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Spiro Says: In Theaters Now


As a nation we far too often find ourselves submerged beneath a deluge of audio and visual media produced by an effete corps of impudent snobs, suffocating our senses with their subversive solipsism.

I’ve seen it before. In the late 1960’s, when our nation was in the midst of excising the malignantly cancerous hooliganism of the left, Hollywood and the recording industry were glorifying the gaggle of gangrenous gangsters gleefully tearing at the very moral fabric which holds our civilization together. The counter-culture was quoting from Mao's Little Red Book instead of Jesus' Good Book, and the youth were seeking wisdom from the false prophecy of "Mr. Natural" rather than Mom and Dad.

Time and again good, honest, decent, patriotic Americans were denounced as squares in movies and television. The little boy who delivered paper or the girl who held tea parties with dolls and who said “Please” and “Thank You” were mocked, while drugged-out hippies, civil rights rioters, and pinko intellectuals were hailed as heroes. Music was no better, being nothing more than an orchestrated orgy of sex and drugs.

Granted, there was the occasional wholesome offering, but for every Perry Como or Pat Boone there were dozens by malicious minstrels of mayhem like the Beatles and the Doors. And for every Patton or Battle of the Green Berets showing in a theater, there were 10 Easy Riders.

And now we once again find ourselves at the time of the year when the Sodom of Southern California, Hollywood, gathers together in much-publicized communal onanism to congratulate itself and announce which of their awful offal is nominated for their golden calf of depravity, the Oscar.

As expected, the nominees for Best Picture are a celebration of moral bankruptcy. The "alternative lifestyle" is glorified as heroic, while decency and respect for authority is cast as a villainous oppressor. This year, no fewer than four movies (Inception, 127 Hours, The Fighter, and The Social Network) are tales in which the protagonist’s indulgence in selfish individualism leads to their triumph over the system, while two others (Black Swan and The Kids are All Right) are simply repulsive and attempt to legitimize the perversion of homosexual lifestyle.

Now, as someone who still believes in something as square as Law and Order, movies like this send a chill up my spine. The message from the cultural cannibals in Hollywood is that the youth should reject the American way of life - a life filled with rules, morals, values, decency, and respect for the chain of command. These movies encourage the young people to question the wisdom of authority and challenge the very foundations of our civilization. They insinuate that happiness and true liberty lie in a hedonistic pursuit of personal desire, rather than being a better American through total dedication to God and unquestioning obedience. These movies say that being different is acceptable, and that even something as obviously corrupt as lesbians raising children should not only be tolerated, but applauded!

The threat to our Way of Life is very real, and if unchecked could lead to children all over this great land moving en masse into communes, being brainwashed by gurus, embracing heathen spirituality, and eventually rising up in bloody rebellion with negroes and communists to ritually slaughter their sleeping parents with gardening implements and household items.

Make no mistake, the culture war is as real and as lethal as one fought with bullets and bombs. Our task, as respectable Americans, is to stand together and fight the army of pusillanimous pussyfooters peddling pernicious pabulum. I implore all True Americans to do their part. United we can bring an end to cinematic smut and subversion, and once again enjoy films like Shane, Yankee Doodle Dandy, and Birth of a Nation.

God Bless America.

Happy Hour: More Than A Funny Name


This week the Clan Kenndey is celebrating the life of my late brother-in-law, Robert Sargent Shriver. And I do mean celebrating.  He was a friend in need and a pious man who wasn't above knocking back a pint or worshipping the creature with the rest of us.

Needless to say, the wake is still in progress. And will be so long as the whiskey holds out.

I won’t call Sargent a hero, ’cause what’s a hero? But sometimes, there’s a man – and I’m talkin’ about the Sarge here – sometimes, there’s a man, well, he’s the man for his time and place. He fits right in there. And that was the Sarge.

The Sarge came to us from outside.  My father felt sorry for him, took him in, and treated him as one of his own.  And we all grew to look at Sarge as our brother.  Everyone liked the Sarge. His natural self-depreciating manner and willingness to endure our constant womanizing made him welcome on all our nocturnal adventures. He was not the kind of man who naturally made enemies.

He was the perfect complement to my ambitious and bellicose father and brothers. Where John was coldly calculating and ruthless, and Bobby prone to violent action, Sarge was the voice of reason. Often playing devil's advocate, and searching for a resolution that didn't involve bribes or eliminating troublemakers.  He was the ultimate team player and a gentle man who knew when and how to keep his mouth shut. He tolerated all of our shenanigans, and made the Kennedy administration more respectable.

