Friday, June 26, 2009

Yes, he DID have a chance!

I can't believe I'm recommending comments to a post over at the Crunchy Conservative Blog, but there are some good ones. I mean, a poster-boy for Mr. Dreher's favorite topic–child molestation–dies, and we get this one line in an otherwise plaintive piece: "If Jackson really did behave indecently with children, then he was a kind of monster." A kind of monster. I'm not the only person who notices the disconnect and the inaccuracy of the assertion that someone is not responsible for their choices as an adult just because they had a bad childhood. Commenter "alkali" nails it:

June 26, 2009 9:09 AM
1) Without disputing that Michael Jackson's father was a tyrannical and indeed abusive show business parent, I'm not aware of any evidence that he was history's greatest monster. To the extent we have reason to attribute Michael Jackson's odd behavior to his father's abuse, it's because Jackson himself constantly excused his behavior on that basis. To some extent, I'm willing to credit that, but the extremity of Jackson's behavior over the last 27 years (since he recorded Thriller in 1982) suggests that that claim was somewhat self-serving.

It is sort of a smack in the face to all the people I know who overcame abusive childhoods and didn't end up as hideous perverts to say that Michael Jackson didn't have a chance. (There's a part 2 to this comment with a great Bill Murray quote, but it wasn't as relavant to my point.)

June 26, 2009 10:22 AM
As a parent myself, I'd like to insert a caveat into this discussion, along the lines suggested by alkali.

The data we have suggests that Michael Jackson's father was something short of ideal. But it's quite a jump from there to attributing all of Michael's oddness and bad decisions back to dad. Even if (especially if) Michael himself was inclined to blame his father for all this.

Michael Jackson was an adult when he decided to change his skin color, to have his nose disastrously re-engineered, when he decided to go around talking (and singing) in a falsetto voice (and maybe, some have suggested, taking female hormones), when he started wearing lipstick, when he dangled his infant son off a second-story railing, when he formed what are at best inappropriate relationships with small children, on and on. Some of these decisions, the ones around blurring the distinctions between white and black, male and female, were also highly profitable decisions, part of his art.

However bad a daddy Daddy was, and however evil a place Hollywood might be, I just don't see the justice in allocating all the blame for this behavior away from Michael Jackson himself.

Yeah, does everyone in Hollywood mess around with little kids?

The only reason I would be tempted to make excuses for Michael Jackson's behavior is that I liked his work, at least to some degree. But don't you think this would be like making excuses for a priest who molested children by pointing out that he celebrated so many Masses and gave up every Saturday afternoon hearing confessions?

Now, next topic: Andrew Sullivan. I didn't read his eulogy for Jacko which Rod linked to; no time for nonsense right now. However a commenter named "Nomilk" starts off with a great, unanswered question:

June 25, 2009 9:33 PM
My question is why would a crunchy con read, promote, link to, or hat tip Andrew Sullivan?

Ah, but that is the great question. There are several lame answers and non-answers provided in the comments, and one typical call for him to "shut up". Maybe my commenters will do a better job?

Obama's Health Pitch: Subject Versus Object

I was listening to Rush yesterday and I heard him playing some of the dialogue in the ABC Obamacare Infomercial. Here's the excerpt that made me furious, courtesy of Hot Air and Sword at the Ready:

Jane Sturm told the story of her nearly 100-year-old mother, who was originally denied a pacemaker because of her age. She eventually got one, but only after seeking out another doctor.

“Outside the medical criteria,” Sturm asked, “is there a consideration that can be given for a certain spirit … and quality of life?”

Obama: I don’t think that we can make judgments based on peoples’ spirit. That would be a pretty subjective decision to be making. I think we have to have rules that say that we are going to provide good, quality care for all people.

When I cooled down, I focused on Obama's criticism of subjectivity in making decisions about health. Karl from Hot Air pegged him well, he wrote "Obama came off sounding more like one of the evil insurance company execs he wants to drive out of business than the sort of empathetic person he wants to appoint to the federal judiciary." What decision about health could not be called "subjective" to one degree or another?

This reminded me of a passage from George Weigel's excellent biography of Pope John Paul II. On page 415, he writes about the Pope's recovery from the assassination attempt gunshot wound in 1981.

