Thursday, July 16, 2009

What "Clerks" can teach us

In the movie "Clerks" there's a scene where a customer in a video store asks the clerk, Randal, if either of two movies is any good. The scene plays out as follows:

Indecisive Video Customer: They say so much, but they never tell you if it's any good. Are either one of these any good? Sir?
Randal Graves: What?
Indecisive Video Customer: Are either one of these any good?
Randal Graves: I don't watch movies.
Indecisive Video Customer: Well, have you heard anything about either one of them?
Randal Graves: I find it's best to stay out of other people's affairs.
Indecisive Video Customer: You mean you haven't heard anybody say anything about either one of these?
Randal Graves: Nope.
Indecisive Video Customer: [turns around, then shows Randal the same movies] Well, what about these two?
Randal Graves: Oh, they suck.
Indecisive Video Customer: These are the same two movies! You weren't paying any attention!
Randal Graves: No, I wasn't.
Indecisive Video Customer: I don't think your manager would appreciate it if...
Randal Graves: I don't appreciate your ruse, ma'am.
Indecisive Video Customer: I beg your pardon?
Randal Graves: Your ruse. Your cunning attempt to trick me.

I submit that we, the public, have been behaving like Randal. For too long now we have allowed our government and our media to perpetrate a ruse upon us. Slowly and insidiously liberal/progressive agents have infiltrated all levels of government (aided and abetted by the media), and in the absence of attention from us, they have come to believe that they can do whatever they want. Go back to Clinton. The general public didn't really pay much attention to him until the sex scandal broke open. Then - and only then - did anyone care what was happening in the White House. End result - he was impeached. Impeached! But what does that really mean? Apparently nothing. He should have been disgraced and forced to leave Washington in shame, one of only two US Presidents to be impeached, but instead he completed his term, wrote a book and made millions. Nixon resigned rather than be impeached, and he is a perpetual punch line, the epitome of evil to the liberal set, but Clinton, who was actually impeached, is a hero and everyone should go read his book. After all, until Obama, Clinton was our first black president. His wrist-slap impeachment emboldened the rest of our government. With no consequences for an actual impeachment, all bets were off. The media realized it could spin anything and people would believe it, and so we arrive at where we are today. Examples:

  • Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) inserted language into the health care bill that will allow for coverage of abortions. When called on it, she fussed and fidgeted and gave an evasive answer. That should be for the opposition like blood in the water for a shark. Orin Hatch (R-Utah) even asked her at one point if she would insert the line "except for abortions" into the amendment so that she could garner more support. She declined. Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) said he could not support the amendment because she made it so vague. A Democrat said that! The amendment passed anyway.
  • Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colorado) inserted language into the cap & trade bill that helps provide business to New Resource Bank in San Francisco, the nation's first so called "green bank." The problem is that Perlmutter is an investor in this bank. So is his ex-wife. So is his father. Can you say "undisclosed conflict of interest?"
  • Colorado is on a roll. Governor Bill Ritter just awarded the law firm of Hogan and Hartson a no-bid contract to review the disbursement of Colorado's stimulus money ($40,000 of which has already been paid to the law firm for their many jobs were created from that? I can guess...). The problem is that Hogan and Hartson is Ritter's former employer and several of the lawyers are Ritter supporters. Two of them, who are working directly with the money that has partially gone to them, are direct contributors to the governor's campaign.
  • Sarah Palin never said "I can see Russia from my house." That was Tina Fey on Saturday Night Live (while her impression was nearly spot on, I have a hard time believing that pundits and wags can't tell them apart). However, Palin's original statement has been lost and the country thinks that is what she actually said, thanks in no small part to it's being repeatedly attributed to her by the media. Back to the TOTBL (tactic of the big lie): if you repeat it often enough, it becomes the truth.
  • Maureen Dowd plagiarized a passage from another writer, changing only one phrase from "we were looking" to "the Bush crowd was looking." Aside from that passage, the two paragraphs were exactly the same - more than 40 words, identical, in the exact same order. That has to be like picking a 40 digit powerball winner! Supposedly she was told by a friend to make the point and somehow between the friend telling Dowd to make point and the actual making of the point she came up with the identical thought as the other author, only Bush-bashing for three words instead of using the royal "we." Did she lose her job? Get excoriated by her peers for committing what has to be the worst offense one journalist can inflict upon another? Nope. She apologized - without admitting she did anything wrong. End of story.
  • Bill O'Reilly's column this week dissects a piece in Newsweek where Palin, conservatives at large and Fox News in particular are attacked. O'Reilly's point is that if Newsweek were to openly say "we're trying to build a liberal/progressive base to keep us in business, and this opinion piece by a committed leftist is part of that strategy" there would be nothing wrong with it. But they didn't - they presented it as though the author was a Newsweek columnist. In reality he's a blogger who has an axe to grind against Fox News and lists among his interests "conservative failure."
So you can see the tactics being employed against the American people. As a politician you can do whatever you want with legislation, even if it directly benefits you, and no harm will come you as a result of it. Journalists can repeat lies, misrepresent their status and even steal from each other and that's all OK in today's America - as long as it benefits the liberal/progressive agenda.

You know what? I don't appreciate their ruse.


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