Before After
BEFORE AFTER (4 MONTHS LATER)

 

A while ago I posted a short note on one of the “green” initiatives by a student group on campus. This was funded from student fees as an effort, I suppose, to promote environmental awareness. To me, these two pictures represent perfectly the sometimes misguided efforts of people who generally ignore the law of unintended consequences.

In a political world close to an election, one would do well to look behind the fluff of election rhetoric and attempt to ferret out the substance of the candidates and the facts of what will occur. The Biocube is a fitting metaphor for what will become of our economy, our foreign policy, and our standard of living if we are subjected to a veto proof 60 member majority in the Senate under the governing reins of Reid, Pelosi and Obama (RePO).

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Saturday Night Live or SNL for short, has been a mainstay of American comedic television for over 30 years. Best known for its inventive original skits superb cast of all star comedic acting talent, it is often remarked that the show quality ebbs and flows over time, an undisputed mainstay throughout its years has been the its political satire sketch comedy such as weekend update . Thus naturally come election years or major news stories they often hit proverbial comedic gold! The mixture of wonderful writing, quality actors, and dialogue typically so close to the real thing it is both frightening to contemplate how poignant the parody but also so funny the audience is left in stitches.

SNL has hit in the past—recall Dana Carvey’s impression of Bush I—but most recently notable have been the instant classic sketches featuringTina Fey portraying Republican Vice Presidential Nominee Sarah Palin in an impression that can only be called ‘uncanny’ in a Palin-Clinton Speech, a Palin-Couric Interview, and the Biden-Palin VP debate (complete with Queen Latifa playing Gwen Ifill). Thus far all three sketches have been major headline news on every network come the following Monday morning, drawing many viewers back to SNL again. Fueling this surge is the high accessibility of recent SNL skits on the internet placed there directly by NBC itself.

On Saturday October 4, 2008 SNL presented a skit titled “Washington Approves the Bailout” focusing on many of the ludicrous aspects of the current economic situation. The sketch instantly became a hit with links to the official NBC posting of the video appearing all over the web almost immediately. Then suddenly chaos ensued. Withing a matter of hours on a lazy Sunday mid-day as citizens awoke and checked their digital communications, countless numbers clicked on links sent by a friend, family member, or co-worked promising a hilarious video, only to be met with a cryptic message that the sketch was no longer available and apologizing for the inconvenience. Instantly as the so commonly do, conspiracy theories began to run wild. For two days one in the know would hear every theory from space aliens to the illuminati. Then finally on Tuesday afternoon the truth broke and a now far less funny, edited version was put back up on the internet by NBC. Unfortunately for the American public, the truth was far more sinister than Martians or Free Mason wannabes. The truth was that NBC lawyers had pulled the sketch. Though NBC officially did not mention this in their statement:

“Upon review, we caught certain elements in the sketch that didn’t meet our standards. We took it down and made some minor changes and it will be back online soon.”

Apparently the sketch’s portrayal of Herb and Marion Sandler was considered a liability since it pointed out their acts of corrupting US Government officials and their severe culpability in the current financial meltdown affecting the US. Additionally as a faux C-SPAN video SNL had a chyron on-screen text shown below the Sandler lookalikes that would normally serve to identify the subject on-screen stating: “Herbert & Marion Sandler: People who should be shot”. Supposedly this is to be part of the basis of the video edit, as it may be misconstrued as a death threat to some people and/or offensive.

Now this is not the first time that SNL has turned against one of its funniest components. Norm MacDonald was fired from his stellar and unparalleled stint as the anchor of the weekend update sketch for making too many side splitting hilarious OJ Simpson jokes. Do not worry if you are confused, you are not alone. Many fans and casual watchers alike have asked themselves why a comedian would be fired for raising a dieing show’s ratings by making hysterical jokes at the expense of a public figure who is himself, well…. a joke. The answer was unfortunately the same then as it is in now in the case of the Bailout Sketch: NBC Cronyism and Politically Correct Cowardice.

