As the Tea Parties have grown in popularity in recent weeks, I have noticed that many Tea Party activists are unwittingly stumbling into verbal traps set by reporters trained in the art of ambush journalism. Sadly, a geeky-looking accountant in a tricorn hat trying to explain to a professional media activist why he is upset with the state of our union is usually an exercise destined for utter disaster. Eventually the hapless accountant will see himself on TV or read his words in the morning paper and realize too late that his words were manipulated to make him look like a complete dolt.
To give unsuspecting Tea Partiers and conservatives fair warning of the risks inherent in direct exposure to predatory reporters, I suggest that members of the media be required to read the following Miranda warning prior to asking questions of their conservative quarry.
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in the Court of Public Opinion as a means of creating a universal perception that you are a violent racist, misogynist, and homophobe. You have no right whatsoever to expect a fair and balanced presentation of your beliefs. Anything you say in support of your beliefs, regardless of merit, will be edited, manipulated and embellished in such a manner as to confirm in the minds of those few people who actually watch our broadcasts or read our publications that you and all people who believe as you do are part of a vast conspiracy of blood-thirsty sociopaths intent on murdering, maiming or devouring any person or group of persons who do not match your exact skin tone or whose mother tongue is not American English. Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you? “
Perhaps you’ve heard of the controversial video by Dutch politician Geert Wilders. It’s an uncompromising and very graphic 15-minute examination of the dark side of Islam. The Constables of Political Correctness throughout Europe have banned public broadcast of its imagery of violence and hatred, all committed in the name of Allah, and dismissed it as nothing more than racism and xenophobia. Wilders calls it a warning to the West of a clear and immediate threat to the non-Muslim people of Europe and the rest of the world.
Is Wilders an alarmist bigot and xenophobe as the PC Police say, or does he have a legitimate message for the world? Decide for yourself. Here is the video. WARNING! This video is disturbing!
UPDATE: Since originally agreeing to host this video on their web site, the folks at LiveLeak have received a number of serious threats. They have been forced to reevaluate their commitment to free speech in the context of increasingly violent Islamic extremism and have determined that the price of free speech is “too high.” They have pulled the original video and replaced it with the message you can see below.
Fortunately YouTube and a number of other hosting sites have stepped in to make the video available to anyone who wishes to see it.
Looking through an older issue of Seacoast On-Line, I found an article listing each of the candidates for Raymond Selectman along with a brief synopsis of their positions plus a few quotes to tell the voters what they feel about certain issues.
The candidate who caught my attention was Mr. William Hoitt, life-long town resident and former Raymond Highway Department employee. Mr. Hoitt was laid off last year as part of a budget cutting effort. He told the newspaper that he is “not happy” about the layoff and as Selectman will “make sure they don’t do it again.”
There you have it. It couldn’t be more clear.
Regardless of the needs and resources of the townspeople, town employees will be protected by a term of employment that can never be broken. A government job in Raymond is forever.
When spending overruns taxpayers ability or willingness to pay, when there must be some give and take to make financial ends meet, it is Mr. Hoitt’s promise to his former colleagues that the taxpayers must continue to give while the town employees continue to take.
I repeat what I have already said a dozen times: the general population of this town exists only as resource to a government of, by and for a greedy and uncaring minority. At least Mr. Hoitt is the one candidate for office in this election cycle honest enough to acknowledge his priorities in advance.
It’s Election Day here in Raymond and throughout the state of New Hampshire.
We have been taught since childhood that this is the one day each year when the people have an unassailable right to voice their opinion of government, and by their checkmark next to a candidate’s name of ballot initiative, assert control over the quality and character of local government. What they failed to teach us and what few people ever notice is that the opinions to which we are to give our voice have already been written for us. The ballot awaiting your pencils marks this morning is little more than a script which dictates the general context of an unending political stage play and leaves only a certain few specifics to the voters to decide: one self-important politician versus another self-important politician, one tax increase versus another tax increase, one regulation limiting personal rights versus another regulation limiting personal rights.
Empowered by their sense of superiority they are each an interchangeable element in a rediculous tableau. Gretchen Gott, (aptly named) has long been among the earthbound divinities to persecute private property owners and business people. She now aspires to sit among her fellow Olympians atop the Board of Selectmen. Dianne Naoum, divine among the brick-and-mortar schoolies – not to mention the New Hampshire construction industry – ascended to divine heights as a member of the School Board and now aspires to ascend to the Select Board.
The cast of characters in this annual farce called “Local Elections” never changes very much. The players are the same narcissistic performers we have seen on the political stage year after year. In one year’s election the actor is Iago, and the next year, wearing crude black-face, he is Othello. In any case the dialog and the final outcome of the performance will be the same.
More than the tedious and frustrating sameness of the candidates is the dispiriting repetition of the ballot issues. The Select Board and School Board each have a catalog of pet projects that arise each year like Freddie Krueger, killed the previous year only to reappear in the next annual installment of Nightmare on Epping Street and Harriman Hill Road. Favored projects have a macabre way of reappearing in the script every year until they accrue sufficient yes votes to pass or the sponsors find a way to squeeze them over the transom and into your next tax bill.
On a course parallel with that of official government are the unions and other special interest groups who perform as supporting cast in the grand charade. They are that tiny minority of just a few hundred people who place their own needs and beliefs above those of a community of nearly 12,000 people. Like their counterparts in official government, the unions and special interests inscribe the annual ballot with their own intolerance for diverse opinion. And like their counterparts, they have the resources to resurrect their favored proposals again, and again, and again until they finally find their way into your tax bill.
Their script awaits you at the polling place this morning. The choice is yours to pick up their pencil and place your checkmark next to their words or to quietly accept the inevitable and continue on to your workplace, where at least the people are nicer.
Cabin fever gettin’ to ya? If you think you might be going crazy, I thought you might enjoy reading about a couple of people who have gotten there well ahead of you.
This is a very short story about a German man who was born to the wrong species. Rational people do not go muzzle to muzzle with a hungry shepherd, but, due to his obviously diminished mental state, this gentleman did, and paid heavy price. His last words before suffering his horrific injuries were, “”Halten Sie mein Bier und schauen Sie dies zu!!”
We have been reading about Tom Cruise’s long spiral into an altered mental state for the past couple of years. The first and most dramatic public display of his worsening condition was his remarkable couch-dance on the Oprah Winfrey show. Now comes a video, leaked to the internet, of Mr. Cruise expounding on Scientology and his beliefs about what it is like to be a Scientologist. Here is an article with a little background on the video and here is the controversial video itself.