Thursday, January 28, 2010

State of the Union Address 2010 or Kicking a Dead Donkey

January 28, 2010
Colorado, USA

As I said last night, after forcing myself to watch the State of the Union Address... Obama delivered a good "Save My A$$" speech. I never really appreciated teleprompter technology until Obama. He is a whiz of computer generated rhetoric - no question about it. Of course, while he likely exercised editorial privilege, Obama did not write this speech. I believe the credit goes to Rahm Emanuel (White House Chief of Staff). We can probably credit Obama with the lame attempts at humor because I am fairly certain Emanuel is decidedly lacking in that department. It's a speech only the idiots of Congress could applaud. And applaud they did, and clap themselves on the back, and jump up with those sticky, smug, made-for-the-camera kool-aid smiles. Holy-Moly! That was just too creepy for me, I had to fast forward through that part.

With that said, as I forced myself to read the transcript today, I realized Obama sounded like a desperate man grasping at the last straws of his integrity which is solely based on policies and an agenda the American people have soundly rejected. He just doesn't get it. The president spent almost an hour kicking a dead donkey (oh yeah - pun definitely intended) with a few mean-spirited tugs on the elephant's trunk.

Once again, the man came off as arrogant, patronizing, condescending and downright contemptible of the people (anyone) who criticize the administration. Obviously, we're simply not smart enough to know when we're being kicked under the rug. We the people are overwhelmed with cynicism and disappointment because we listen to Fox News. You know, I was mistaken - some parts of this speech were downright hysterical.

I resented the anti-bank, anti-Wall Street, anti-oil company, anti-big business, anti-rich people, anti-capitalist statements. I think the president believes if he trashes and taxes the people who create our middle-class jobs that he seems like he is in touch with us and we'll appreciate him in some sort of perverted, self-destructive fashion. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I resented re-visiting health care or reform or insurance - whatever. Did I mention dead donkey?

I laughed out loud at the president's ill-advised (and, apparently ill-informed) audacity when he scolded the Supreme Court for supporting FREE SPEECH. And, I cheered for Justice Alito's response. Not true. Who knew we could have a Wilson moment twice in the same year? Well, it wasn't quite a Wilson moment... What it was is our arrogant president disrespecting a Justice of the Supreme court in a venue where the president could say what he pleases without fear of debate or rebuttal. Coward. Totally unfair and unacceptable. I didn't think it was possible to think less of the president. I was wrong.

I took issue with the president revisiting the whole - this administration really is practicing a new kind of transparency - a new kind of accountability. I have one word here for the president - MUD.

It probably goes without saying but the president struggled through almost an hour without saying the B-word. But the president's favorite four letter word when playing the blame-game was there in spirit - oh yes, it (He) was.

The speech had its good parts - the parts that make you feel proud of our country, proud to be an American -- but I was already that, proud and proud. It's just that the delivery lacked sincerity and believability.

That's about it I guess... other than the president vaguely alluding to more government regulation, more government interference, more, more, more... of the same ol' tired - I know it's tough but we have to do it... whether you like it or not, whether you want it or not rhetoric. I could have done without that much exposure to the banal faces of Pelosi and Biden, but got a real hoot out of yawn-guy - that was Reid - wasn't it?

However, I noticed a glaring omission of mention - not a word for the VETERANS and SENIORS were only mentioned in passing.

State of the Union Address 2010 - Transcript

Oh and psssttt... Kids - hide the Oreos - Michelle is coming for them!

The president left us with a let's get back to work for the people then jetted off to play trains and continue his perpetual campaign in Florida after saying Congress needed to stop that [perpetual campaigning]. You show em how it's done Mr P!

I don't know why I bothered, but as I read the transcript I made a few notes. I've saved the transcript and my notes in a downloadable pdf file (link below)...