Thus an entire American populace is left one step closer to an Orwellian Nightmare in which our right to speech and thought even as basic as humor is subject to regulation by the State at the whims of the ruling oligarchical elite. That is unless a line is drawn in the proverbial sand, saying “This far and no further”. For those looking to stand up and fight back by saying “NO!” to the tyranny of the minority, by saying “NO!” to those who would tell you how to think and how to laugh; stand up and wave the banner of Free Thought high in the sky. Spread the UNEDITED VERSION as far and wide as you can. Show it to your parents, siblings, spouse, grandparents, cousins, friends, co-workers, and to anyone you possibly can. The sketch is downright hilarious to anyone with a single drop of a sense of humor in their entire body, and (based on the talk of the town prior to the pulling and editing of the video) the quote “people who should be shot” is one of the most memorable gems of the bit. So much so in fact that to one who has seen the original, the edited version leaves one feeling quite dissatisfied. Make sure that the memories of original version Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night! Together it is possible to prevent NBC from pulling a Lucas on this classic!

Ultimately it is a matter of “How dare NBC!?!”. How DARE they back off from calling a spade a spade? How dare they a non-news organization try to hold themselves to a journalistic standard when speaking about the rich and powerful whom have destroyed people’s lives (some figuratively others literally)? How dare they back down from vilifying scumbags who wrecked the entire world economy so that they could glean a few extra shiny nickels! To paraphrase from one SNL’s own skits, I invite them to grow a pair, and if they can’t, I will lend you mine. So in case anyone else is looking to make a bumper sticker or t-shirt:

...because NBC doesn't have the juevos!

...because NBC doesn't have the juevos!

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, and Treasury Staff have been working five weeks non-stop through weekends and away from wives and family to attempt to resolve one of the most complicated and interwoven nests of pit vipers ever conceived. First there was Bear Sterns, then Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, then Lehman Brothers and Merill Lynch, followed immediately by AIG, and now what looks to be a rash of capital deficient investment houses and banks. Critics are everywhere and are second guessing their every move with front page news and breaking news reports on the crises entertainment channels. Our candidates for President, in spite of their economic illiteracy are formulating “plans” which, while having no bearing on reality, are spot-on to their philosophical leanings: Obama — we need more regulation and more government; McCain – we need to reform Wall Street as well as Washington.

But the best out of Washington comes from Congress. Both Republican and Democrat ranking members are a bit put out that Paulson has not included them in discussions and strategy plans to resolve the crisis. (A crisis they are largely responsible for.) It should be obvious to most that Paulson and Bernanke are a tad busy to put up with the posturing that would result, and have excluded them largely for the same reasons that generals exclude them during the execution of a battle plan.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has indicated Wall Street is a problem — “a multi-trillion dollar issue.” But this requires study and can’t be done on an unrealistic timeline. House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank and Senate Banking Chairman Chris Dodd both want to consider the problem, but believe that there is insufficient time to consider the issue this year, i.e., before they adjourn for the autumn political campaigning season. Dodd has postponed the Banking Committee meeting.

So while the evil Bush administration appointees are working in the worst pressure cooker of the century (so far) attempting to resolve a difficult set of problems, Congress is more concerned about the election, and would rather not perform any action that might be construed to be a position on the crisis that might affect their standing in the polls. In other words, … business as usual.

I have been waiting, watching and thinking about the current political landscape. With the annoyance of a two year campaign, I have kept my opinions pretty much to myself with a few exceptions which address issues more than candidates. As we plunge into the pre-November hysteria, I feel obligated to weigh in with a few thoughts.

As my readers might suspect, I have Republican leanings, although to be accurate, they are more Libertarian than true Republican. The whole earmark thing and growth of the bureaucracy makes me want to draw and quarter the Republicans. I have come to the conclusion that the first two years of Clinton and the first six years of Bush are two of the best arguments for never letting one party control the entire Government.

First, I am impressed by Obama. I think that he could very well be a decent president provided he was backed by a Republican Congress. ( I think that we can all agree here that a true third party is not in the cards.) He has very straight line liberal tendencies which I probably will not agree with, but I can see that he would be a catharsis to the nation — or an enema depending on your point of view.
At the very least, it would shut up the Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons of the world — an effect to be greatly desired in my book. A popular vote for Obama would dispell the myth that every white middle-class worker is a racist.

