Thursday, July 26, 2012

Why is Chick-Fil-A being filleted?

It's not very often that I'll step up to the plate on behalf of a fast-animal flesh establishment. But this is one of those times when the exception trumps the rule.
I refer, of course, to the fabricated controversy surrounding Chick-Fil-A, the Atlanta-based business started in 1967 by Truett Cathy. Mr. Cathy made his restaurant legendary in the South and, over decades, was successful in bringing it to other parts of the U.S. Two such establishments exist in Massachusetts, but in February of this year, the student senate of Northeastern University declined the establishment of a Chick-Fil-A on campus.
And recently, in response to a published report detailing the company's donations to the Marriage & Family Foundation and Family Research Council, Boston mayor Thomas Menino declared that he would not allow a Chick-Fil-A anywhere within the borders of Suffolk County. This is the same politico who has also barred WalMart's presence in the city, disagreeing as he does its corporate philosophy. Menino would rather pontificate than create much-needed jobs for Boston residents.
Truett Cathy, the CEO, and Dan Cathy, Chick-Fil-A's president, are Southern Baptists. As such, they support the traditional family and have made statements reflecting their beliefs that it needs to be defended and preserved. You don't need to know any more than that to deduce why college students, the Lefty mayor of Boston and the Hollywood crowd have condemned Chick-Fil-A.
Dan Cathy has said that legislating gay marriage invites "God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.'" But Dan Cathy has never requested that Chick-Fil-A restaurants not serve gay people. The only overtly religious aspect to Chick-Fil-A is the fact that it is closed on Sundays. In fact, if the Cathys have been most notoriously adamant about anything, it's their refusal to serve on the Christian day of rest and worship. To anyone, even traditional families.
The gay militants and their far-Left defenders don't wish to acknowledge Dan Cathy's right to free speech. I'm sure he's had liberal college students working in his establishments across the country and the donning of a Chick-Fil-A label pin did not denote their membership in an indoctrination camp.
The Left talks such a great game about daring to be different. It's exactly what Dan Cathy has done and he's been vilified for it. The talk show host Roger Hedgecock summed it up nicely on his July 24 program:
The mafia of the Left will not tolerate a single utterance outside the boundaries of their politically correct channel. Not one. There's no free speech in this country, not anymore. We have the politically correct-speech police. Which only applies to conservatives.
Hedgecock cites the example of Office Depot's partnership with the Born This Way Foundation founded by Lady Gaga. Office Depot implores customers to "Be Brave". Bravery only flows in one direction apparently. The Cathys have tried it and are getting put through the shredder. Supplied by Office Depot, no doubt.
And that's fine. Office Depot, as a private business, can support whatever causes it wishes to. So can Chick-Fil-A. But Chick-Fil-A hasn't chosen to march in lockstep with the right cause and that's the problem.
I'm not impressed by the line of work the Cathys went into, and I personally would not eat at a Chick-Fil-A because I don't eat mammal or bird flesh.  However, Chick-Fil-A does use free-range chicken. To me, that's progressive and immediately places them on a pedestal above most other fast-food joints.  It's an indication that the Cathys are good folk.
This assault on Chick-Fil-A is nonsense. It's time that those who preach the merits of diversity and claim to embrace tolerance do those very things. But they won't. The nature of being a liberal is to be perpetually hypocritical.

