Friday, September 29, 2006

The Lightning Round:
If You Can't Say Something Nice, Demolish It!

This week's edition of your Lightning Round finds the art of conversation and pursuit of civil discourse a romantic myth, a lost love confined to great literature and the occasional hot date.

WAR OF WORDS. Arizona Republican Gubanatorial candidate Len Munsil vows to tear down the brand-new 9/11 Memorial in Phoenix if he's elected because of inscriptions he and others see as too liberal and anti-war -- in particuar, one that says: "You don't win battles of terrorism with more battles."

Governor Janet Napolitano, who helped plan the memorial, defends it saying the scores of inscriptions reflect a wide range of thoughts about the terrorist attacks. The Chairman of the 9/11 Memorial Commission methodically and calmly refutes the screaming of righties in a comment on the Arizona Republic website. Here's a few of his remarks:
* The Commission included family members of those who died in the terrorist attacks, a survivor, business leaders, clergy and Arizona's first responders who participated in the Search and Rescue mission at the World Trade Center in the days and weeks that followed the terrorist attacks.

* It is a bi-partisan Commission with a non-political purpose.

* The work of the Commission was done in more that fifty public meetings, with notice posted in advance, and open to all that chose to attend.
That last fact is particularly intriguing. Why is this is all coming to light two weeks after the memorial's dedication? Why did nobody get angry in the planning process? Why were no details of the supposedly offensive inscriptions leaked out then?

Maybe because nobody read them. Tom Smith, the chairman of the Legislative Governmental Mall Commission -- which oversaw the memorial commission -- said, according to the Arizona Republic, "the commission hadn't made it a practice to review the wording of any memorials but will do so in the future."

Reflect upon this a moment. The people in charge of reviewing the memorial didn't bother to review its central, most salient feature. Now Tom's looking into whether some of the comments can be removed (translation: cut out with big gaping holes left behind). Oops.

Two Phoenix-Area lawmakers want a special session to determine whether the memorial should be torn down. It's not likely to happen, but if our Arizona legislature votes to junk it, I say we also hold a vote on whether to junk another memorial with these words:
"Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away."

"With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."
Such liberal anti-war garbage! Such left-wing wussiness!

Why, this doesn't belong on the Lincoln Memorial!

(A tip of my tricorn to Barbara for the tip on Mr. Lincoln's words!)

JIHAD-VERTIZING. A car dealership in Columbus, Ohio decided not to air a radio ad calling for a "jihad on the automotive market."

According to the AP, the Dennis Mitsubishi ad included talked of salespeople wearing "burqas," vehicles that can "confortably seat 12 jihadists in the back," and "Fatwa Friday," with "free rubber swords for the kiddies."

Several stations refused to run the ad. The dealer's president couldn't understand why such an ad would offend.

From the AP:
It "was simply an attempt at humor that fell short," dealership President Keith Dennis said Monday in a prepared statement.
To its credit, the local chaper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations accepted an apology and moved on, proving moderate Muslims do indeed exist, and they don't go around bombing car dealers.

STATING THE OBVIOUS. The Vatican says extremists are undermining religion. Note that we're hearing this from the Vatican, not an imam, not an ayatollah.

BILL'S BLOW-UP. Fox News honcho Roger Ailes considers Bill Clinton's much-viewed temper tantrum against Chris Wallace an assault on all journalists. We at The Lightning Round feel the need to supply Ailes with some deep background.

First, right-wingers dumped on Clinton from day zero. They trashed him in office. They trashed him out of office. They're trashing his wife for the very thought (still unproven, still unconfirmed) she might run for his old job. Evil Bill. Evil Hillary. Even legendary Arizona senator and conservative godfather Barry Goldwater told the righties to quiet down and let him be president. But alas, Barry, the GOP is not your party anymore.

Secondly, Clinton has done his best to handle such trashing with at least an air of civility. The last time I remember him getting truly angry -- not counting the infamous "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" speech -- is when he whined in a radio interview about Rush Limbaugh, back when Limbaugh's show was actually funny.

Thirdly, Democrats just don't know how to play offense. They can't throw off their Republican-shaped image as gutless, godless, pacifist tax-and-spend sops. Republicans screamed bloody murder about a Ronald Reagan movie on CBS and got it bumped to cable. Democrats complained when they saw ABC's 9/11 miniseries taking shots at the Clinton administration, but it ran anyway. Even Clinton himself couldn't get it pulled.

So Bill finally reached his boiling point. When Wallace asked about not getting Bin Laden, all that molten lava of loathing erupted. Clinton surely knew the snakepit he was entering when he sat down with Fox News, despite his gripe about being misled. Deep within him, he pined for that volcanic moment, tired of getting kicked around year after year and watching partisan spin doctors give his legacy another bruise.

So Roger, who assaulted who first?

FAHRENHEIT 2006. A church youth group in Minot, ND burned books, CD's, DVD's and anything else they thought was "hindering their relationship with the Lord."

From the Minot Daily News:
Mary Johnson, leader of the college and career group at the church, summed up what the burning is about: “Getting rid of junk in their lives that would hinder (their) relationship with the Lord.”
Johnson stated that a young man from the Air Force asked for the burning, and the church agreed.
The article doesn't mention the titles of anything incinerated, but one has to ask, how did this group of committed Christians end up with burn-worthy material in the first place?

It seems wasteful, but participant Chuck Holtzhower didn't mind:
“If I don’t feel that they’re correct for my life, why would I give them to somebody else?” he said. “There’s no other way around it, other than that fire right there.”
Why not recycle?

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