However, I will not vote for Obama because he is not going to have a Republican Congress. Pelosi, Reid and Obama is a triumvirate that gives me the shudders. Rather than the change we want and desire, we will be hamstrung by the special interests of labor, the environmentalists, and the redistributionists. While I am sure that that condition will exist only for two or at most four years, it will take an additional four to six years to undo and correct the policies that they will implement without adult supervision, just in tax policy and the economy alone. God knows what effects could occur in the state of the world that would be more persistent even permanent.

I wasn’t inclined to vote for McCain either. It strikes me that Congresscritters make poor Presidents as they are too much attuned to compromise and not enough to leadership. Certain things are not suitable for compromise — like your principles. This doesn’t leave me much choice if I want my vote to count. Voting for a third party, not voting, or writing in Mickey Mouse — same difference. McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin changed things however. Granted that she is as useful as a “bucket of warm spit” as they say in actual job responsibilities; she still brings true leadership ability to the ticket. To my way of thinking, leadership is what is important in the position. Even if McCain is a compromiser, the influence of Palin will be felt and that is a positive thing.

I believe that the media and Beltway pundits are overlooking the desire of the American people for leadership. They certainly don’t find it in Pelosi and Reid who called a recess rather than vote on off-shore drilling, which 74% of Americans support. They see the promise of leadership in Obama, but the actuality of leadership in Palin. McCain, in his selection of Sarah Palin, has won the White House in 2008 if only he has the sense to know it.

Nancy Pelosi Hugo Chavez
Speaker of the House
Nancy Pelosi
Venezuelan President & Dictator
Hugo Chavez

 

Yesterday, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, refused to allow an up-down vote on the passage of the Columbian Free-Trade Agreement (HR 5724) as authorized under the Presidential Fast Track Authority. Speaker Pelosi has instead modified House rules, ex post facto, so that the vote required by the fast-track provisions can be circumvented.

This despite the fact that the House Democrats have repeatedly, through more than 250 consultations with Columbia, insisted on and won additional language in the trade agreement forcing Columbia to provide more protection for trade unionists in the country — in the past it has been open season on organizers, though through no fault of Alvaro Uribe, the President of Columbia. Thank FARC. President Uribe has, in fact, worked to reduce this violence and has delivered impressive initial results, reducing violence by more than 80% since 2002. This is also an agreement which Charles Rangel, Chairman of the House Ways and Means, and Bill Clinton support, as does President Bush. It is good for the United States and good for Columbia. Even Hillary Clinton’s staffer Mark Penn is^H^H was working towards this bill’s passage.

The standard media drivel is that this is the work of the labor unions in the United States, but, as with all things political, the phrase ‘cui bono’ comes to mind. 90% of Columbian goods arriving in the United States are duty free and the balance are subjected to very minimum tariff. US goods in Columbia are assessed a 35% tariff, which would be eliminated as part of the Trade Agreement. This means that companies producing goods for Columbia would be more price competitive, be able to sell more goods (in what apparently is a pending recession), and would be able to hire more union labor to produce the goods. In other words, this trade agreement is a good thing for the labor unions. The unions do, however, make a good smoke screen. What is going on under the smoke should give any American a case of the chills.

Nancy Pelosi, acting in her persona as Secretary of State, visited Damascus last year and presented the House position on national policy. It was argued at the time that this was technically treason and in fact has been previously prosecuted as such under the Logan Act of 1798. Clearly, Speaker Pelosi feels that it is in the interest of the House to establish foreign policy.

In light of the evidence of other Democrats (Kennedy D-MA) making arrangements with Hugo Chavez, perhaps more is going on here than meets the eye. Could it be that the real reason for dumping the Columbia Trade Agreement is that Pelosi has made a deal with Chavez to attempt to weaken Columbian President Uribe. It’s no secret, since a suitcase full of money and computer files revealed that Chavez is bankrolling and providing strategic intelligence to FARC.

Should all this be suprising? No. The anti-war left did it to Cambodia, stiffing our Cambodian allies after we pulled out of Vietnam, at a cost of about 1.7 million deaths at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. They are seeking to do the same in Iraq when we know Iran is actively seeking to destabilize the Iraqi government. What consequence is Columbia against sad examples of this magnitude?

Not supporting Columbia, especially when President Uribe has compromised so much at the request of the Democrats in the House, is as shameful an act as been seen in a decade.