Talk radio update

If everything you knew about what happened in the Middle East last week came from talk radio, you might perfectly understandably believe that Barack Hussein Obama personally parachuted into Libya and attacked the U.S. consulate single handedly. On the other hand, NPR listeners might have gotten the impression that complicated forces were in play competing for air in the post-dictatorship worlds of Egypt and Libya.

But no. Talk radio made the correct course of action seem so simple: 1. Get rid of Obama. 2. Kill some Muslims. 3. Scare the hell out of the survivors.

That’s how you win respect in the Middle East.


Feeling like a job creator

The wife and I celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary on Sunday by having brunch at one of those semi-fancy new places that offers a limited menu and small portions compensated for with hefty prices. Good food, but we left hungry and a little broker.

But for dinner, she cooked a rack of lamb and bought a couple of bottles of lambic framboise beer. I baked a loaf of bread and shucked a couple of ears of fresh sweet corn.

We ate like millionaires and, I swear, I dreamed that night that we got married in an enormous, elaborate Mormon temple.

I think I am turning into Mitt Romney.

Cursed out

My wife and I had a couple of beers with some of her colleagues from work on Friday, and the husband of one of her co-workers said he had skipped the baseball game Thursday night to watch the Republican convention. Since I had done the opposite, I was curious to hear his impressions. My own impression from what I had read and heard was that Clint Eastwood’s appearance was a debacle roughly on the same scale as the Mustangs’ seventh-inning collapse, which turned a 6-0 lead into a 9-6 loss.

I quickly learned that he liked most of what he had heard, and I was resolved not to get into a confrontation over politics with my wife’s friends. Yeah, right.

Like many Republicans, he seemed less excited about Romney than he was angry at Obama. He said Obama had accomplished nothing. Still aiming at diplomacy, I said that Obama had gotten Bin Laden.

He granted that, but added that Obama was responsible for a big chunk of the nation’s $16 trillion debt. I noted that Paul Ryan (who, although I didn’t mention it, voted for two unfunded wars, an unfunded prescription drug mandate, unpaid-for tax cuts, TARP, etc.) also was responsible for a big chunk of it.

“But Obama’s an idiot,” he said.

“He’s not an idiot,” I replied.

“He’s a (insert Joe Biden profanity here) idiot,” he said.

“He’s not an idiot,” I repeated.

He stood up and stormed away from the table, saying something along the lines of “I’m not going to sit here and talk to this liberal.” As he passed by me, he muttered something under his breath that would even make Joe Biden blush. He never returned.

So there you go. Even publicly asserting that the duly elected president of the United States and the commander in chief of its armed forces is not an idiot is enough in some circles to get you labeled as a hopeless case. And that guy probably thinks he’s a patriot.

By the people, etc.

I have lost track of how many times during the last week I have heard someone say that rights come from God, not from government. I have no problem with the sentiment, so long as those expressing it recall that most people used to think the way God ensured those rights were upheld was to give absolute power to a monarch.

If you are going to quote the Declaration of Independence’s assertion that men “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” then don’t forget to quote the next sentence: “to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men.”

God may be a whiz at legislating rights, but the founders understood that He wasn’t so keen on enforcing those rights. That’s our job.