Click n Read or Print The State of the Union Address 2010 with My Brief Commentary

Source: White, State of the Union Address

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Humbled: In the face of such strength and dignity

January 10, 2010
Colorado, USA

Awesome Quote: "This shouldn’t happen in this country or anywhere else, but in a free society, we’re going to be subject to people like this," Green said. "So I prefer this to the alternative." -- John Green, the father of 9-year-old Tuscon massacre victim Christina Green

Audio and video clips at Michelle,

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Read it now: Do Not Squander Our Providential Gift

January 7, 2010
Colorado USA

The goal must be to restore the liberating principles of the American Founding as the defining public philosophy of our nation. As it was for most of American history, so it can be again.

Briefly revisiting history for the benefit of all Americans who may have forgotten how we got here and why it is important that we remember... no... it not a quaint old story about our humble beginnings -- lest we forget - It is THE story of FREEDOM.

Remembering the Providential Gift of America

Christmas, 1776.

Summer had begun with strong declarations of noble ideals, but by winter the cause of liberty seemed to be at low ebb. Having suffered defeat after defeat, many had all but given up hope. It looked like freedom would succumb yet again, as it had throughout history, to the forces of authoritarianism and tyranny.

Then, on Christmas Day, 1776, a small band of colonial forces under the command of Gen. George Washington, having retreated all the way from New York, again crossed the Delaware River and brought battle at Trenton, New Jersey. Washington not only won the battle but regained the initiative and turned the war in the patriots’ favor. One week later, Washington defeated the British at Princeton and forced the enemy to withdraw, preventing its advance on Philadelphia, seat of the Continental Congress.

When it announced itself to the world in 1776, the United States of America was little more than an alliance of 13 small colonies on a barren continent, thousands of miles from their ancestral homeland, surrounded by hostile powers.

Now, well over two centuries after winning independence from the British Empire, America is the freest, wealthiest, most powerful nation on Earth. Along the way it established sovereign nationhood, settled a continent and more and brought unprecedented prosperity to its citizens. It survived a devastating Civil War that threatened its very life, abolished slavery and raised up the emancipated to be citizens equal to their one-time masters. It triumphed in two world wars fought on foreign soil and a decades-long struggle against worldwide communism that, 20 years ago, led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and collapse of the Soviet Union.

What accounts for this monumental success?

The founding of the United States was indeed revolutionary. But not in the sense of replacing one set of rulers with another, or overthrowing the institutions of society. John Adams queried:

“What do we mean by the American Revolution? The revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people. . . . This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution.”

Our revolution was about the ideas upon which a new nation was to be established. Permanent truths “applicable to all men and all times,” as Abraham Lincoln later said, proclaimed that principle rather than will would be the ultimate ground of government.

What is truly revolutionary about America is that, for the first time in history, these universal ideas became the foundation of a system of government and its political culture. Because of these principles, rather than despite them, the American Revolution culminated not in tyranny but a constitutional government that has long endured.

To this day, 233 years after Washington and his men crossed the Delaware, these principles–proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence and promulgated by the Constitution–still define us as a nation and inspire us as a people. These principles are responsible for a prosperous, just nation unlike any other. They are the highest achievements of our tradition, a beacon to those who strive for freedom but also a warning to tyrants and despots everywhere. Because of these principles, not despite them, America achieved greatness.

The Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson later recorded, was “neither aiming at originality of principle or sentiment, nor yet copied from any particular and previous writing, [but] was intended to be an expression of the American mind.”

As Americans, our aim must be a clear expression and forthright defense of the nation’s principles in the public square so that they become, once again, an expression of the American mind. Despite constant scorn by academic elites, political leaders and the popular media, most Americans still believe in the uniqueness of this country and respect the Founders’ noble ideas. They may fail a test of particulars – quick: when did Washington cross the Delaware? – but they overwhelmingly want to know about this nation and its meaning.

We must give voice to all those who have not given up on their country’s experiment in self-government, have not concluded the cause of liberty and limited constitutional government is lost and have not accepted America’s decline as inevitable.

The goal must be to restore the liberating principles of the American Founding as the defining public philosophy of our nation. As it was for most of American history, so it can be again.

