Friday, January 28, 2011

An Honest Brawler

Recently lefty blow-hard Keith Olbermann went off the air.

You might think that I, as a right of center fiscal and military conservative with strong libertarian social tendencies, would rejoice at the sudden departure of this loud mouth.

You couldn't be more wrong.

I have so much respect for someone like Olbermann, just as I do for Beck or Limbaugh or O'Reilly or Maddow or any number of mouthpieces who speak from their hearts and try to genuinely impart an honest point of view - though I frequently disagree with all of the them, and just as often turn them off because I can't take it anymore; these voices are passionate and righteous, even when they're full of shit.

I don't judge their hearts, I don't attribute any malice to their motivations beyond a deep love for their countries and a desire to make things better for everyone. I understand that often the road to hell is paved with good intentions, but I don't think the righteous path can be found without genuine intellectual honesty, and from what I can tell most of these vitriolic voices are dogged about pursuing it.

Olbermann embodies the very best of the American political spirit; he is a straight shooter, who will look you in the eye and tell you how it is. No BS, just "This is A because of B, and if you don't see that D is C, then I can't help you."

That's what I want to hear from a political commentator, this is what I want! To be challenged, to be forced to think through my positions. The time and the place for strong political discourse is on talk radio, or for that matter on MSNBC or Fox News after regular news programming.

Contrary to what the intellectual elites would have us believe, that bloggers and talk radio people are idiots, I believe that we are truly in a golden age of information and ideas - where on any given morning I can get 30 different viewpoints on a controversial subject, each laced with nuanced differences. People may be entirely wrong, or even obnoxiously wrong about what they are saying - but I get to investigate further and ultimately decide for myself, based on literally as many sources as I choose to seek out.

This whole sanctimonious and erroneous view, that if you don't report news for a network or a major market paper - then your point of view is somehow less valid, is frankly un-American. There is so much information out there right now, that anyone who puts in even a minimal amount of time and effort to educate themselves can stand toe to toe with most "intellectuals", especially when it comes to the common sense concepts of individual liberty and freedom.

And that's why I welcome left wing loud mouths. The more the better!

So they get personal from time to time, so their hearts are inflamed and at times beyond the voice of reason. So what?

I like vitriol. I like rhetoric. I don't need another snobby soft voiced pansy on NPR, or even worse a smug network anchor who doesn't realize that the show he's on is a dinosaur that will soon sink into the tar.

Give me honesty - straightforward, unabashed bias; every single time. At least then I know what I"m listening to.

Don't give me "objectivity" that is nothing more than a condescending sham of left wing kool-aide.

Someone on facebook sent me a link of Anderson Cooper, and God as my witness, I just couldn't watch it. This guy really thinks he's coming from a neutral position, that he's really very different from Olbermann or Beck. He just reports "the facts" and he takes it very seriously.

The guy is a lightweight and even worse, he's devious.

This is what I can't stand. The duplicity of Katie Couric. The joke that is the New York Times.

I would much rather have an honest brawler. Someone who says what he means and means what he says.

Someone like Keith Olbermann.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Anger rising... fading... ...rising!

I'm not one to normally get my dander up when it comes to politics; as you've no doubt read here many times before, for me it's almost never personal. It's simply silly when it's simply politics; political talk fascinates me and I enjoy it, but I recognize that many are plainly not where I am and it's okay. It doesn't make me a bad person or them either. At the end of the day, we all want peace and prosperity, we all love our country (mostly) and we want to leave this world better than we found it.

So when something comes along that is catastrophically tragic, like the shooting in Tucson over the weekend - I am always grateful that through the horror we can find the best in each other, common ground and love through a shared ordeal. Whether it was the space shuttle blowing up, the towers coming down, or any number of unspeakable massacres and atrocities - I always take a moment to recognize that even in (or rather, especially in) our darkest hour, the very best of who we are will emerge.

Most obviously, the heroes that brought down the mad man at the scene demonstrated selfless courage at it's most pure. And then there are the countless friends and family who are heroic in their courage to go on living in the face of such a devastating blow.

Of this group, most of all I cannot fathom how the parents of the murdered little girl, who was born on 9/11/01, are able to continue. But continue they will, relying on the love and support around them and the strength of their creator to give purpose and meaning to their existence despite the irrevocable cataclysm that has forever wounded them.

Call it what you will, a silver lining, my own naiveté', but I cling desperately to hope - the shining beacons that emerge everywhere when a real life nightmare presents itself.

That is why, in the face of this atrocity, I am aghast, appalled, and very angry at what is transpiring from the mainstream media and from some of the liberals in my life.

Literally within minutes of the shooting, the tweet-verse was agog in condemnations - not to the deranged shooter - but to Sarah Palin. Her vitriol brought this about. We all need to reflect on how hate speech can insight violence.

Left wing bloggers have taken this line and are running with it - turning a blood drenched incident into a flashpoint for the politics of fear.

And it turns my stomach.

What is really going on is simply this - a bald face attempt at crushing free speech by radical leftists, using a non-political act of violence to leverage guilt against those that they disagree with.

That some would stoop so low, drenched in the blood of the innocent because they are tired of losing intellectual arguments to talk radio and Fox News, pisses me the fuck off.

And that's why I write my thoughts and feelings down here, so I don't tweet or post something I might regret.

And another thing, to all those who are sure to pounce shortly, on this event as an impetus to pass anti-constitutional gun control laws - I say a big fuck you. You will take our guns from our cold, dead hands. And I don't even own a gun.

I'm just kind of funny that way about the constitution. Plenty of cafeteria intellectuals prefer certain amendments over others, I myself have a soft spot for all of the bill of rights. Especially the second amendment, which probably the biggest reason that the first amendment is allowed to exist at all. People should never be in fear of the government, but government should absolutely fear the people.

Also, in the realm of pissing me off -

Some progressives, this would be acquaintances on facebook, have had the unmitigated gall to compare this shooting to the Times Square bombing.

Right. A calm and socially fluent terrorist with formal training in Pakistan directly from al qaeda is just like a mentally ill outcast and lone gunman. Don't think so.

I can concede there is more of a comparison to the Fort Hood shooter, but even then, the man who pulled the trigger was not sick in the way that Laughlin clearly is. He was a functioning and influential member of society, a doctor, with 15 years of higher education and a relatively normal social life.

But whatever. Even when he did shoot a bunch of people - I barely heard a whisper from the right attacking the left about how now they should tone down their vitriol and rhetoric.

There was some talk, and rightly so, about how we all need to be vigilant against terrorism - but there wasn't near the amount of hate and fear as is now being spewed by people like Keith Olbermann, focused directly against one political persuasion.

The Fort Hood shooting was a primarily non-political event, a terrorist act by a lone gunman - and it was dealt with by both sides as such.

This Tucson shooting, was simply a lone crazy person with no agenda whatsoever (though there is actual evidence to suggest he was a leftist, as his preferred reading material was the communist manifest) and now it is being ham handed into a political opportunity.


To be fair, many on both sides have been voices of reason. Most appreciated by me was my cousin Bob, who has taken great pains to point out that the magnitude of the suffering dictates that people be sensitive and use sense. I know he is in the majority of all of us, and that I shouldn't let my emotions get the better of me when a few misguided fools parade around behind the bodies of people who have been killed for no reason.

But it's tough to stay calm sometimes.