It is high time I caught up with the good, the bad and the ugly that fills into our world. First, here are the catcalls.
The Commonwealth of Virginia has a new governor in Bob McDonnell, who swept into office on an oath of absolutely no new taxes. Virginia now has a budget deficit of about $4 billion. How will McDonnell rectify this situation? By cutting education funds, silly! Children do not have the vote, so their needs are fair game. The hypocrisy of this is that all politicians elevate the value of education during their campaigns, and then it is the first thing on the cutting board once they take office. My state is no different, nor is my county. One of the biggest draws of Fairfax County is its school system, which is one of the finest in the nation, and includes the highest ranked high school, Thomas Jefferson High School For Science and Technology. Three days ago on the news, I heard a report, quoting some educational official, that in order to meet the budgetary demands, our “sacred cow”, i.e. the public schools, will face deep cuts. “Sacred cow” my tough tushie! How “sacred” can education be if it is the very first thing to get sliced and diced? Then the official went on to moan about how our local school system is the largest factor in maintaining high real estate values and attracting jobs. Would you believe that this supposed proponent of education did not mention even once the detrimental effects severe cuts would have on our children? Totally whacked.
Secondly, catcalls go to the intelligence (an obvious oxymoron) staff and diplomatic corps who listened to the Underwear Bomber’s father report the suspicious activities of his own son but refrained from taking immediate action. Do you realize what it must have taken for a father to turn in his own son? Such an act is true patriotism and concern for the greater good. The intelligence analysts must be living and working in La La Land because this sheer and ultimate act of heroism did not seem to make an impact on them. Talk about an ivory tower and “not connecting the dots”.
My last incident that deserves all the boos and hisses that you can muster, is a paid advertisement by Glenn Beck to convince Americans that gold is the best investment because historically, tangible goods like precious metals provide upside financial gains when the world, country and economy are tanking. If Beck’s sole purpose as an “entertainer” on his talk show was not to put the fear of God in the American people, I could accept his entree into the world of “infomercials”. However, Beck spends day after day fomenting terror in the minds of Americans in the hope of throwing out the current Democratic administration and replacing it with one of the Republican ilk. In that way, Americans can pay less taxes, ignore the greater good and deny our citizens a social and financial safety net. I am not that naive to ignore the fact that gold is a hedge against a declining government, increased debt and impending inflation. It is a blatant conflict of interest for Beck to be such a fearmonger while expounding on the virtues of precious metals as the savior from those fears:
Glenn Beck is a stain on our country and all that it stands for. He is a true terrorist.
I am happy to report that this week, I have more examples of kudos than catcalls. Can Heaven be far behind? In Washington, D.C. when Mayor Fenty took office a few years ago, he appointed Kathy Lanier as Chief of Police. She is one fresh breath of air. Facing incidents of murder, often racially tainted, gang action, police corruption, strict gun laws and treating offending dignitaries just like anyone else, Lanier has been the picture of consistency, calm and an across-the-board fair and very firm hand in her investigations. The D.C. murder rate for 2009 was the lowest it has been in over 40 years. She administers her bureaucracy well, rallies her officers and does not accept any illegal or untoward actions on the part of the citizens or police officers. This week I heard her do another radio interview. No matter how insistent the interviewer was in trying to exact information from Lanier regarding the Wizard basketball player Gilbert Arenas and his need to store a number of guns (unpermitted) in his locker at the arena in D.c., Lanier maintained her refusal to discuss the case since it is under investigation. She was not evasive, perhaps offering some special treatment to this athlete (in reality, he is just another thug). She treated his case just like any other one in the process of discovery. I like her and admire her grit and intelligence. Kudos to Kathy Lanier for running an honest, efficient shop.
Praise is also due Art Clokey, the creator of Gumby. He died this week but not before his beloved clay figure provided us with decades of entertainment. I remember watching Gumby’s adventures on Saturday mornings when I was a kid:
Gumby was the first venture into “clay animation”. The sheer genius of a lump of clay constantly morphing into different shapes was mesmerizing. Further, who can forget Saturday Night Live’s hysterical comedy skits with Eddie Murphy taking on the role of Gumby? Most of all, I always cite my friend Gumby when faced with a stick-in-the mud, stubborn person. My response is: “Be like Gumby —- bend.”
Continued admiration goes to The New Kid on The Blog (http://www.newkidonthablog.blogspot.com/). New Kid consistently educates and entertains. It is a refreshing site in this crazy world. She has the best videos available and my most recent fave is the following:
Since my name is Yo Mama For Obama, I must offer up kudos to our President for his demeanor in handling the fallout from the Underwear Bomber incident. I listened to President Obama the other day and thought his reaction to the terrorist event was measured and damn well tough. Whoa! No way would I want to be on the opposite side of any issue with him. Really though, as I watched him at his televised press conference, all of a sudden it dawned on me that I felt safe. Although it was obvious that he was furious over this incident, the actual terrorist intent as well as the bumbling response from our intelligence network, I got the sense that he is dead serious in his goals to prevent any terrorist activities against Americans and bolster the efficiency of our information-gathering agencies. When he said, and I paraphrase, that no one will determine or limit the rights of Americans to live their lives except Americans themselves, that fear will not limit our freedom and rights, I believed him. I daresay that if a terrorist attack should again take place on our soil, President Obama’s response will be swift and harsh. Many thanks to him for instilling a certain calm after a potential devastating storm on Christmas day.
Finally, Jean Biden, the mother of our Vice President, passed on this week. She must have been quite a little powerhouse. What sticks in my mind, mostly as a mother, is that she brought up her Joe to be a good father. When his wife and daughter were killed in an automobile accident in 1972, leaving him to raise his two surviving boys, he assumed his role as a parent devotedly. Every morning he would take the train up to D. C. to take his seat in the Senate, and then every evening he rode that train straight home to his sons. Perhaps because almost everyone becomes a parent it is assumed that those responsibilities are not of any great importance. Wrong. Being a loving, effective parent is difficult, and usually cannot happen if there is no proper role model to observe. Mrs. Biden provided her son with that role model and thus, she deserves the highest praise for ensuring a responsible, caring future generation.
So there you have it: the good the bad and the ugly. Isn’t it nice when one can enumerate more kudos than catcalls?