The joy of this wonderful season is about new beginnings and the eternal promise of redemption. We Americans have the immeasurable benefit, the providential gift, of having inherited a great country.

We must never forget its confidence, optimism and promise, its endless capacity for renewal, are contained in our dedication to the enduring principles of liberty with which all men are endowed by their Creator.

Source: Remembering the Providential Gift of America

The Charter of Negative Liberties - Absolutely

January 7, 2010
Colorado, USA

I think I’d rather have a stocking full of coal…
By imperfectamerica, December 22, 2009

The number of things with which I agree with President Obama is fairly small. One thing I do agree with him on however is his characterization of the Constitution. Back in 2001 as he was lamenting the failure of the Warren Court to bring about “redistributive change”, he stated “…the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf…” While the negative liberties characterization doesn’t make any sense, at the core about what the Constitution does, he is right.

As the President and Congress prepare to enact what is possibly the most unconstitutional law ever passed, it may be of some value to look at why exactly President Obama is right on the Constitution and wrong on ObamaCare.

Much to President Obama’s chagrin, the Constitution was never intended as a contract laying out what the government could, should or would do for the citizens. It is not a contract amongst the rich against the poor, the native born against the immigrant, the educated against the illiterate. On the contrary, it is a contract amongst citizens whereby everyone has equal rights and it is specifically intended to guard against the tyranny of the majority. While the definition of citizenship has evolved over time, the equality amongst citizens has not.

The Constitution was written the way it was by design. Indeed, it was the product of great effort and much research, both historical and contemporary. Although many statesmen had a hand in the development of the Constitution, foremost amongst them was James Madison, who is sometimes called the Father of the Constitution. In preparation for the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Madison spent a great deal of the spring and summer of 1786 at his home in Montpelier studying governments throughout history, everything from the Amphictyonic confederacy of ancient Greece to the European confederacies of the 15th century, all while reflecting on the infirmaries of the American Articles of Confederation. Those infirmaries were legion: The central government could not levy sufficient taxes to pay its creditors, states fought amongst one another and majorities tyrannized minorities. Fundamentally the United States at that point was far more a collection of strong independent states than a true nation. Allowed to continue the country would likely have splintered into a chaos reminiscent of Europe.

Fundamental to Madison’s idea of government was the recognition that men are human, and as such are prone to many vices. He even put his notes on the subject on paper in the “Vices of the Political System of the United States”. Basically he recognized that left to their own devices, men would split into factions, and, unless insulated from such, eventually a government would devolve into a tyranny of the majority.

The resulting Constitution provides the government with limited and specific powers. The 10th Amendment states explicitly that those powers not delegated to the federal government reside with the states or the people. Power is separated not only between three branches, but the terms and manner of election of the various officeholders are as well. Fundamentally it was written to provide a foundation for organizing society where citizens could maximize their pursuit of happiness and the exercise of their liberties while limiting government action to only those areas the citizens specifically allowed. Their deliberate, clear language has been increasingly twisted over the last century, but we may now be at a tipping point beyond which there can be no turning back. The progressive movement has been seeking to turn the United States into a socialist Nirvana for most of the last 100 years. From Teddy Roosevelt to Woodrow Wilson to FDR to LBJ, the drums have beaten steadily towards this cliff. Although once they utilized the Constitution for their purposes, (the 18th Amendment – Prohibition) typically their successes (sic) have been the result of court rulings (Miranda) or federal legislation (The New Deal or Great Society programs). Slowly, inch by inch, the progressives have moved the federal government into areas where it was never intended to go. The Founding Fathers would never recognize as America a country where the federal government dictated the fundamentals of elementary education, limited the kinds of transportation citizens could have, restricted a citizen’s ability to finance political speech, provided welfare to 10% of the citizenry or imposed draconian and confiscatory taxes at will.

The tipping point we find ourselves at has to do with the fundamental nature of the Constitution and the relationship between the government and the people. With government, once a program has been put into place, it almost immediately creates a cadre of vested interests and is almost impossible to kill.