The Pope was an active patient, determined to understand what was happening to him and to have a say in his care. He had Dr. Crucitti explain the anatomy and normal workings of the intestine and the way in which the colostomy compensated for his temporary disability. When the doctors gathered for a consultation in the meeting room of his suite, he would poke fun at them afterward: "What did the Sanhedrin say today? What did the Sanhedrin decide on my behalf?" (67) He was joking, but the joke had an edge on it. Part of the struggle of an illness, he once told his doctors, was that a patient had to fight to become "the 'subject of his illness' instead of simply remaining the 'object of treatment'" (68) The dignity of the human person was not surrendered at the hospital door.

From my view, Obama's cry against subjectivity was a blunder, a peep hole into the bureaucratic nightmare of rationed government healthcare that Obama wants to provide for everyone other than his own family. I still have hope that this can be defeated, however if it isn't, make sure you're not seen as a useless bread gobbler.

Dimora "on the offensive"

Mildly entertaining. Tim Hagan is the dude on Dimora's right, and he looks embarrassed. The four fingers on the forehead; that's what I do when I'm hoping and praying that someone will wrap it up quickly.

Dimora drags out as many red herrings as Traficant, but he's not nearly as entertaining. Calling the Plain Dealer a Republican rag is silly, but I realize that a lot of people feel that way. Probably because it's not nearly as left-leaning as it's bigger city counterparts.

Playing the victim is rarely attractive, and the "private lunch meeting" speculations and Detroit road trip fantasies reveal a deep paranoia, methinks. I don't know who Dimora's attorney is; he knows better than I whether these outbursts are good for public opinion. Frost doesn't look too good in the shot where he's included―he should be smiling, not blinking and swallowing.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Steven Crowder on Embryonic Stem Cell Research

I'm a new fan thanks to Paul the Regular Guy (Hat tip).

LOL to "Step aside pet rock!"

Is President Obama a victim of Bush Derangement Syndrome?

Michael Barone seems to indicate an affirmative answer in this piece discussing the President's stony-willed adolescent behavior on Iran and missile defense. Excerpt:

Back in July 2007, Obama said that he would meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other tyrants without preconditions. Grownup squares like George W. Bush wouldn't talk to these guys, so as the avatar of the generation of hope and change, Obama would. Obama figured he was cool enough to get the mullahs to agree to renounce nuclear weapons and all that hate stuff.

And "all that hate stuff" would disappear if they decide we're cool, right? Because that's what teenagers do? Nice projection, but I'm afraid the people who hate us are adults.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Donohue on the Markey Bill: "Let me end the suspense...."

Love this. Excerpt:

Right now it looks like this badly conceived legislation is dead in the water. But were it to pass eventually, I renew my pledge today to spend whatever it takes to alert the residents of New York State of their right to sue the public schools if they were ever sexually abused by one of its employees (provided they meet the conditions outlined in the bill).

Some have questioned my motive. Let me end the suspense: I am fed up with unscrupulous lawyers and their well-greased professional victims’ groups seeking to plunder the Catholic Church. Now that public institutions are finally included in the Markey bill, it is only just that potential claimants be informed of their rights. And guess what? A reality check has already taken place. Opposing the Markey bill are the New York State School Boards Association, the New York State Council of School Superintendents, and other civic groups.

Here’s more. An AP story today says 700 public school teachers in New York City are being paid full salaries to sit around doing such things as yoga and playing Scrabble while their cases are being investigated. The accusations include sexual abuse.

Some people–mostly whiny, ultra-sensitive members of the SCCB–criticize Bill Donohue for his methods. I don't know why; for instance, this latest promise of his seems to be an application of "let he who is without sin among you cast the first stone" to the legal system as well as a fulfillment of the Lord's injunction to be as "wise as serpents". The guy isn't prefect–who is?–but he's just great at being tough and saying what needs to be said. He is a great witness to the truth and power of the Catholic Church. My Protestant parents think he's great when they see him on television.

If nothing else, Mr. Donohue is demonstrating that most people in the Abuse-case Industrial Complex really care nothing about the victims. For them it's all about looting the Catholic Church. If you are a Catholic who really does care about the innocence of children and are horrified about the actions of homosexual priests, you should be almost as sickened by these bottom feeders who get rich from abuse lawsuits against the church and yet won't go after institutions like the New York public schools. By the panicked response of these school-related organizations, they've virtually admitted that their schools' closets are brimming with numerous skeletons.

Sign the "Free Our Healthcare Now" Petition

Here it is. Supposedly they have over 100,000 signatures at this point, so weigh in.

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