Politics were never Sarge's thing, but since it was the Family business, he knew that he'd have to endure it.  His first real taste of it came in 1964 when that hammer-headed Texan, LBJ, wanted him as running mate.  Bobby quickly put a stop to that, saying, "There's not going to be a Kennedy on the ticket. And if there were, it would be me." Naturally Johnson was terrified of Bobby and so he backed off and settled for that pile of dirty rags, Hubert.  At that point Sarge went to visit LBJ to make sure that he understood the Way Things Are, and that he shouldn't try to carry a grudge. 

Then there was that time in '72, when Senator McGovern's running mate, Tom Eagleton, had to leave the campaign in disgrace after the press found out he had undergone electro-shock therapy for major depression. Tom hadn't bothered to tell McGovern, whose judgement now appeared to be dodgy and whose campaign was well and truly sunk.  In desperation, McGovern reached out to us for help.  Once again, Sarge stepped in and, even though it was a doomed move, Sarge agreed to do McGovern a favor and be his running mate.  And, when McGovern was whipped like a runaway slave, the Sarge stayed on to comfort him, while reminding him that he now had an obligation to the Family.

Both John and Bobby were sincere in their desire to make the Kennedy Family completely legitimate by  helping the coloreds and the poor, but being Kennedys, they really had no idea what to do.  For us, being poor meant only being able to afford buying a municipal election.  Sarge was different.  He seemed to have this strange connection to the less fortunate, and while John and Bobby were giving lip-service to helping out, the Sarge did something.  He was the heart and the concious of our organization. He founded Headstart, the Peace Corps, and Vista. He was so diplomatic and tolerant that he even served as ambassador to France for two years.

Sarge was our conscience, our humility and our gentleness.  He was our consiglieri.

So, hoist a glass and drink to the Sarge with me.

Bottoms up!

Oh Henry! - A Chinese Box


There's been a bit of unexpected and positive news coming from the Korean peninsula recently, as the South has agreed in principle to meet with the North on talks to help bring down the overall level of animosity and aggression in the region.

There is a cynical undercurrent among the diplomats who believe that these talks will likely just be a sham. After all, North Korea is known for it's outlandish outbursts, not it's calm reason. But, as I assured the president before my Paris peace talks with the North Vietnamese, the simple act of bringing these people to this point is a major accomplishment, and a cause for optimism.

Of course, before engaging in the summit the South Koreans should be prepared for a fact I had to learn the hard way: they will get absolutely nothing tangible from the North. No concessions, no agreements involving weapons or military actions, no admission of responsibility for any past deeds, and no guarantees of a continued truce. The North Koreans, like the North Vietnamese, are an adversary who will evade, deny, deflect, and confuse, and who often completely contradict their own statements and positions within the same sentence. The North will use the talks as a publicity stunt, seeking to portray themselves as reasonable and open minded to the global community, instead of as the collection of madmen and barbarians they truly are.

The one advantage the South Koreans have over me is that, being Asian themselves, they are already naturally inclined to understand the deceit and duplicity that lies within the Oriental heart.  That realization came as some surprise to me, as I had not imagined any race to be so devious.  What was I, a mind reader to know such a thing?

The bigger question is obviously, why would the North agree to such talks now? Why, after a year of unparalleled belligerence and saber rattling, would the North suddenly want to appear compliant? The obvious answer is they are hoping to once again dupe the United States and our allies into providing much-needed aid in terms of food and money. They've certainly used this tactic before with past presidents to great success.  It seemed that whenever the North needed assistance, they would become an unbearable annoyance, and then would extort the West before calming down.

But that's too pat an answer, and doesn't give any credit to the deeply inscrutable nature of these dybbuks.  As I learned long ago, when an Asian comes to you with a gift, it's usually accompanied with a very large bill.

No, the real reason for this sudden olive branch by North Korea is because South Korea (and by extension, the US) is getting assistance from an unexpected source: China.

During the Paris peace talks, I was working like a schlemiel behind the scenes trying to get either the Soviet Union or China to assist us by convincing the Viet Cong to be honest and sincere in negotiations. We poked, threatened, and begged the Russians and Chinese for help, because we knew that without it the Vietnamese would have no incentive to engage in genuine talks. So long as the Soviets and Chinese were encouraging them, they could behave as they wished.  Despite my best efforts, I too often found myself exasperated.  During sensitive negotiations Le Duc Tho would just sit there, kibbitzing about the soup, instead of addressing the peace process. I should be there with nothing better to do?  Never mind that we were acting in good faith and only wanted a sensible resolution to the conflict.  Lack of any pressure from the Soviets or Chinese meant the Vietnamese could, and did, squander time and energy like little pishers.