The point beyond which there may be no return is a simple one. With ObamaCare, for the first time ever, citizens will be forced under the threat of prison to purchase a good, whether they want it or not. Throughout 212 years of our history, a citizen could wake up every morning and for the most part go about their day without being forced to do anything they did not want to do. There are obvious situational exceptions such as the Draft or eminent domain, but for the most part, the citizenry could choose where and when they would interact with the government. ObamaCare’s requirement that citizens purchase healthcare is the straw that will break the proverbial camel’s back. Once this travesty is in place, there are simply no more limits.

One can make the argument that the world of 2009 is different than the world of 1787 and that is indeed true. We have communications, transportation, entertainment and food options that were not even conceived of 200 years ago. What was conceived of then, and what has survived (somewhat intact) thus far, has been the fundamental framework governing the relationship between the citizens and the government. That framework has survived longer than any other written constitution in the world; it has survived a wrenching war between signatories; it has survived assassinations of presidents, the corruption of legislators and the voting of a largely uninformed public. To put this in perspective, in the 212 years of the American Constitution, the enlightened French have blazed through eight different constitutions.

With the passage of ObamaCare, the United States may be passing the point of no return on its downward journey to becoming a middling country, shorn of the sheen and substance of Exceptionalism. It will become but another average player in a United Nations of the World where the rhetorical goal of government is to ensure that everyone has their equal share, where no one ever wants for anything, where everyone lives in perfect harmony. This is not just because the basic elements of the legislation are sufficiently onerous as to cause America to spiral into a third world country, which it is, but rather by unconstitutionally forcing citizens to purchase a “good” in order to retain their liberty, it explicitly elevates the whims of the federal government above the rights of the citizens. Now that police power of the state can be used to force citizens to pay for health care, how long will it be before those same powers are used to force citizens to pay for food that is provided at the direction of the government, to pay for clothing provided at the design of the government, to pay for transportation or leisure activities provided or approved by the government?

Madison and the Founding Fathers understood that man is prone to anger, passion, faction and hubris and that neither the Constitution nor any government could change that. What the Constitution and its resulting government could do however was provide a framework where free men could live together as equals as they pursued their individual notions of happiness and basked in the exercise of their liberties. Once again I agree with President Obama, this time when he suggested we are standing “at the precipice of achievement that’s eluded Congresses, presidents for generations”. Indeed we are, although I would replace the word achievement with travesty. He believes that with ObamaCare America will parachute into a land of milk and honey. He’s wrong. There is no parachute, there is no milk and honey and there will be no soft landing. A mirage of rhetoric, fables and lies hide the gritty reality of the soon to be rusted hulk of American enterprise that for two centuries was an engine that drove the advancement of the human condition. That train spent 212 years charging over the horizon, into the great unknown, into a universe of possibilities on the rails of a U.S. Constitution that let free men create and innovate and build a better world. With ObamaCare we will see the removal of those rails and with them the essence of American Exceptionalism. As the engine that has provided so much to so many careens, buckles and lurches forward without the constraints of Madison’s Constitution, we can no doubt expect that the vices for which it was constructed to contain will begin to rear their ugly heads. Alas, it is said that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. That may be where we are headed, but despite the rhetoric, there are no good intentions involved here.

Source: I think I’d rather have a stocking full of coal…

Mark Twain Lovers Beware!

January 7, 2010
Colorado USA

I am so spittin' mad with this news I can hardly see straight. Publisher Renames Joseph Conrad Classic 'The N-word of the Narcissus' The title should read THE NIGGER OF THE NARCISSUS. Seriously. I am sick and tired of tip-toeing around people who can't deal with reality or history or anything even remotely unpleasant. We have an administration that cannot call a thing what it really is (Is Terror now T-word?), our media refuses to ask the hard questions, our television programs have turned into sly propaganda machines and now we have publishers trying to white wash literature... and that's what it is - white washing. It is taking something black and making it white. It is sickening! If I were black I would be seriously offended. Consider this: How about henceforth we use N-Word to refer to Nazi? I reckon there are some folks out there that wouldn't like the white washing of that word. How about we don't say Bitch or Bomb - noooo... let's call it the B-word. I'm surprised someone out there hasn't asked that we remove the name Jesus and just use J-word. Like it or not - it is THE SAME THING and it's absurd.