Friday, July 20, 2012

It's about more than stage fright, Mr. Mayor

As much as I was glad to see Boris Johnson return to office as Mayor of London—especially given his opponent—I am always distressed to hear him talk nonsense.
Johnson has called on Londoners to "stop whining" and throw their support behind the Olympics, which will start next weekend. The mayor claims denziens of the capital city have been stricken with "paralyzing stage fright." Er, no, Mr. Mayor.  I think you're confused.  We're frozen to the spot thinking how much of our council tax money was spent on this charade, none of which we'll see again.
Nine billion pounds was spent on this corporate spunkfest. I am not fooled by one-thirty-second of a scintilla that this will benefit the average working person in London or nationwide.  £9 billion to break even.  Not going to happen, is it?  It's always easier to spend someone else's money than it is to generate it.  I don't care what anyone says, the Olympics are not going to raise anywhere close to that figure.
Demonstrate to me how the Olympics will result in a significant raise in my salary and I'll support the travesty.  I'll play along and keep my mouth shut.  Grease my palm the way so many others have been lubed and I'll tapdance all day along Tower Bridge in the oh-so-fetching pink and purple colors of the London 2012 volunteer brigade—the ones that would doubtless make me look like I was preparing for late-night frolicks at Horse Meat Disco.
Years ago, I shared my thoughts on London 2012. I unequivocally stand by them.
Mayor Johnson said that Londoners have shown a willingness to "agonise about the traffic, when our transport systems are performing well" and "worry about security when we always planned to have a strong military role in making our games as safe as possible." He reminded us that the Olympic Park was built on time and under budget.
None of which, of course, is true. The security arrangements, as I predicted four years ago, were a shambles. Public transportation and traffic flow are jokes when millions of foreigners aren't flocking into the capital. I've already discussed what a Through the Looking Glass statement the Olympics being delivered on budget is.
But I'll delve into that a tad more.  In March, BBC sports blogger David Bond wrote:
It used to be sufficient for the government to say the £9.3bn was an infrastructure budget, set up to pay for the venues of the Olympic Park ... But with that money now being used for so many different areas of the project - security, ceremonies and other operational requirements associated with the actual staging of the Games - that argument no longer holds.

Not exactly the stuff of rocket science to work that one out, no offense to Mr. Bond.  I think the "Olympo-funk," as Boris refers to it, that many of us are feeling is justified.
Maybe you could fool people in Cumbria or Northumbria or Yorkshire with cheers of "Go Team GB!" They did not have to contribute toward the Olympics nor will they have to deal with the congestion, delays and major-league annoyances the Games will cause.
I can't blame Boris, and I can forgive him for lying through his teeth about the Olympics and acting like a complete rumpswab for them.  He inherited them from his rival and opponent, "Red Ken" Livingstone, who was no less a suck-up to the Games than Johnson.  The whole "Back the Bid" scheme and the eventual "awarding" of the Olympics to London in 2005 were done under Livingstone's tenure.  It wouldn't do much for his standing or credibility if Mayor Johnson moaned like most of the rest of us.
I'm just glad that I work nights because that way might make it easier for me to attempt to ignore this whole charade. It will only last two weeks.

(Photo courtesy of The Hindu, March 27, 2012)

Monday, June 18, 2012

They get paid to play, not act like civil rights advocates

While doing our grocery shopping last Sunday, Squirrel and I got into a debate with each other over the righteousness of players leaving the field during a Euro 2012 game if they experienced racist chants aimed at them from spectators.
Though I know very little—and care absolutely nothing—about soccer, I am aware that Euro 2012 is taking place across the major metropolises of Poland and Ukraine.  Black players on the Dutch team, and Italy's black striker Mario Balotelli, have had abuse hurled at them from Polish, Ukrainians, Russians and Croatians.  In other words, the "exotic" team members were taunted by the usual-suspect hillbillies of Europe.
UEFA President—the boss of European soccer—Michel Platini introduced a policy in which referees can halt the game if the audience misbehaves but players would be penalized for leaving the field in protest.  It's a decision I heartily agree with.
As we stood in the canned vegetables aisle, the wife said she stood with players who left the field if they suffered any abuse.
"I admire that stand," I said. "But these men are making millions. For that amount of money, I expect them to remain on the field and continue playing their silly little elementary school game for which they're so richly rewarded. It's the least they can do."
"Aren't you sympathetic?" Squirrel asked me.
"I don't blame them for being angry, but that ought to really motivate them to put on a performance that would force the audience bullies to respect them. Here's what I'd tell them: Stay in the game, earn your pay, and do your best to prove your worth in front of your detractors. Prove that you're a man and fight harder. Don't just walk off the field like a wuss."
Honestly, dear reader, how sickening is it for some spoiled-brat soccer player to take it upon himself to march off the field, carrying an invisible torch for civil rights? It was ordinary folks, anonymous working men and women, who fought the battle for civil rights. More to the point, if the battle for civil rights had not been waged by the downtrodden man-in-the-street, these black players would not be playing for European soccer teams, driving Ferraris and living in mansions as a result.
Good for Mssr. Platini for not tolerating any walkouts.
"Well, what if you were out there playing and had people screaming at you, calling you a 'thick Mick' or something like that?" Squirrel queried me as we stood in the check-out lane.
"Hon, seriously: For that kind of money, you can call me a thick Mick, you can call me an imperalist Yank, you can me Stumpy Short-ass, I don't care. Just don't call me late for the free bar. I would know that I'm living much, much better than anyone in that audience, and that's all I would need to motivate me."
I think wifey got the point after that.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Walker survives recall: A step in the right direction

