Sunday, June 19, 2011

Random Political Observations Sunday (Vol. 3)

Happy Father’s Day/Trinity Sunday!

Stop the presses.

Actually, the story concerns media priming — “the idea that the things we watch or listen to or read influence our emotions and our behavior, perhaps more than we realize”. And it reminds me of the comedian (I don’t remember his name) who said, “After watching a ‘Rambo’ movie, even Ghandi would come out saying, ‘Very good, let’s go kick some butt!’” The concept deserves more thought than I want to give it here; but it should give us the willies when we remember who’s in charge of Hollywood ….

Rick Perry’s hat not in the 2012 ring yet

I’m lousy about paying attention to local politics, so I can’t really say whether I think Perry’s been good for Texas or not. The word is, though, that if he enters the race, he could upset the whole card and provide Mitt Romney with a very serious rival. As far as his pro-life cred goes, he’s fairly solid; I don’t think he gets the contraception angle (he recently tried to require the HPV vaccine for Texas public schoolgirls), but then very few people outside the inner core of the movement do … including most Catholics. So Perry may be the best deal we can get.

2 Punished After Disabled Gays Told to Leave Pool

Disabled and gay? Boy, somebody picked the wrong time to be authoritarian …. There’s some question about whether or not the two men did kiss, but the suspended employee did admit to having quoted the Bible. So now there’s a sign prohibiting discrimination and excessive PDAs. I hope somebody clarified what “excessive” is ….

Samuel L. Jackson says it’s f***ing bedtime!

I used to blame my salty language on Marine Corps boot camp. Truth is, though, I learned how to swear before I entered junior high. On one memorable occasion, my little brother got into a bloody accident at the bottom of our hill while riding a bike, and as I flew to his rescue, I screamed, “Oh, f***!” … loud enough for my parents to hear. My father (God be good to him), who had no qualms about corporal punishment, was rather diffident about avenging this crime, since he had worn Air Force blue for 22 years and had probably taught me some Anglo-Saxon epithets without meaning to. Over the last twenty years or so, I’ve tried to minimize it, and have been successful to the point that when I do swear it sometimes catches people by surprise.

My objection to blue language is more aesthetic than moral, other than the misuse of the name of the Lord. There are now over a million words in the English language, so it’s unimaginative, not to mention boring and defiling, to make a heavy use of “the seven words you can’t say on television [CONTENT WARNING: Link leads to YouTube clip with strong, obscene language! … i.e., George Carlin when he was funny]. So I try not to swear, and I don’t automatically find cussing funny anymore.

Except when it’s Samuel L. Jackson. The man is an artist with cuss words. And so I picked up the audio version of the parody children’s book Go the F**k to Sleep, by Adam Mansbach. It’s available through for free. If you’re violently against strong language, then don’t bother. If, however, you’re not against strong language, you’ve got kids/been a babysitter, and/or you love Sam Jackson, listen … and try not to bust a gut laughing.

Yes, I know this isn’t a political observation. Slow news day.

Creative Minority Report has a couple of posts on Mitt Romney's refusal to sign the Susan B. Anthony List's Pledge, which the good folks at SBA List are using as a litmus test for pro-life candidates. Now, Rick Santorum has pointed out that one of Mitt's stated reasons for refusing to sign — that he would be required "to end all federal funding for thousands of hospitals across America" — is a misunderstanding and misrepresentation of the third plank of the Pledge ("defund Planned Parenthood and all other contractors and recipients of federal funds with affiliates that perform or fund abortions"). 

Okay, grant that Romney's first argument is a misunderstanding. His second argument, though — he doesn't want his hands tied on his decisions by a third party — I have to agree with; if I were a candidate in '12, I'd refuse to on that principle alone. Most people with any political sense whatsoever know that to be appointed to a major position in the Executive would carry along with it the responsibility not to act against the Oval Office; that's career suicide. It's unlikely that anyone wholly opposed to the pro-life movement would accept an appointment in any of those key roles in a committed pro-life administration anyway. It matters less whether Dr. Joe Schmuckatelli, Director of the NIH, is against abortion than it does that Pres. Schmuckatelli is against abortion and a Chief Executive capable of instilling and supporting loyalty among his subordinates.