"You and I know what that means," said Shelton (NAACP). "The word really is still there but it takes into consideration those who would rather not read such derogatory language."


We simply cannot re-create everything to conform to everybody's peachy view of the world. Geez! Some things, some history is by its very nature distasteful, ugly even - but it is history. This book wasn't written yesterday. It was written in 1897. If you didn't know anything else about it - that should be enough. This is not a rose garden - it is life - some of it is hard to look at - but hey once you enter the ADULT world that's exactly what you have to do.
Censorship always defeats its own purpose,
for it creates in the end the kind of society
that is incapable of exercising real discretion.
-- Henry Steele Commager

Publisher Renames Joseph Conrad Classic 'The N-word of the Narcissus'
Thursday , January 07, 2010
By Joshua Rhett Miller

A classic turn-of-the-century English novelist whose works have been read by countless millions of people is having his work sanitized for a new generation of readers.

Joseph Conrad, whose "Heart of Darkness" and "Lord Jim" have been scrutinized by English students on multiple continents for decades, wrote a lesser known novel in 1897 called "The Nigger of the Narcissus."

Now, in what critics are calling a blatant act of politically correct censorship, a Netherlands-based publisher has reprinted the novel under a new name: "The N-word of the Narcissus."

The new version is the first installment of WordBridge Publishing's classic texts series, featuring "texts with a message for moderns, made accessible to moderns."

But some critics say updating a Conrad novel by replacing all mentions of the offensive term "nigger" with "n-word" is just as offensive as the word itself.

"It's outrageous," said Niger Innis, spokesman for the Congress of Racial Equality, a New York-based civil rights organization. "Are they going to go to Mark Twain as well and take out all of those references?

"It's censorship, and to blacken over a word does not mean that you can blacken over the history."

Innis said it would be equally inappropriate for Alex Haley's "Roots" to be re-released with instances of the racial slur replaced with a more innocuous term.

"It's one thing if you were writing that book today, but it is quite something different to rewind history," Innis said. "It undermines the real history."

"I'm not going so far as to call the people who are doing this racist," Innis said. "But I will say that whites have to be very careful in being so sensitive to blacks or other minorities to not be guilty of paternalism and treating us like children. That would be tragic."

But Hilary Shelton, director of the NAACP's Washington bureau and senior vice president for advocacy and policy, said he found the new version of Conrad's novel appropriate for readers.

"It offers an option," Shelton told "Keep in mind you can still buy the original."

He said the latest version of Conrad's classic is not an example of censorship because its original intent remains intact.

"You and I know what that means," said Shelton. "The word really is still there but it takes into consideration those who would rather not read such derogatory language."

In any form, however, Shelton said the offensive term has no place in modern society.

"It belongs in our history, it is part of our history," he said. "But it should be dead and gone."

Ruben Alvarado, owner of WordBridge Publishing, said he's received just one complaint regarding the book.

"As far as [the] 'n-word' is concerned, I decided to go with it after finally reading the book, and being astounded by its message," Alvarado wrote "Although a Conrad fan, I had never read it before, frankly because I was offended by the n-word and didn't like being confronted with it at every turn. So after reading it, I thought to myself, is this aversion to that word keeping other people from reading the book as well? Is it keeping the book from being discussed in the classroom?"

According to WordBridge's Web site, the renaming of Conrad's classic is a "public service" to readers.

"This new version addresses the reason for its neglect: the profusion of the so-called n-word throughout its pages," the site reads. "Hence, the introduction of 'n-word' throughout the text, to remove this offence to modern sensibilities."

