Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dreaming of the 1980 Hockey Team

Did you watch "The '80s" documentry on the National Geographic channel? What a terrific program. It highlighted the major events and developments of the era and showed how today's technology and culture took root in the decade of leg warmers and shoulder pads. It didn't pull any punches. Some things were good, some things were bad. And some things (the Challenger disaster) should not have happened.

The series opened with a review of The Miracle on Ice, when the US hockey team kicked the teeth out of a bunch of Russian commie punks at the 1980 Olympics.

Leading up to that event was a description of a poor economey, high gas prices, high unemployment, a lot of hard knocks (the aftermath of Vietnam, the Iranian hostage crisis), people feeling down about themselves and the country and looking for something--anything--to make them feel good again. Enter the 1980 Olympic hockey team. And Ronald Reagan with his optimism and enthusiasm about how great America was and could be again.

It's hard not to make a connection between 1980 and 2013.

Poor economy, high gas prices, high unemployment, continuous war, a lot of hard knocks (school shootings, natural disasters, terrorism overseas and at home).

But there are huge differences, too. Overall, people are feeling pretty good. Nobody is missing any meals, most bills are getting paid (except for the one or two people featured on the news but the only reason they're not eating is because they're too proud to go on welfare). There seems to be no shortage of money. Working in downtown San Francisco, I always see full restaurants. The sidewalks are full of people in business attire and the streets are stuffed with cars.

The mall parking lot is always full.

All of this despite the fact that Mr. Obama (Bless His Holy Name) leads with the greatest example of mediocraty since Ulyses S. Grant. People seem to like him and his message of lowered expectations.

I don't see a lot of people struggling. Unless they're struggling with a hangover.

A long time ago, in a decade far, far away, we were down and needed a boost. We got it with the Olympic team. I'm not sure where we are in 2013. We're fat and happy while we keep our fingers in the dyke as the ship sinks. We're happy as long as there are plenty of circuses and football games to watch. Reality TV offers an easy escape from....what? What misery are we hiding from? Why even have a Misery Index anymore?

Considering the times, we're way, way too happy.

America sure has changed. I'm not sure we'll ever see a 1980s America again. Maybe that's a good thing. But I sure like a strong economy. I like optimism. I like a leader who understands we're a great nation that can do great things that is too good for a handout and should be insulted by income redistribution.

Maybe I'm getting too far ahead. Perhaps, like the alcoholilc, we haven't hit rock bottom yet. We're not vomiting in the gutter and getting kicked out of the house because we can't control ourselves. Perhaps a harder fall is coming than the one we took in 2008, and maybe that will bring us back to the conditions we faced as the '80s began. We need it. And then we'll be desperate for a reason to feel good again. We'll need an equivielent of a 1980 Olympic hockey team and a new leader to remind us that we are a great people made for great things and can stand up to great opposition and weren't made for handouts and income redistribution.

Right now it doens't look like we'll get there. But there was also a time, in the 1980s, when it seemed like the party would never end. Maybe in ten years I'll write another article about how we came back.


I sure hope so.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Mr. Paisley, I Am Not An Accidental Racist

Recently country & western star Brad Paisley teamed up with rapper LL Cool J to sing a song about racism called "Accidental Racist" where once again this generation feels the need to fall on the sword of its ancestors and take the blame for slavery and everything bad that ever happened to black people.

Race has always been a touchy subject and it's touchiness that has grown like a cancer since Obama (Bless His Holy Name) was elected. Anybody who disagrees with the president has been labeled a racist, a Jim Crow fanatic, a KKK member, etc., etc. It has become yet another disgusting tactic of the left amongst many disgusting tactics. But first, the song.

Paisley sings:

"To the man that waited on me at the Starbucks down on Main, I hope you understand
When I put on that t-shirt, the only thing I meant to say is I'm a Skynyrd fan
The red flag on my chest somehow is like the elephant in the corner of the south
And I just walked him right in the room
Just a proud rebel son with an 'ol can of worms
Lookin' like I got a lot to learn but from my point of view"

In other words, if you wear a T-shirt that has a Confederate flag on it, you might be a racist. Even if you're not, hence the title. So be careful what you wear and watch every single word you say because somewhere, somehow, a black person will hate you.

Paisley continues:

"'Cause I'm a white man livin' in the southland
Just like you I'm more than what you see
I'm proud of where I'm from but not everything we've done
And it ain't like you and me can re-write history
Our generation didn't start this nation
And we're still paying for the mistakes
That a bunch of folks made long before we came
And caught between southern pride and southern blame."

I appreciate that Mr. Paisley focused on the South, that hotbed of slavery and racism, where the good old boys still run the show and most walk around in wife beater T-shirts sucking on ham hocks while talking like Foghorn Leghorn using the grammatical skills of a goat and ending every sentence with "Freebird!" or "Get Her Done!" I'm not terribly fond of the south, but not because of slavery or the rebellion. Anybody who thinks that words like "I reckon", "we're fixin' to", and "all y'all" is proper English is an illiterate, and I'm not a fan of illiterates. I have never met a Southerner who does not use that combination of alleged words.

