outspoken support of organized liberal groups disrupting town hall meetings, she has apparently decided that organized conservative groups disrupting town hall meetings is some kind of sinister conspiracy. An “un-American” sinister conspiracy, no less.

This was stupid back when the Bush Administration tried to classify all dissent as treason, and its still stupid now. A foolish consistency may be the hobgoblin of little minds, but stupid inconsistency is the trademark of the hypocrite. How does this imbecile continue to win re-election? Are the other choices that much worse? Since she is from California, I am forced to concede the possibility.


Speaking of weapons-grade hypocrisy, ex-Veep Cheney has been holding forth (at length) in the media about his thoughts and opinions. For those of you who couldn’t bear to pay attention over the last eight years or so, this is the same man who willfully dodged media attention, public scrutiny, and even Congressional subpoenas when he was in office. When his opinion actually mattered, he was nowhere to be found. Now that he’s a used-to-be, we can’t seem to avoid him.

Clue time: Hey, Dick! When the majority of the country sees you as a sinister, Machiavellian figure, complaining that the President started ignoring your advice and acting “independent” is not going to win you any points. Just take your retirement check and fade into oblivion as quietly as possible.


As I predicted, the American people rapidly lost interest in the tragedy happening in Iran. Driven by the lack of overt, graphic video coverage from the feckless media, the masses of US consumers drifted blindly off to the next manufactured outrage. In the meantime, thousands of people have literally disappeared, violent oppression of all dissent continues unabated on the streets in Tehran and other cities, and spasms of protest keep recurring every forty days or so. Oh, yeah- Ahminadinnerjacket was sworn in as President of Iran. The rest of the world greeted the news with a collective yawn.


I’ve tried to avoid weighing in on the health-care debate. I rarely watch TV, but the little I do watch is saturated with the trials and tribulations of the various health care reform bills being bandied about. Here’s my take:

The system we have now (more or less private industry and free market controlling prices and access to health care) is chaotic and inconsistent. Anecdotal evidence from the UK, Canada, and other places seem to indicate that government-run health care is somewhat less chaotic and somewhat more consistent. Several people who probably don’t know any better have chimed in that the US military has government-run health care. This idea sends a shiver down my spine. The country at large does not- repeat, NOT– want to be subjected to military-style healthcare. Military health care (Tricare for active-duty personnel and the VA for veterans) are hardly models of efficiency and high standards. I have lived through both, and they suck. We already have a government health care plan. It is called Medicare. It sucks. It is marginally better than nothing at all.

Given that the Gummint is incapable of efficiency and cost-effectiveness, I fail to understand why anyone would be interested in a government-run health care system. Those who can afford health insurance and want it already have it. Those who want health insurance and cannot afford it are eligible for Medicare. If they want better medical care than the Gummint provides, they’ll have to pay for it themselves, somehow. Forcing me to pay for everyone else’s health care is hardly a viable option.


At a town hall meeting in New Hampshire, the media managed to manufacture another tempest-in-a-teapot to distract the viewers from the real issues. President Obama was going to be speaking at a high school about health care, and thousands of citizens showed up to advocate one side or another of the debate. Instead of providing actual journalism, however, the media decided to focus on the fact that one of the people outside the venue was carrying a pistol on his hip.

Alarm! Fake outrage! Shrill screeching and squawking from the talking heads! Frantic gesturing and pontificating!

Let’s take a look at the actual facts, shall we?

1- New Hampshire is an open-carry state. This means that any citizen can carry a loaded firearm in public at his or her discretion. There are a few restrictions on places where firearms are not permitted, but the law is fairly clear that wearing a pistol in a holster is not a problem. In addition, according to friends of the man in question, he always carried a gun.

2- The man in question was not a threat to the President. He was contacted by the Secret Service and the police and reminded to stay 1,000 feet from the school, and he complied immediately. If the Secret Service (who are understandably jumpy and disinclined to laxity on the subject of Presidential security) did not have a problem with the armed citizen, why did the media start foaming at the mouth on the subject?

3- When interviewed later by one of the talking heads, the armed citizen was asked if the gun was loaded. WTF? Carrying an unloaded gun would have been stupid beyond belief. I have always held that the media talking heads are ignorant fools, but this was a stupid question- even for them. Here’s a much better question: Were you trying to foment an incident, or are you just stupid? See? That wasn’t too difficult, and I never took any journalism classes in college.


I note with sadness that the Barefoot Bum has chosen to quit blogging. He and I rarely saw eye-to-eye, but he always presented a sound argument and had an excellent grasp of fact and theory. He’ll be missed.

That’s all for now. Tune in next time for more observations of the idiotic and ridiculous.

Current status: Annoyed

Current music: Coffee Song by Soul Coughing



2 responses

16 08 2009

Thanks for your support.

16 08 2009

I just wish:

A- it could have been more, and

B- it reached a wide enough audience to have some effect.

IMO, the act of ignoring what is going on in Iran today shares responsibility with the butchers who are suppressing peaceful dissent for the deaths, imprisonments, and beatings.

But no one here seems to be listening.

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