Grasshopper Soup: Just kidding about jailing Janeane (I think)
April 21, 2009
Some people had difficulty grasping my last column on White House lies. The fact that I am free to criticize Obama just drives ’em batty, I guess. I have nothing against Obama personally, but I will question him. I expect him to be the leader he said he would be.
One blogger complained there were no new ideas in my column. Absolutely right. Honesty is a very old idea. Others said my column was the “whining bleat” of an “old white guy” but couldn’t say why. Maybe honesty is extinct.
I know you guys give Obama a free pass on everything he does, like continuing old Bush policies that were evil for Bush but are now good for Obama. I get you. There are no inoffensive words to define that character type. But I love you guys anyway.
Your latest slip of Grasshopper Soup envy, aside from being absolutely hilarious (thanks for the med alert), was a perfect example of why we need tolerance, respect and sympathy. At best it was political profiling, or the natural tendency of lofty egos to despise legitimate discourse. When you hide behind the anonymity of the internet, you don’t need a reason to sneer at “old white guys” (I took it as a compliment). Open free speech takes courage. Incognito sniping on the internet does not.
Voltaire spoke from experience when he said, “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” Political profiling leads to political prisoners. It has always been a prelude to unspeakable horrors committed in the name of “national pride” or “the common good”.
It has been connected to vitamin deficiency, drug and alcohol abuse, lack of oxygen, limited education or just poor self control.
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Some people think the U.S. Constitution is the whining bleat of old white men but, it’s wisdom presages our time; and it gives me extra confidence to say what I want. Like you, I just call ’em like I see ’em. No one should ever have a problem with that.
I thought you guys knew all this stuff but we need to go over the rules of freedom, again. A lot of us, especially actress Janeane Garofolo, and a whole slew of national journalists and reporters, need reminding, in the interest of objectivity.
First, in America we allow people to view things differently. Secondly, in America we allow bold, direct, serious and pointed questioning, and criticism, of our leaders. But Voltaire said it best; “I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” I got your back if you got mine.
Here’s a test: Why do we spend 25 percent of all health care costs on very old patients in their last three months of life? Why are we spending so much money on people who will be dead in a few weeks? A more organic response would be to allow death to take its course and not burden those we leave behind with sky-rocketing, unsustainable health care costs. Sounds cruel, doesn’t it? It’s not. It opens a legitimate, and necessary discussion.
Clearly, some people will be appalled at the idea of curtailing end-of-life treatment. Others see it as a noble and courageous choice. Is that bad? Of course not.
Emotionally charged issues demand objectivity, which we grossly lack in our society.
If you can’t see the point of another’s point of view, how do you plan to solve complex problems? By force?
Political profiling is like a snowball rolling down the hill. It will grow and eventually roll right over legitimate dissent and discourse. It is divisive and threatens everyone’s freedom.
And, finally, we are allowed to believe that our rights come from God, not man. In fact, that may be the only way we can guarantee those rights. If it were left up to men, we would be jailed for criticizing those in power.
If it were up to me I would jail Janeane Garofalo and throw away the key. Did you hear her tirade accusing all the Tea Party protesters of hating Barack Obama just because he’s black? That woman is dangerous!
Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, ski instructor and commercial driver. He’s lived at Lake Tahoe for 25 years.