Today, of course, China is much different than it was during Mao's time. Who knew that suddenly making a bit of money isn't so bad anymore? Chinese communism, while still oppressive and corrupt, is much more welcoming of the income it can generate through partnerships with Western business. And so, there is little coincidence that North Korea's sudden burst of diplomatic friendship happens to come at the same time as Chinese President Hu Jintao's summit with President Obama, and meetings with American industrial moguls.

The Chinese are nothing if not pragmatic.  It's clear that they understand that despite their commitment to propping up the meshuggah Kim Jong Il, their future lies with General Motors and Boeing. And so, at some point, the Chinese must have realized that it would be to their great benefit to maybe yank on the chain around the North Korean neck and tell them to heel.

Of course, given that it is the Chinese who are behind this sudden North Korean amity, it's safe to assume the worst. Better to not be caught with our trousers down. The Chinese may have told the North Koreans to play nice for now, but there is little point in believing they have told them to do anything more than that, or for any longer than needed.

Orientals are very shrewd negotiators, and one must be able to peer behind the porcelain mask of friendship in order to determine their true nature of enmity. China's influence in bringing the North Koreans should not be misconstrued.  This is a temporary tactic, designed for China's benefit so they can strike a favorable bargain with the US.  And, the carrot for the North Koreans is likely the promise of increased Chinese aid once they reap the harvest of these seeds.

As fellow Asians, I am sure the South Koreans understand this.  And, as Asians, I am sure they have something up their sleeves as well.

Zie Gezunt!

Sarah's Complaint

My fellow Americans,

So it seems that the intrepid little semi-Governor Sarah Palin has decided to stop letting her handlers, advisors, aides, and other various and sundry apologists speak for her. It's about time. When I had to face a crisis (such as rebutting claims of false prosecution of Alger Hiss, misappropriation of campaign funds, or the Watergate cover-up) I made sure that I was the one facing the cameras and speaking to the people. Hiding behind others is a coward's choice. Besides, no one can speak as well for one's self as they can.

So, it was a relief that Sarah finally came forward. Unfortunately, as much as the little filly has chutzpah (as Kissinger would say), she is still the dimwit who claimed proximity to Russia was foreign policy experience and that the rapture is on it's way.

Now, far be it for me to criticize a fellow conservative. Particularly one currently embroiled in the swirl of negative press. While other voices that said Sarah's effort has further diminished her already hollow, superficial, and insutbstantial persona, I am impressed by her ambitious effort.

Semi-Gov. Palin's statement is a bold attempt to once and for all strip the crown of victimization from the still blod-stained hands of Rep. Giffords and the other victims, and place it firmly on her empty head. Forget those who were shot - the real tragedy here is how our poor, misunderstood little Sarah is being treated so unfairly and being mercilessly picked-on:
If you don’t like a person’s vision for the country, you’re free to debate that vision [...] But, especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.
Her point, aside from clumsily climbing upon a crucifix of her own making in order to publicly martyr herself while accusing those who are tired of her occasionally incoherent rhetoric of "Blood Libel," is to do as she says, not as she does!  Also, that she is not only not responsible for the shooting, but that the constant stream of venom, anger, hate, scapegoating, xenophobia, intolerance, fearmongering, lies, and violent talk coming from her and the right isn't causing a toxic environment:
There are those who claim political rhetoric is to blame for the despicable act of this deranged, apparently apolitical criminal. And they claim political debate has somehow gotten more heated just recently. But when was it less heated? Back in those “calm days” when political figures literally settled their differences with dueling pistols? In an ideal world all discourse would be civil and all disagreements cordial. But our Founding Fathers knew they weren’t designing a system for perfect men and women. If men and women were angels, there would be no need for government. Our Founders’ genius was to design a system that helped settle the inevitable conflicts caused by our imperfect passions in civil ways. So, we must condemn violence if our Republic is to endure.
See? We no longer solve political disagreement with duels. Only with one unbalanced geek holding a semi-automatic pistol.  Besides, the Founding Fathers wanted us to get down into the muck and use the most vile, insulting, and personally slanderous insults in political debates!  So forget about Abe Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt,  and Thomas Jefferson.  Political talk has always been icky.  The fact that Palin, conservative commentators, and the tea-people pepper their rhetoric with thinly veiled references to armed revolt and that the left are traitors who should be eliminated with expediency isn't creating an atmosphere of intolerance ... it's just passionate debate.

However, the most impressive thing Palin attempts is a move with an incredibly high degree of difficulty: a complex four-part combination of: invoking the name of the real victim as a means of weeping her innocence, using 9-11 as a shield, proclaiming that combative conservative propaganda has never called the opposition anti-American, while simultaneously (you guessed it) accusing anyone disagreeing with her as being an anti-American:
Just days before she was shot, Congresswoman Giffords read the First Amendment on the floor of the House. It was a beautiful moment [...] But less than a week after Congresswoman Giffords reaffirmed our protected freedoms, another member of Congress announced that he would propose a law that would criminalize speech he found offensive.