Great news indeed that Scott Walker has been allowed to retain his seat as Governor of Wisconsin by a vote of 53 percent despite the effort engineered by public-sector union thugs to remove him.
It was stupid that Mr. Walker had to prove himself in a recall election. What did he do but try to save public sector jobs through his budget repair bill? Even under Walker's reforms, public-sector pensions still require a lower amount of employee contribution than those in the private sector.
Honestly, did Walker's opponents really think that the money will never run out? Are they as selfish as the Greeks, believing that the money to keep them in the manner to which they've become accustomed will just be found? At whose expense will this money be "found"? Do they consider the struggles of the private sector and how their demands stifle entrepreneurship and investment? The answer to that, dear reader, is of course: Hell to the no.
The unions are their own worst enemy. That they cannot predict the laying off of thousands of state employees speaks to their collective naïveté. Their hallmark is the total inability to coöperate with logic and hard choices. It is mind-blowing how arrogant these people are. The re-election of Scott Walker, as unnecessary as it was, is a positive sign. It's one to be carried forth into November.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Something is rotten in the eurozone

Article first published as "Something is rotten in the eurozone" on

The French and Greek elections showed faith in far-Left policies to correct the financial crisis. Did the British do the same?

NICE, France—"Hollande est un grand homme. Il vas sauver nous et la nation."
I overhead this little gem, as much as my understanding of French will allow, Friday morning while sipping un café at a seaside establishment in France's fifth-largest city. François Hollande was elected the next President of the French Republic by a margin of 3.4 percent earlier that week. Not an impressive margin by any means. But for Hollande to get through to take on the incumbent Sarkozy and win proves that Socialism is alive and well in the Gallic nation.
According to my eavesdropping, Mssr. Hollande "is a great man. He will save us and the nation." I have only one thought with regard to the word "save," given Europe's zombie-like financial and economic situation. But for French voters, the opposite is true, in which spend equals save.
No doubt Barry O. called Hollande up to congratulate him and ask for pointers. "Let me know how you keep your people in line, François," I can hear Obama saying. "It could come in handy for my second term."
France, however, was far from alone in advocating reckless spending and increased state control. Greek voters rejected austerity measures aimed at curbing Greece's spiralling debt—caused, no doubt, by generations of lavish welfare programs and too-generous public pension plans—during last week's legislative elections. Greece already had a socialist party (PASOK) sharing parliamentary power with the center-right New Democracy party, but both parties had worked on a savings plan and backed the EU bailout agreement. But the Coalition of the Radical left (SYRIZA) party, which now has 52 seats (out of 300) in the Greek parliament, has vowed to block any further coalitions, thus threatening to jettison the bailout agreement based on the "barbaric" austerity measures it will force Greece to live within.
SYRIZA has essentially replaced PASOK as Greece's main left-wing party and they are clawing the ground like agitated roosters, chomping at the bit to play a game called leverage with the national budget.
Britain, too, had "mid-term" parliamentary elections. The classically socialist party, Labour, gained substantial ground. Much like the results in Greece, the two coalition parties in government (the centre-right Conservatives and the left-wing Liberal Democrats) were punished for the cuts they tried to make, and Labour profited from the anger voters felt toward the Conservatives and Lib Dems.
However, what happened here in Britain is not necessarily bad news. Although the breakdown in Parliament after the election stands at Labour 39%, Conservatives 31% and Lib Dems 15%, the Conservatives can make up the 8 percent difference in two years if they are careful. Most voters have not forgotten that "New" Labour got Britain into the financial mess in the first place and a lot of pro-Labour votes were designed to simply send a message.
The Conservative party did achieve one goal: the re-election of Boris Johnson as Mayor of London, which is a politically important position. Johnson beat Labour's Ken Livingstone by 51.5 to 48.5 percent. In fact, three London councils whose votes went to Labour MPs also voted by a majority to retain Mr. Johnson. This fact alone tells me that the Labour vote was a protest vote.
It must be said that the Conservatives and their Liberal Democrat partners have been slashing whatever they can, including police, immigration control and the military. Those three things are the stuff any sane citizen would want the government to pay for and provide. They also need to have a serious look at the future of libraries, post offices, transportation and youth programs. I share with the British the conviction that just because something is public does not always mean it's superfluous, pointless or wasteful. Some public services, like those I mentioned, can be scaled back, but must be kept strong enough to survive. My anger is directed at public unions who demand pensions that private-sector workers can only dream of, not my local library or post office. I am not impressed when any government stipulates that the military needs to be cut to achieve savings in the Budget, but non-working families, many of whom haven't worked for generations, still receive a vast array of benefits.
France is a lost cause once more and Greece remains as messed up as always. But Britain continues to keep its economic head just above water and operates with a political system that is more pro-free market than not. And Germany continues to lead the way in Europe, with "the Decider," Chancellor Angela Merkel, at the helm with a recent 77 percent approval rating among Germans.
An uneasy week for Europe, to be sure. Europe is always uneasy. But only future elections and results will decide the fate of this continent. All's not completely lost—yet.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A modern-day lesson in choice