A hardback version of the 170-page book — which chronicles a black man taking the crew of a British sailing ship hostage — is available for $9.99, including free shipping. It can also be found on, where some commenters blasted the renaming of the book as a "joke," and others claimed it represents a "transparent and pathetic attempt by conservatives" to appear politically correct.

"If we can't read the important documents of our culture in their original form, with some understanding of their context, we may as well stop trying to understand past artists and thinkers altogether," one comment read.

Another commenter said he was alarmed by the updated text.

"I can't help but be alarmed at these attempts to sanitize the world to the liking of any one group," the post read. "While I'm certainly NOT a fan of the specific word in question, it did, does and will probably continue to exist in our language and culture. I don't think anyone who's read Conrad would be a fan of this type of edit.

Source: Fox, Publisher Renames Joseph Conrad Classic 'The N-word of the Narcissus'

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Says Nugent: Political Correctness = Truth Mask

January 6, 2010
Colorado USA

The following article is posted in its entirety.

Politically Correct in '09
by Ted Nugent, December 22, 2009

Of the many self-inflicted problems that face our country, none is as dangerous to the survival of our nation as the curse of political correctness.

Political correctness is a cancer that many Americans, government institutions, businesses and even many individual citizens have willfully embraced and now serve as hosts who intentionally spread this horrible disease.

Let me be clear: political correctness is a form of cowardice that leads to brain damage. It concerns itself with feeling good instead of thinking clearly and actually doing good. It masks the truth because the truth is too uncomfortable for the intellectually and spiritually weak in our society. To others, political correctness serves as a useful smokescreen. Political correctness is ultimately about stepping on the throat of common sense and strangling the life out of it. Logic be damned.

Need some recent examples of politically correct poison?

How about the Muslim terrorist -- yes terrorist -- who killed thirteen soldiers and wounded thirty more at Fort Hood? Many politicians, including our president, did their best to mask the discomforting truth about this hate mongering, murdering Muslim terrorist. Instead of calling him what he is, a Muslim terrorist, many in our government and the media did their best to downplay his Muslim religion and his e-mail communication with another radical Muslims, the clear and present enemies of America. The truth is that the murdering punk is a soulless, America hating Muslim terrorist.

Political correctness has enabled various human scum to slaughter innocent people. All recent mass killings including the slaughter at Fort Hood have occurred in the left's dream of gun free zones. Dozens of Americans have died because some political correct moron decided to make a shopping mall, Army fort, school campus, church, restaurant, and many other places gun free zones, the unarmed, helpless playground for murderers.

That's right, some feel-good idiot made a conscious decision to create an environment that literally guarantees victims. And for what reason did they create this intolerable and inhumane environment: they wanted to "feel" good that they were doing something to reduce violence. The result: they created killing fields in every case.

The global warming issue is one of the biggest political correct frauds in the history of mankind. If you recall, back in the 1970s the environmental alarmists were telling us we were on the verge of an ice age. Now, Al Gore--possibly one of the biggest energy consumers and carbon emitters in the United States--wants us to believe that man is the cause of the earth warming. Al Gore is a fraud who has made tens of millions peddling his global warming junk science. He is the Bernie Madoff of the science community.

Due to political correctness, schools have expelled Boy Scouts because they had a small pocket knife, banned the games of dodge ball and tag, oftentimes the very concept of winners and losers in our educations system, yet these very same schools pump our kids full of junk food such as soda, candy, pizza and burgers while reducing the amount of physical activity.

Result: our children are the fattest, most unhealthy, blubber-infested kids on the planet, yet not one of them has been attacked by a Boy Scout with a pocket knife. The only zero tolerance public school policy I advocate is banning policies that reward "feel good" idiocy.

Political correctness has even made inroads into the hunting community. We actually have hunters who believe we should cover up the dead deer in the bed of our pickup trucks because they believe we will offend non-hunters if they see an actual dead deer. This, of course, is the exact opposite what hunters should be told and what non-hunters need to see. I tolerate none of this lunacy. I celebrated the last pure, ultimate green environmentalism on earth; hunting, fishing and trapping. They are literally biologically perfect.

