Friday, January 05, 2007

Stream Of Unending Bull

Did you read the newspaper this morning? I did. It's hard to tell what's worse: the news that the paper reports, the quality of the editorials, or the insipid letters written to the paper by ordinary people like you and me.

Sports dominates the front page. Bill Cowher is leaving. Mario Lemieux might be leaving. To both of these stories, I say: Big Whoop! The local authorities don't know how to handle the responsibility of having major league sports franchises. The imminent departure of the Pittsburgh Penguins has been in the works for years, just like the decline of the Pork Authority. Speaking of which:

The Port Authority's proposed bus route cuts and fare increases are seen as a small but positive step toward eventually winning aid from the Legislature for mass transit in Allegheny County.
So, according to this logic, an announcement from Allegheny County that the Pork Authority is cutting everything but fares while spending too much money on useless projects will spur the state legislature to dip into the public purse and "save our transit" again. Good grief. It's so easy for the government to rob Peter in order to pay Paul when the government has a gun at Peter's head.

Don't forget that the Democrats have formally "taken control" in Washington, D.C. The paper has a pretty standard "first day of Kindergarten" piece of mush about Democrat Jason Altmire's swearing-in at the Capitol yesterday. One of the things we learn is that Congressman Altmire did his part to effect new leadership at the highest levels:
"Yeah! He got his first vote right," joked the Rev. Donald B. Green, executive director of Christian Associates of Southwestern Pennsylvania, just seconds after Mr. Altmire cast his choice for Nancy Pelosi as speaker of the House.
Unless there's more than one Lutheran pastor named Rev. Donald Green, I this this guy was a ministerial intern at the church where I went to Sunday School back in the 1970s. I vaguely recall his photo from an old church directory, but I otherwise don't remember seeing or hearing about him. As you can tell from the above excerpt, he is quite the well-connected leftist. The first Google search result for his name yields a statement (in PDF format) from July 2005, imploring the PA House Dems to raise the minimum wage. The whole thing reads like a Marxist political platform. Some highlights:
  • A declaration of advocacy for the type of government coercion that is known in leftist circles as "Social Justice". The government will guarantee you a job/home/health care etc. nonsense. It doesn't come right out and say how, but you know that it must involve socialism.
  • Support for a minimum wage increase that will make poverty and welfare dependency things of the past. Nothing about the unemployment that will result from a government mandated wage increase. Marxists don't have a clue about economics.
  • Some utter bull about how raising the minimum wage will reduce student loan obligations, how the current wage levels are unfair to the new breed of immigrants, and a stinging criticism of welfare reform that includes a swipe at Rick Santorum's book. He can't even bring himself to mention Rick by name. Does it make him throw up when he says it?
  • What would any self-respecting Marxist's screed be without a touch of class envy? The Reverend goes after a couple of local corporate bigwigs, but -- in keeping with the lefty Zeitgeist -- reserves his harshest criticism for Wal-Mart. It's like a form letter, really. Everything is predictable.
  • The timing of the statement couldn't have been better, for he ends with a blistering attack on the Legislature for the then-recently enacted unconstitutional pay raise that upset damn near everybody. His solution? Make the government give everyone else a raise!

If this man is representative of what the ELCA is these days, I might as well stop giving money to my church. Or I might just stop going to church altogether. When people like him take over, there will be no charity but the government.

Time to move on to something else.

Let's play "Name The Editorialist", a game inspired by Mitch Berg, who has been trying to figure out who writes which unsigned piece at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The Pittsburgh Psychosis-Gazette kindly does us the favor of dropping the names of people on the editorial board, which includes some of the usual gang of bozos whose columns appear regularly in the paper. I think I've figured out which ones have a hand in most of today's editorials:

  • The first editorial, about Our Friends the Kurds, reveals a keen grasp of foreign affairs. It's got to be Dan Simpson. And, in true Dan Simpson style, it ends with a stab at the current US Iraq policy. That was easy.
  • The second editorial praises PNC Bank's success in the financial marketplace and tells us that we are bad people if we don't like PNC's use of TIF money to construct a new building. I give up; this could be any one of them, though the "giant has been plagued by local Lilliputians" line smacks of Reg Henry.
  • The third and final editorial starts off talking about UFOs and suddenly turns to the topic of a CNN graphic that called Osama Obama. Or it called Obama Osama. Either way, it somehow equates to a UFO sighting. The complete lack of sense makes me think that this could be Reg Henry again, but the abrupt change in topic suggests Tony Norman or Reg. Possibly both.

The strangest part of the Obama/Osama editorial is the description of the Senator as "America's most popular politician". Really? In what version of reality? I don't know about him being popular, but I do know that he has really big ears.

Next up is Tony. He writes a nice human interest piece about a man who recently risked his life to save someone from being killed on subway tracks...until paragraph seven, where he tosses a curveball aimed at President Bush. The rest of the column is just one long bad analogy. This is writing on a Nick Coleman level, as Ryan Rhodes (one of the three funniest men in Minnesota) can tell you.

Our visit to the Psychosis-Gazette ends with a visit to the Letters to the Editor. Most of the people who see their letters published are not really just like you and me. Google the letter writers' names, and you'll find that the unassuming man/woman in the street is really a dedicated activist of some kind. (I learned that from Learned Foot, who is possibly the only man in Minnesota funnier than Ryan Rhodes.) From this morning's correspondents, we read (among other things):
  • That Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, a Democrat, is just no better than an evil Republican because he allowed the Pork Authority to make a realistic business decision;
  • That one soon-to-be-former Pork Authority Rider "feels used", but it is unclear by whom;
  • That a medical doctor who resides in an affluent suburb of Allegheny, chants the "Halliburton" mantra while criticizing America's Iraq and Israel policies (I'm never letting that guy cut me open);
  • That a public radio host laments the fact that his former employer runs its business like a business; and
  • Deep expressions of regret that Saddam is dead.

There are also two decent letters, one suggesting that we privatize the Pork Authority, and one supporting Pittsburgh Republicans' proposal to reduce the size of city government.

A few years ago, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review posted billboards with the slogan "MAKES YOU THINK". The Psychosis-Gazette makes me think, too. It makes me think that I'm suffering from internal bleeding.

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