Another day, another idiot collapsing from gluttony.
A fortysomething woman suffered a heart attack while consuming the Triple Bypass Burger at Las Vegas's Heart Attack Grill.
You've got to hand it to this establishment—they don't flinch from truth in advertising.
Don't get me wrong. I'm glad the woman is expected to recover, and that the man who collapsed from eating the same burger in February did not shed his mortal coil either. I don't believe that anyone deserves to pay the ultimate price for their deviancy as long as it harms no-one else, animal or human. Reports indicate the woman was a smoker as well as an unhealthy eater, and this stupidity is something she is welcome to if she chooses to continue cruising along that course.
And a business like the Heart Attack Grill is entitled to supply whatever they think there is a demand for. That's how the free market works and it is the basis of any sound economy. (Although I think it's highly irresponsible for them to offer free meals to those over the 350 pound mark. I thought the point of a business was to make money, not give freebies to a particular client demographic?)
But let's also stipulate that I am in no way inclined to pay for anyone who requires emergency treatment for their lifestyle. If you drink heavily, smoke like a chimney, can't be bothered to move your butt for any meaningful exercise and/or eat the equivalent of five cows in one sitting, then you may not deserve to die. But I'm not interested in shelling out higher tax monies to make you better either.
That is your responsibility, like having children or making insurance payments on your car.  (And I'm not keen on contributing toward those either.)
After all, with regard to this woman, I wrote that she is at liberty to follow the same path in terms of her unhealthy habits "if she chooses." That's what it boils down to: choice. "Choose" is the verb form of choice. Let's conjugate that, shall we, dear reader?
I choose, you choose, he/she chooses, we choose, they choose. I have chosen, you have chosen, etc.
Now let's define choice, according to "the right, power, or opportunity to choose".
We all have options and it would seem logical that we know the consquences of such options if we take them. Now I'm not saying that the burger itself caused the heart attack in either person. But it was the tipping point after many years of a sedentary, gluttonous way of living.
There is a white-hot debate going on the UK over whether or not smokers, binge drinkers/heavy drinkers and those who overeat being treated by the National Health Service, which is severely strapped for cash and is the subject of budget cuts, should pay for the treatment of their self-inflicted illnesses. Hospitals are consolidating and nixing programs, including children's heart care units. And yet, there are people out there—and they are very much "out there"—who think absolutely everyone is entitled to care provided by the public health care system, regardless of what they've done to themselves. Regardless of the very poor choices they made.
I'd rather have the money paid in higher healthcare costs for people who have no pride and don't look after themselves to spend on Berocca, tofu and running sneakers, thank you. Guess what? Those are my lifestyle choices and I contend that I have a right to them. But when my "fair share" of taxes goes up to support the wobbling, creaking NHS—Proudly Abused Since 1948!—chances are my choices are going to be limited in terms of my ability to afford them.
Pity us, dear American reader. You have the chance of turning things around with a Mitt Romney presidency, God willing. Who's going to right the ship here? Our Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government is proving just as useless as the previous Labour cabinet. Alas, I digress ...
What do we do with the masses of generously proportioned asses out there? The cost of emergency services gets passed onto the municipalities in which they operate. And Americans pay higher premiums as a result. Under ObamaCare, beauracrats can decide on the future of those with cancer. But the person who eats KFC three times a day, every day, will be supported by the taxpayer.
Amazing, isn't it, that liberals talk a great game about food choices and smoking, yet will happily keep their voting base supplied with as much fast food and cigarettes (as well as booze and lapdances) as it takes to keep them on the plantation? EBT Cards Acceted Here!
That woman doesn't just demonstrate the end result of disgusting lifestyle choices. She is far from alone, but she epitomizes everything that is wrong with advertising, education, public services, waste and an overwhelming lack of personal responsibility.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Romney's got the right stuff