Someone told me not long ago that common sense is no longer common. Sadly, the grotesque evidence continues to stack up that buttresses this sad but true statement. The list of political correct, butthead examples goes on and on. The Titanic is sinking and some politically correct jerks are trying to convince the rest of us to get busy and rearrange the deck chairs instead of climbing into the life boats. It's literally that bizzarro and ugly.

Until America returns to a policy of bold, unabashed truth, logic, honesty and common sense, the rest of our financial and social problems will continue to escalate. It is impossible to truly fix a problem by "feeling good" about fixing it. Only idiots go hunting with a "feel good" arrow in their quiver. I hunt with razor sharp arrows and I actually kill animals and then I eat them. If you have a problem with that you are stoned on weird and hopelessly addicted to denial.

I believe with all my heart that General Patton would tell us that the first thing we need to do to save America is to kill political correctness. A perfect solution to what ails us.

Rock legend Ted Nugent is noted for his conservative political views and his vocal pro-hunting and Second Amendment activism.
Copyright © 2010 HUMAN EVENTS. All Rights Reserved.

Source: Politically Correct in '09

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Why do we not get that Huck and Jim were friends?

January 5, 2010

How vast an estate it is that we came into as the intellectual heirs of all the watchers and searchers and thinkers and singers of the generations that are dead! What a heritage of stored wealth! What perishing poverty of mind we should be left in without it! -- J.N. Larned

Last year (about this time) I wrote a post about literary revisionism concerning a publishers idea to rename the Joseph Conrad Classic The Nigger of the Narcissus (The "N-Word" of the Narcissus). The title of that post was Mark Twain Lovers Beware! I suppose the post was more like a prophecy then because here we are a year later with Huckleberry Finn under attack - again.

So... I decided to revisit Huck Finn. I listened over the course of a week or so to the unabridged audio book as I went about various household chores and set my studio to rights. I found myself laughing out loud at the antics of ol' Huck and Big Jim just like I used to laugh when I cracked the cover of this childhood favorite as a youngster.

An academic friend of mine says, Twain wrote using the idioms, vocabulary, and speech of the times and area he wrote about. He wasn't degrading African-Americans. In fact, it is generally accepted that his sympathy was with the slave character, Jim.

I agree. As a child I learned not a shred of bias from ol' Huck or Big Jim - to me they seemed the very best of friends. As an adult... entering the world of Huck and Big Jim again with all the preconceived notions people have about this book in mind did not send me into paroxysms of shame nor did I emerge as a racist - at least no more so than I was before.

I do not believe in revisionist literature or revisionist history or revisionist art. In fact, I am steadfast against it. I do not recall who said it but this is how I approach books in particular... If you resist reading what you disagree with, how will you ever acquire deeper insights into what you believe? The things most worth reading are precisely those that challenge our convictions.

There is no such thing as a moral or immoral book; books are well written or badly written. -- Oscar Wilde

I believe the very reason there is a decided shortage of good contemporary fiction is directly related to revisionist tendencies of political correctness. Sigh!

The intro (or disclaimer) to the book is as follows:

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain

attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted;
persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished;
persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.

By Order Of The Author,
Per G.G., Chief of Ordnance.
In this book a number of dialects are used, to wit: the Missouri negro dialect; the extremest form of the backwoods Southwestern dialect; the ordinary "Pike County" dialect; and four modified varieties of this last. The shadings have not been done in a haphazard fashion, or by guesswork; but painstakingly, and with the trustworthy guidance and support of personal familiarity with these several forms of speech.

I make this explanation for the reason that without it many readers would suppose that all these characters were trying to talk alike and not succeeding.

