Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thoughts While Shaving: Obama’s Low Bow…Michael Scott RIP…Sarah Palin’s Book.


A Low Bow to Racial Royalty.

Barack Obama executed a lower-than-low bow to Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko…a 15 degree bow so it could not be mistaken. Earlier he performed a smaller variation to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. And earlier than that he didn’t bow at all to the Queen of England. What’s the difference?

No one in the media dare suggest that the subliminal difference in Obama’s mind may well be race. Anyone who thinks our first mixed racial president is not consumed by race hasn’t paid sufficient attention to his career—or to the rush-to-judgment he made anent the Cambridge police concerning the Henry Louis Gates, Jr. affair where without any information he declared the Cambridge police “acted stupidly.”

The legacy of the `60s is affirmative action, something unfortunately I know a great deal about—having erred grievously by writing the awful concept into the 8(a) brand of compensatory capitalism (but which I sought to limit after 10 years but which has been extended in-perpetuity ). It has now come to mean exaggerated and unneeded obeisance to minorities in deference to exploitation of darker-skinned races by Caucasians: a stereotype in contemporary drawing-room manners …and has become politically de rigueur ever since—enduring forever with our misnamed “mainstream media.”

Every time I criticize this, some posturing dolt with no sense of history but an uplifted sense of moral superiority will up and say “you’re a racist!”…that kind of nonsense which obliterates discussion. What we want, friends, is to yank the tiller back to the first words of Martin Luther King, Jr. that called for Americans to be considered solely by the content of their character—period. Meaning equality of opportunity, no thumb on the scale for one race or another.

Usually those who object to such conversation are angry minorities, or minorities who want to exploit the stereotype in order to get a leg up… or guilt-ridden whites who, having not lived through the era of virulent anti-black racism want to seem “ cool” and fashionable in pronouncing for the oh-so-trendy. They’re also for the most part consumed with our civil religion—which is disinterested in eternal absolutes but…since religious views are an integral part of human makeup…substitute niceties for it: affirmative action and correctness in race, the addition of feminism and gay-ness as an addition to the social makeover catalog (nowhere better satirized than by “Seinfeld” where someone assumes Jerry is gay and warns him—adding “not that there’s anything wrong with that!”).

My theory is that Obama’s theatrical low bow has racial exaggeration written all over it. But wait--maybe the low bow was to make up for Old Man Bush puking his guts out all over the lap over the Japanese Prime Minister some years ago. If that were the reason, I’d endorse it.

Michael Scott RIP.

I knew and liked Michael Scott intensely…knew him from the City Club and found his gregariousness catching. So, along with everyone else I am disturbed by the strange earmarks of his suicide—if it WAS suicide as my good friend Phil Krone speculated in The Chicago Daily Observer. The only other person I knew reasonably well who committed suicide was Steve Neal of the Sun-Times. But all the while, the symptoms were there: Neal was a very-very heavy drinker, an indication that he turned to it to fight depression. In addition to depression, there were anxiety demons…real and fancied… torturing Neal which the drinking seemed to blot out for a time—until the intoxication failed to work.

Even then, Neal took the exit route in a rather commodious way…getting middling drunk, then going to the garage, starting the car and sitting there until he drifted away. The thing that bothers me about Michael is…as John Kass discusses in a brilliant column… that he chose the world’s most disadvantageous route for one determined to do himself in: going at midnight to a spot behind the Merchandise Mart to the place where the ancient railroad bridge stands erect (rusting to pieces in an upright attitude it has held since I was a kid)…skittering between the empty whiskey bottles and syringes to the water’s edge…running the risk of being mugged by any derelict who happened to stumble along (and no, I don’t care what anyone says, a potential suicide usually wouldn’t venture to a spot where bums might botch the job he wanted to reserve for himself), then firing one shot into his brain and falling into the shallow water. Given that suicide is an attitude of despondency, going to that amount of discomfort and physical endangerment before you get to the exact spot where you want to end it all is difficult to understand.

Along with others, I’ve considered the possibility that the Feds came to Scott and told him one of his aldermanic contacts carried a wire for a long time and have him on tape—something that is reasonable given the nature of realty development in this town…and Scott was involved (so far as we know blemish-free)…in development in the 29th ward and dealt extensively with its alderman Ike Carothers, a federal indictee who wore a wire and recorded everyone of importance he visited with or talked to on the phone. No prejudgment here and everything I know about Michael Scott is that he is a fighter and would be dedicated to angrily prove his innocence.

Frankly, as I see Mayor Daley try to shunt aside any suggestion of foul play, I hope the cops maintain independence and not exclude the possibility.

Where murder is a possibility, I don’t like to see political powerbrokers try to brush aside the need for thorough investigation.

Going Rogue.

Like all supporters of Sarah Palin, I want desperately for her to succeed to prove right my original joy at her nomination. And I want her critics to be confounded. They are truly a despicable lot, the same ones who borked a brilliant Supreme Court nominee who by his intellectual prowess could have reversed the temper of the Court, who earlier destroyed Joe McCarthy to the point where in the public mind it’s incidental whether he was overwhelmingly right or wrong (he was largely right)…people like the snide David Letterman who are disinterested in whether someone is correct or not, just inferring a measure of stupidity if the target challenges the liberal correctness of the time…an attitude that encourages one to say “hooray!” now that Mrs. Letterman has kicked him out of their house for disloyalty to her and making his office a smarmy place of sexual assignation.

And so I read Palin’s book “Going Rogue” with interest.

It’s been professionally co-written for style by Lynn Vincent who is a very fine correspondent with “World” magazine but the words and flavor are definitely Palin. It covers Palin’s background very well, capturing her feelings as thoroughly as a biography can. I was especially moved about her inner thoughts as she discovered she was carrying a Down Syndrome baby and her decision to avoid abortion and go ahead with it. It was this decision that earned her the undying enmity of the feminist Left…an enmity as Charles Krauthammer points out is born of scarcely hidden jealousy since they would not have had the courage to go along with the birth and consequently berate themselves—and end up hating Palin for it.

I think the book accomplished its purpose and was astutely put together. I cheer the fact it has no index because political phonies who pick it up and riffle through to the back so see if they are mentioned will have to buy it: a wise decision.

Now I would urge Mme. Palin to do one thing that will advance her career. She should not be in the everyday business of blasting this or that media individual—be it Couric, Olbermann, Letterman—or any publication that criticizes her. She should have either one spokesman or a vehicle to do that. She trivializes herself as she did yesterday by condemning Newsweek as “sexist” for running a certain unflattering photo of her on its cover. Newsweek is a very left-of-center organ, is gradually being seen for what it is and ignored—either that or slammed by someone else.

Beyond that, I am assuredly a Palin fan and wish her well. I would wholeheartedly love to see this country governed by her and let the “mainstream” media go to hell where it belongs.

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