I should feel confident that any conservative who dares to call him or herself that, or an independent who considers himself a patriotic citizen, possesses an ABO blood type: Anybody But Obama. Michelle Bachman, Herman Cain and Rick Santorum are gone now. Newt Gingrich, bless his heart, is a shadow. Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal: they're not in the race. (Though who's not salivating at the idea of having Rubio as the veep?)
However, I do worry. I hear callers to talk-radio shows nationwide grumble about how Mitt Romney hasn't got a conservative bone in his body, how he's weak-willed, how his RomneyCare led to ObamaCare, and how, as Santorum deliriously asserted, Romney is no better than Obama.
These people pose as conservatives, but in bashing the one-and-only hope against Barry O. and trying to argue against a vote for him, they will indirectly be putting the Messiah back in office. If you, as I did, kissed the memory of the country you grew up in good-bye in November 2008, you may now feel that was a bit premature. All was not completely lost. Obama had to be, in some minute sense, answerable to the electorate. But a second term won't mean a pen stroke here and there; it will be wholesale destruction. Constitution? What Constitution?
You may feel that a Rick Santorum or Michelle Bachman presidency would have been 2,000 times better than Obama. Newt Gingrich or Herman Cain would have been, perhaps, 1,700 to 1,800 times better. Mitt Romney might prove to be 1,000 times better.
Time for you nay-saying reactionaries out there to cut out the horseshit, man up, and give Romney your vote. I don't care if you hold your nose while checking his name on the ballot. Just do it.
In an age when you've been paying and continue to pay more for less week after week, when the price of groceries and fuel is off the chart, when the housing market is stalled, when the work ethic has been devalued and the entitlement culture reigns supreme, and you feel like a foreigner in your own country, who wouldn't settle for an improvement that is 1,000 times better than the current administration?
Wouldn't we all love to see Romney breathe the same fire in deflecting his critics as he did when confronting Massachusetts Turnpike Authority chairman Matt Amorello in the wake of the fatal Big Dig tunnel collapse in 2006? But would that be wise? I don't mind my politicians being cantakerous if I'm inclined to vote for them, but a large part of the electorate doesn't agree with me. Everyone always has to be nice in this politically correct era.
There's always the possibility that Romney will pleasantly surprise us. Remember that, in 1980, Republicans were not exactly enthusiastic about Ronald Reagan. During that year's primary season, he was widely viewed as not strong enough and his debating style was criticized. The Gipper did not prove his credentials until he was in office. Who's to say that Romney cannot follow in Reagan's shoes? We won't know unless we, as conservatives and libertarian independents, put him in the Oval Office.
Is Mitt Romney likeable? I say yes. Maybe I see something in him that scores of others don't, but Romney appears affable and approachable enough. And I have absolute faith that he "gets it." The Romneys once lived in a basement apartment with patchwork carpeting and used a door on a workbench for a desk. Just because he's very wealthy now does not mean he does not know the value of work and to aspire to greater things.
If Romney was so shallow, why would he run for president again? His experience in 2008 would have defeated a man of lesser inner fortitude. In my opinion, Romney has shown true grit by putting himself through another primary season.
Furthermore, any Southern dislike for Romney based on his faith did not prevent John F. Kennedy from being elected in 1960. I would like to think that there are many Southerners with a more open mind than there were 52 years ago. Romney was polling well in South Carolina before Gingrich won the state, so I doubt his eventual loss had much to do with being a Mormon.
Finally, Rubio endorsed Romney before Santorum dropped out, and if none other than Ann Coulter can get so excited over Mitt, then so can I. Coulter said, "[Democrats] are going to run against our candidate, because it is the only way that they run against any Republican: Call them dumb or stupid. And there is one presidential candidate we have right now who frustrates both of those. That is Mitt Romney."
I agree.
This blog endorses Mitt Romney for President. Let's go, Mitt!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Should we leave guns outside the home to the police?

