Monday, September 10, 2012

Is America ready for self-rule?

Perhaps not:
Obstruct and Exploit
[Note:  The subject-line is a joke, but only in the sense that it is wordplay upon "Is America still capable of self-rule" -- and that is no joke at all.]
Pork-Belly Futures Rise in Light Trading;
U.S. IQ in Free Fall
For the first time in a quarter century, public-school teachers in Chicago went out on strike.  Big news, top of the hour. 
As usual -- chef’s specialty -- we shall abstact away from the debatable specifics of the case, for there is much to be said on several sides of various aspects of this complex problem, and focus only on the logic of the thing.   This simple act of cognitive hygiene -- comparable to washing your hands before eating -- will clear the air, and reveal how insensate is the main tone of debate:  basically that emanating from Romney, but infecting the rest of the MSM by reason of their vows of uncritical ‘objectivity’ (even-handedly presenting, say, Professor Miller’s estimate that the Earth is 4.3 billion years old, and, on the other hand -- you choose -- Faux-Joe the Ersatz-Plumber’s that its age is four thousand).
OK, first of all:  Regardless of the merits of this specific case,  it is obvious that Chicago teachers have not been abusing the right to strike, walking out at the drop of a hat, since this is the first time in a quarter century that they have gone out.   Indeed, when I heard the news on the radio, I was struck by that word, “strike”, as though hearing an old tune from childhood.  After all, in the Truman-Eisenhower era when I grew up, unions went out on strike all the time;  in parts of Europe, to some extent, they still do.  In America, huge strikes sort of went out with the hula hoop, for better or worse.
(Ever done hula-hoop?  It’s … really stupid, actually.  But when we were kids, it was something to do.)
Next:   The mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emmanuel, used to be President Obama’s Chief of Staff.   That is a fact.   Ergo, the Romneyoids conclude, President Obama is “implicated” in the present strike.   That is not a fact, but a judgment -- and as such, a defensible one, agree or disagree.  Certainly, from a practical, political standpoint, in our current landscape, where what the President had for dinner is dissected on every place, there is a kind of (stupid) truth to it.   So Romney is using the walkout  -- which obviously has its inconvenient or even regrettable aspects -- as a cudgel wherewith to belabor the Chief Executive about the ears and shoulders.  Well, fair enough.
Only… Should Obama be belabored for supporting the walkout, or opposing it?   Since he himself has so far made no pronouncement, his only connection to the strike is via the tenuous threads of synchronicity or collective-unconscious or Oversoul that still connect him to Rahm Emmanuel.  But… uh… folks … (anybody paying attention?) … Rahm Emmanuel is the principle opponent of the strike and of the teacher’s union generally -- he was already campaigning against them before he was elected mayor;  the union hates the guy.  So Romney’s ring of logic performs a half-twist as it circles ‘round to its origin;  topologically, it is what is known as a “Moebius Strip”.
So far, on the news broadcasts, I have not heard anyone make this elementary point.
The level of intellect displayed here by Romney -- and by the hordes who, jaws hanging slackly ajar, nod dutifully at his words -- is that of a parrot who has been trained to peck at a red spot.   The Romneyoids get wind of a strike -- or a hurricane -- or a bad day on Wall Street -- or that somebody’s hamster died -- and they peck at Obama.
[Update, later in the day]
Oy, veh, this just in:
Heather has three Mommies
The Right has no monopoly on madness.
And while we’re at it … another indirect consequence of loosening of the sanctity of the  traditional marriage bond:
Hollande has two First Ladies

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