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This Is What Democracy Looks Like
Today's Note From a Madman
September 27, 2007
I found the following as a result of a Yahoo.com search using the search phrase "Al Roker Don Imus":
"It is time for [Imus] to go,"
""The 'I'm a good person who said a bad thing' apology doesn't cut it. At least he didn't try to weasel out of this by hiding behind alcohol or drug abuse,"
-Al Roker from his blog after the Rutgers' basketball incident
The statement appeared immediately following Bernard McGuirk's "Nappy headed hos" comment. McGuirk was one of Imus' producers (cast?) and a frequent contributor, performing such skits as a very insulting John Cardinal O'Conner (now Egan) reading the lottery numbers.
So, in the aftermath of the Bill O'Reilly racial affair, I figured I'd try the same kind of search. (I wrote this prior to actually performing the search, so the rest of this article was up in the air at this point.) Nothing more than the usual crap.
Next was Al Roker's blog. Nothing on page one, so I did a search and here's what I got:
"What I love is that between (Michael) Moore and Bill O'Reilly, there is no moderate base in this country."
-Roker, from AlRoker.com, October 13, 2003
And checking Roker's NBC blog was even worse. After not seeing anything on page one, I preformed another search. Here's the results:
"No pages were found containing 'O'Reilly'".
And what about Al Sharpton? Surely after such a slur not only against him, but against the African American community as a whole.
"I think black Americans are starting to think more and more for themselves. They're getting away from the Sharptons and the Jacksons and the people trying to lead them into a race-based culture."
"And I couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia's restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it's run by blacks,
When I think of Imus' and McGuirk's remarks, I can't help but think, "How stupid was that?" Then I remember that Imus went on Al Sharpton's radio program, perhaps in an effort to save his job but also as a show of contrition and, at least on the surface, and attempt to make it right. But why does O'Reilly get a pass from Sharpton?
Here's my theory: Sharpton is a frequent guest on Fox News. I have to wonder if his appearances not only give him the national attention he craves by making him Fox' face for the African American population, but if he's getting cold, hard cash for his "efforts." We already know that Sharpton doesn't pay for the meals.
"I treated him to dinner,"
But why such a rush to forgive - strike that - forget and allow O'Reilly's remarks from Al? Sharpton appeared on O'Reilly's Fox TV show last night and, believe it or not, had this to say:
“You and I have gone to dinner before in Harlem, and I’ve never heard you say anything offensive,”
-Sharpton, who wanted to wait until he heard the comments before saying anything publicly
Huh? Wha-? Are you freekin' kidding me? The man who decided to prosecute two innocent NYPD detectives in the Twana Brawley affair; the man who is credited for starting a riot in Brooklyn which resulted in death and a store fire is giving none other than Bill O'Reilly a free pass?
And is he really trying to tell us all that a full day had gone by without him hearing the O'Reilly statements? Does anyone on the planet actually believe that?
Far be it from me to pass judgment about this issue. After all, I'm a middle age white guy from the New Jersey suburbs without reason to be insulted by O'Reilly's comments, except for my opinion that all human beings should have been offended by them. But Sharpton's dismissiveness about it should really make everyone stand up and ask "Why?"
The United States of America - The Earth's Newest Third-World Nation
Isn't it funny: The original idea of NAFTA was to bring the economy of Mexico up, which would have made American-made goods, in the form of exports, more accessible to the people of Mexico. So what has happened recently with the economies of our other neighbor, the one to the North (it's Canada, people), one can now see the promise of NAFTA finally coming true.
During President Bush's time in the Oval Office, we have seen the value of our currency deteriorate by close to fifty percent of it's 2001 inherited value (the value he inherited from his predecessor, Bill Clinton). From seventy-seven cents a Euro, today you'll have to shell out $1.40; from $1.27 for a British Pound. today you'll have to shell out two pictures of George Washington for just one picture of Queen Elizabeth; and, here's that killer, your American dollar can now be exchange straight up for a Canadian dollar, a devaluation of over 40 percent!
If this keeps up, soon we'll be able to change our dollars for Mexican Peso's! Maybe this is President Bush's immigration plan: To make our American money so worthless that it would no longer be an advantage for Mexicans and others to cross our southern border for "The jobs Americans won't do." Come to think of it, if you couple the loss of value in the American dollar with the loss of jobs to overseas manufacturers, call centers and such, perhaps George Bush's whole philosophy is to put America in such a hole that no one in their right mind would want to come here for anything other than a cheap vacation I can see it now:
"Come to America - Not Just Your Ordinary Third-World Nation"
They could hang it up right next to "Mission Accomplished."
A New Kind of Bush-Speak
So it turns out that President Bush needs help pronouncing words, places and people's names. According to White House spokeswoman Dana Perino, a mistake had been made which allowed all of us to know that our leader really needs things spelled out for him... literally.
"There was an error made. I don't know how the draft of the speech that was not final was posted but it was and it was taken back."
This ties up many peculiarities I have noticed President Bush perform (for lack of a better word) while giving speeches in his seven years in the White House. Think of how many times you've heard him emphasize the hard-to-pronounce name of a world leader he obviously had never heard of, or a place on the map he never knew existed. Think of the smirk on his face after successfully pronouncing names like Poland's leader Lech Walesa or places like Warziristan. Think of that little laugh (heh-heh) after such victories and his little celebrations.
President Bush requires the assistance of phonetic coaching in order to communicate with the world.
Now, one would think that the President of the United States would, on occasion, watch the evening news, a talking head cable TV show or listen to a Right Winger on the radio. And you'd think that while watching or listening to one of these shows, he might pick up the correct pronunciation of one or two of those words, and be able to retain it.
No, no, no... Not OUR president.
Even names that would appear to be hard to misinterpret aren't taken for granted by the President's people. Here is just a small list of some of the words and names which he needs a little help with:
French President Nicolas Sarkozy (sar-KO-zee)
Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe (moo-GAH-bee)
The Zimbabwe capital Harare (hah-RAR-ray)
And you'll notice the CAPITAL letters in each of these phonetic words - they're there so President Bush knows where to put the emphasis.
I'm reminded of WJM's Ted Baxter, the fictional anchorman from the 1970's Mary Tyler Moore Show played by Ted Knight. That character also needed help pronouncing his words. The difference here is that he was fictional.
Now we all know that this president was never the smartest kid in his class. Similarly, we also know, by the testimony of his ex-professor, that he had a distaste for learning. But the names above are on the news all the time - even one who casually listens would have caught these names and been able to pronounce them without help.
GW probably settled in Crawford, Texas because it was easy to spell.
I wonder if President Bush spells phonetically, too. I wonder if he spells laugh L-A-F-F. And if he wants a bigger laugh, does he just keep on adding "F's"?
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