Friday, May 7, 2010

Say What?

New York Magazine used to have a writing competition challenging readers to compose witty responses to various prompts. For example - Common Phrases Redefined. Competitors were asked to change one letter in a familiar non-English phrase and redefine it.

One reader's response was -
Harlez-vous francais?
(Can you drive a French motorcycle?).

Anyway, a suggested competition - Compose a sentence rendered silly and meaningless by the inclusion of an obvious redundancy.

I tried but I couldn't come up with anything approaching the elegant asininity of a recent MSNBC on-screen headline. Concerning Arizona's recently passed law requiring immigrants to carry documentation with them at all times, (also a Federal requirement by the way, signed into law by FDR more than half a century ago) the network proclaimed,

"The law makes it a crime to be an illegal immigrant."

From the Wall Street Journal yesterday -

Ezra Klein, writing Tuesday on his Washington Post blog about the fact that Faisal Shahzad was in the midst of a home foreclosure when he tried to bomb Times Square:

This guy is like string theory for the media: He brings together the seemingly incompatible stories that drove the past decade. That said, you of course don't want to speculate on why someone "really" did something. The hearts of men are opaque, and motives are complex. But it's a reminder that foreclosures generate an enormous amount of misery and anxiety and depression that can tip people into all sorts of dangerous behaviors that don't make headlines but do ruin lives. And for all that we've done to save the financial sector, we've not done nearly enough to help struggling homeowners.

Klein's remarks offer a revealing insight into the mind of a modern liberal. Klein ignores the obvious - Shahzad is a radical Pakistani Muslim who has been on a terror watch list since 1999. He became "Americanized" to reduce suspicion about his jihadist predelictions. The two stories - radical Islamic terrorism and home foreclosures - are "seemingly incompatible" because they are incompatible. Klein uses a news item - an attempted terror attack designed to murder civilians - to spout off about a totally unrelated liberal cause - the alleged need for additional subsidies for mortgage scofflaws. It's not enough that many of those deadbeats have already exploited ill-advised government largesse to the point of bringing ruin to the economy. Klein wants to continue to reward their irresponsibility.

Again in the WSJ (today).

Last Saturday at the University of Michigan, President Obama noted the importance of maintaining "a basic level of civility in our public debate." He added, "You can question somebody's views and their judgment without questioning their motives or their patriotism."

Obama calling for "civility in our public debate" is like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calling for equal rights for Jews, women and homosexuals. Adding to an already impressive list of "uncivil" comments, Obama lashed out yesterday at Senator Richard Shelby for proposing an amendment to the financial reform bill being debated in Congress.

"I will not allow amendments like this one written by Wall Street's lobbyists to pass for reform."

That was similar to Obama's attack a couple of weeks ago on Senate Republicans Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn when they attended a fact-finding meeting with the nation's leading bankers.

"The leader of the Senate Republicans and the chair of the Republican Senate campaign committee met with two dozen top Wall Street executives to talk about how to block progress on (the financial reform) issue.”

By all means Mr. President. Let's not question anyone's motives. Incidentally, ya think someone's advising Obama to utilize the derogatory adjective, "Wall Street" when talking about individuals and groups he wants to demonize? Ya think?

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