The Author

Last year's post: Mark Twain Lovers Beware
Revised Mark Twain novels create controversy
Auburn-Montgomery professor Alan Gribben not shocked his editing of Twain classics drawing fire
AUM professor edits slurs from books by Mark Twain
New edition removes Mark Twain's 'offensive' words

Sigh! I thought I was done with Christmas 2009... or Hang Hitler from the Highest Bough

January 5, 2010
Colorado, USA

Mao Christmas Orn What do Chairman Mao, a trans-gendered something or other and defacement of Mount Rushmore have in common?

After emerging from my usual holiday funk when I normally, if not somewhat reluctantly rejoin the world... what before my wondering eyes should appear??? An outrageous photo of The President and First Lady standing before the White House Christmas Tree adorned with the visage of Chairman Mao! And an ornament depicting an allegedly notorious drag queen and yet another ornament with Obama's face defacing a national monument. One has to wonder if Ahmadinejad, Hugo, Cho, Wen Jiabao, Che Guevara, the Castros, Reid, Biden, Jane Fonda (yikes!), Pelosi (double yikes!), and a few others were not hiding in the branches of the tree as well... hmmmm?

Now, Christmas trees in your home and my home are decorated as a means of personal expression. I decorate several trees in my home every year, each tree in a different theme, each in turn a reflection of some specific interest or collection, mood or whim. And, I'll allow that the Obama's should be allowed the same freedom as pertains to their own Christmas tree in their personal apartments. If they want to decorate a tree which reflects their own interests - say with miniature likenesses of every murderous dictator through out history, past, present and future - well, I won't say I wouldn't have a problem with it but, you know - it is their tree.

The Obama's have crossed a serious line here. Mr and Mrs O have removed all doubt and exhibited undeniable proof of what I feared was true all along. Despite their rank and high-falutin' education, their powerful position in the world, the tiresome elitist air they exude, and so on... They have NO TASTE and NO CLASS and NO RESPECT for anything remotely resembling the decency of this great country. They do not (I SAID DO NOT) represent me or anyone I know. Rag on the Bushes all you want... I had issues with President Bush and his administration, too. But, Laura Bush has more class in her pinky toe than Michelle Obama will ever dream of having. 'Nuff said.

The White House Christmas Tree is the National Christmas Tree! It should represent the United States of America and our American traditions. I think it goes without saying that not a single branch should be sullied with the likeness of any communist/socialist/marxist dictator or enemy of this country! C'mon - you might as well hang Hitler from the highest bough!

In the new and allegedly improved White House I guess traditional American Christmas icons would be considered blase...

You know what would have shown real class? How about ornaments depicting the great men and women who made this country what it is? George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Clara Barton, Abigail Adams, Susan B Anthony immediately come to mind with very little effort. How about ornaments depicting the soldiers who defend our liberties, past, present and future? How about ornaments bearing the great seal of this country and still others representing the USAF, Marines, Navy, Army and the Coast Guard? How about ornaments depicting law enforcement and firemen who have lost lives in the service of our citizenry? How about ornaments depicting the flag of the United States of America? How about ornaments depicting our national monuments - as is? How about paying tribute to American heroes, authors and poets? How about ornaments with great American quotations? If all else fails how about ornaments with images of the people - regular people - our people? The people of the United States of America - you know those people Obama signed on to serve and protect?

But no... once again the Obama's have failed the people of this country. Who in their right mind would hire the likes of Simon Doonan of Barney's New York to oversee the Christmas decorations for the White House? (Perhaps the same person who hired Rosanne Barr to sing the National Anthem?) Here's a thought... a shout out to rascally Simon... are ya listening? I think next year's project for a Barney's window dressing should be something depicting the President and Mrs O having a very merry UN-American Christmas with the likes of Mao and a trans-gendered something or other - under the National Christmas tree - are you up for it ol' boy? I am willing to bet you are... grin... Paybacks are hell - aren't they? 'Nother grin.

I sound surprised I guess. I am not. What I am - in a word then is: DISAPPOINTED.

Maybe next year long about Thanksgiving... Americans (every American) should send the White House a real Christmas ornament... one that represents our true traditions and values... American traditions and values - what do ya think?