It's for very good reasons that Bill Cosby is a treasured American icon. His contribution to my generation alone, via Fat Albert and The Electric Company, is palpable, and his stand-up comedy has always been refreshingly obscenity-free. Cosby received heat from some quarters for The Cosby Show in that it was uplifting the ideals of Reagan—but those of us who have at least half a working brain in our heads know that those are ideals worthy of uplifting and those quarters should be ignored if not mocked. Cosby, in that sitcom and in his own life, showed how blacks are just as capable as any other racial or ethnic group of engineering an upper middle-class or wealthy lifestyle through dedicated study and hard work (as opposed to specious talents).
Cosby has weighed in on the Trayvin Martin-George Zimmerman scenario. The actor-comedian said the issue relates to guns, especially with respect to taking them out in public instead of keeping them in the home. While Cosby supports an individual's right to keep guns in his or her home, he has said that when the same individual carries a gun outside the home, "sometimes their mind clicks that this thing ... will win arguments and straighten people out."
We can argue the merits of carry-and-conceal statutes, and it's little wonder that those who attack police officers often receive a Darwin award for their idiotic efforts. However, I also agree with Cosby that possession of a gun can preternaturally embolden many individuals. Money and power can go to people's heads; so, we must admit, can guns.
Cosby's son Ellis was shot during an attempted robbery in 1997, so we can certainly understand Cosby's attitude toward having guns in public.
With respect to what happened in Sanford, Florida on the night Martin was shot, Cosby questions Zimmerman's logic. He said, "When you tell me that you're going to protect the neighborhood that I live in, I don't want you to have a gun. I want you to be able to see something, report it and get out of the way."
If Zimmerman had done that, and taken the advice of the 911 dispatcher to leave the matter to the police, then Martin, angel or not, would still be alive and Zimmerman would not be facing second-degree murder charges. Charges the prosecutor was forced to make, in my humble opinion, but for the purposes of this piece, that's neither here nor there.
We do not know if Martin was aware that Zimmerman had a gun. We do not yet know why Zimmerman felt the need to pursue Martin. The fact that Martin beat Zimmerman up (as well as his previous use of social media) proves he is not the choir-boy the media insists on portraying him as. It's apparent that Zimmerman shot Martin for the very reason you would have a gun in the first place—self-defense.
Could it be that Cosby is right, though? Did Zimmerman ignore the dispatcher's advice because he felt invincible with a gun at his side?
Hopefully all the facts will surface during Zimmerman's trial. But if Cosby's overall point is that some people, regardless of race, can be prone to being trigger-happy, then that's difficult to argue against.
Like Cosby, I fully support the Second Amendment. Without it, the rest of the rights enshrined in the Constitution are pretty much mooted. And I like having an armed police force. But that doesn't mean I want everything the National Rifle Association wants. Police have guns and, under normal circumstances, any potential need for them should be left to law enforcement. There's got to be a balance when it comes to firearms.
But the issue is such a polarizing cauldron, I wonder if that balance will ever be achieved.