It is in the hour when our values are challenged that we must remain resolved to protect those values. Recall how the events of 9-11 challenged our values and we had to fight the tendency to trade our freedoms for perceived security. And so it is today.
See? It's clear that those who don't agree and who think that somehow the confrontational style of Palin has contributed to the demise of civility are just a bunch of anti-American, treacherous, communists who want to take away our freedoms.

It's as clear as day.

Nixon is: Impressed

Deny! Deny! Deny!

My fellow Americans,

In the aftermath of the assault on sitting US Representative Gabby Giffords (D-AZ), which left several others dead, there've been questions as to motive. What on earth could have driven the young man responsible to intentionally target this Congresswoman.

Naturally, since the victim was a democrat the press and the more hysterical leftists automatically assume that the shooter, one Jared Loughner, was directly influenced by conservative rhetoric.

They gleefully pointed to such things as the somewhat aggressive nature of conservative talk show hosts and commentators like Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Michelle Malkin, Anne Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, etc; the propensity with which right-wing candidates (such as Giffords' opponent in the recent election, Jesse "Machine Gun" Kelly) use militaristic and combat metaphors in reference to their opponents; the negative, confrontational, and occasionally exceedingly angry and violence-tinged tone of the recent tea-people protests; and much, much more.

Yet the subversives and hippies have reserved their largest scorn for our intrepid and plucky semi-Governor, Sarah Palin.

They note how Palin had at one point Twittered (in reference to congressional campaigns including Rep. Giffords' seat) "Don't retreat. Instead -- RELOAD!" imploring the public to visit her website which showed Rep. Giffords' district as one targeted for action with a rifle's crosshairs.

So, what are conservatives in general, and semi-Gov. Palin in particular, to do?

Exactly what they are doing now, and (not coincidentally) what I did back in 1972 when word of the Watergate nonsense first broke: Deny, Deny, Deny.  When those two pinko reporters first started writing about Watergate I made sure that everyone on my staff - from the Vice President to the guy who mopped the puke in the men's room - vehemently denied it. And just like I did then, the tea-people and republicans are feverishly and bravely denying any blame now.

The beauty is that it doesn't matter that the accusations are correct.  Sure, technically this Loughner guy was just one deranged individual acting on his own.  But one can't expect to shit the bed then be surprised that it stinks.  Of course all the violent, angry, belligerent, brutal, and confrontational bombast pouring from various republican candidates, tea-people websites and pamphlets, and conservative media is poisoning society and has created an atmosphere in which violence is inevitable.  There's no doubt!  One can't constantly refer to the opponent as anti-American traitors and terrorists; use images of guns, targets, bullets, and wanted posters in propaganda; or exhort supporters to take action using thinly veiled metaphors for attacking, warfare, and defending one's self from an enemy bent on destroying their freedom and then be surprised when some unstable geek decides to go on a shooting spree. 

The point is, so what?  Since when has the truth mattered, or since when do politicians or agitators accept responsibility for their behavior?  The only way this will stop is if the orthogonians do something about it, and they won't.  Because pandering to the most base level of fear, hatred, and paranoia works.

So it's important that the conservatives not only deny, but take the initiative.  After all, denial on it's own appears like an admission of guilt.  Therefore, one must try and turn the tables to implicate the other guy, because in politics, like football, the best defense is a good offense.  I turned the tables against all of my enemies by insinuating at every opportinuty that their crimes and malfeasance made anything for which I was accused of seem like swiping bubblegum from the corner market. And the right is doing the same thing now: not only audaciously scrambling to wrest victimhood from the hands of those who were actually shot, but pointing the finger right back at the left, claiming that the whole shooting is their fault.

In an artful bit of deflection, Rebecca Mansour, semi-Gov. Palin's aide, not only dismissed suggestion that Palin's belligerent behavior and combative rhetoric were related to the shooting, but that it was actually Palin who was the real victim in all this.  Mansour called any criticism of our plucky little reality television personality "obscene and appaling" implying how unfair and hurtful such claims are, and how deeply they are affecting the innocent and pure Sarah. Why, one can almost see our beloved Sarah plain-and-small laying face-down on her bed in a dimly lit room, clutching the skin of a bear she recently shot from a helicopter using a high-powered semi-automatic rifle equipped with a marksman's scope, softly weeping over how everyone is being so mean to her and paying all that attention to some stupid congresswoman (who wasn't even killed!).

It's enough to make a grown man need to take a moment to gather himself.

Nixon is: Impressed