Mr. Paisley is typical of white left-wingers who think this country is horrible because of blips in the past where we weren't on our best behavior or living up to our ideals. Jim Crow laws were awful. Segregation, etc., all of it was bad, and an affront to what this country says it stands for. But we reversed course long ago. A lot of men died to reverse that course, but nobody seems to remember that. Any racism that continues in this country is the fault of individuals, and I refuse to join the pity party and say that slavery is my fault. It's not my fault; it's probably not your fault, either. Yet here we are surrounded by people who are looking for absolution from something that they had nothing to do with, and black people who continue to pick at the scabs and tell us their life would be better if our great, great grandparents hadn't owned their great, great, grandparents, so we need to give them a ton of money. (By the way, my great, great, grandparents weren't even in this country during that period, so don't lay your crap on me.) And Obama (Bless His Holy Name) has only made the problem worse (or at least his people have) by race baiting in an effort to silence critics. Why does it work? Because whites are sensitive to the accusation. Because whites feel guilty over something they had nothing to do with.

I think I am most offended with the line "And we're still paying for the mistakes." Like Job, Mr. Paisley wants to spend his life wearing sackcloth and ashes and scratching his wounds with broken pottery hoping that somehow, someway, black people will tell him, "It's OK, bro. Let's hug it out, dawg."

LL Cool J, that rapper from back in the day, sort of makes my point:

"Dear Mr. White Man, I wish you understood
What the world is really like when you're livin' in the hood
Just because my pants are saggin' doesn't mean I'm up to no good
You should try to get to know me, I really wish you would
Now my chains are gold but I'm still misunderstood
I wasn't there when Sherman's March turned the south into firewood
I want you to get paid but be a slave I never could
Feel like a new fangled Django, dodgin' invisible white hoods
So when I see that white cowboy hat, I'm thinkin' it's not all good
I guess we're both guilty of judgin' the cover not the book
I'd love to buy you a beer, conversate and clear the air
But I see that red flag and I think you wish I wasn't here."

In other words, if we would only talk, we could understand each other. I'm all for conversation. Usually when I get a bad first impression of somebody, that impression can be turned around by a short chat, but not always. Sometimes the cover is the book, my friends. But I think LL Cool J really does make my point. The alleged hatred of blacks to whites may be a figment of the white's imagination, but whites are too busy beating their breasts--"Oh, I'm so sorry, Mr. Black Person, why am I so horrible, why, why, why!"--to take that into account.

There's a lot to disagree with in the lyrics. Why do whites think they're under a racial microscope? Why do whites assume that blacks are always looking for offensive things, like unassuming T-shirts? Maybe some are, but I'm not so sure. I think most blacks, like everybody else, are busy thinking about their own lives and activities and not watching for the racist around the corner.

This song has stirred up much conversation, from some who say it shouldn't be brought up to others who applaud what Mr. Paisley has said. I haven't heard anybody say, though, that perhaps Mr. Paisley is trying to take on a load that he was never meant to carry. One cannot ignore past mistakes, but one should also not wallow in them, either. Whites and blacks need to stop wallowing. Our attitudes are different now. The world is different now. In a lot of ways, it's better now. Why can't we focus on the changes that have been made instead of the problem? A lot of Yankee vets died for those changes, and we dishonor their memory and their sacrifice by continuing to feel guilty.

And, seriously, Mr. Cool J? If I see a fellow with his pants halfway down his rear end, I don't necessarily think he's a thug, but I do think he's a lazy bum who can't be bothered to properly dress himself. If you're fixin' to get some respect, I reckon all y'all need to pull up your goddamn pants.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Save the Planet by Working Less

The words “liberal think tank” may be the biggest contradiction in terms ever recorded (second only to “military intelligence”), but a study from the Center for Economic Policy and Research, one such “think tank” should get your attention.

Basically, a new study released by the center says that we can save the planet if we work less.

Call you boss tomorrow and use that as an excuse for not going into the office.

The study’s author, economist David Rosnick, favors the European model of “work,” which includes fewer hours and more vacation time. Rosnick believes that the planet will be better off because factories will have fewer operating hours, which means said factories will produce less greenhouse gases. People won’t be commuting, so awful carbon monoxide won’t be released into the atmosphere. He thinks the American work schedule of 40-hours a week should be cut by ten hours by the end of 2013. Or something like that. It’s the usual liberal bunk. He’s advocating less productivity, less pay, in exchange for more vacation time. That's how they do it in Europe so it makes sense, right?

I don’t mind working; I do a lot of it. Sitting around the house all day drives me up the wall. Any more than two days off, and I start going stir-crazy. Our standard of living depends on our productivity. If I am making less money by working less hours, extra vacation time doesn't mean anything—I couldn't afford to go anywhere!

Why do liberals hate the idea of work? Perhaps the required responsibility to a job, showing up on time, actually performing assigned tasks, is just too much for their little brains. It’s easier to sit on the couch and watch Judge Judy and suck on bon-bons all day until American Idol comes on.

One can suppose that this lines up with the progressive agenda that as many people as possible should be doing as little as possible (when it comes to work, of course—they can take a bus to a protest every day of the week, no problem). This explains the growing amount of citizens in the U.S. who are on some form of public assistance. But if their lack of a job is saving the planet, we shouldn't complain. It also means that our tax money, used to pay off the freeloaders, is also being used to save the planet! That means I’m doing more for the environment than twenty self-righteous Prius drivers combined!

And to think, without Obama, we wouldn't have such a glorious opportunity to save our poor Earth.