Friday, September 11, 2009

"Fried Fridays: Palmetto Pride"

I considered living in South Carolina at one point many moons ago...I was close to the state line with NC and could have chosen one or the other, but there were a lot things about SC's laws and overall operations that led me to stay in the Old North State.

News from the Palmetto State has been tilted for months over Governor Sanford's extra-marital affair(s?), but not just from the affair aspect. Much is still brewing in the potential impeachment category for ethics violations and then some, misuse of state property and improper record-keeping.

The Lt. Governor has asked Sanford to resign. Sanford refuses, saying the ability to do his job as governor is not impacted. There is talk of impeachment. The citizenry grows increasingly weary over this national blot on their great state, and it's far from over.

Amen for the arrival of the "Whiz Kid"...


In my years as a biology teacher, I remember one day when a student was talking about a really sharp shoulder pain he was having, at a time we were discussing musculature and rotator cuffs, etc. I told them while I was no degree-holding doctor, I could make the pain go away very quickly.

"How?", the students asked. I said all I had to do was hit his foot with a hammer and the pain would transfer away from the shoulder immediately. Which, of course, would be a momentary transference, but a transference, nonetheless.

The "Whiz Kid" is that hammer, the South Carolina republican representative who shouted "YOU LIE!" at President Obama during his congressional speech on health care this week.

Rep. Joe Wilson beautifully stuck another feather in the Palmetto Cow Patty Hat with his outrageous, crass, rude, and totally disrespectful outburst. And it's exactly the type of out-of-control behavior I've been writing about, boorish behavior drummed up by the conservative Right through manipulation of information and outright lying.

Your Rush Limbaughs and your Glenn Becks do it all the time, but it's their shows and their ratings and their egotistical gratification they pursue. You can listen to 'em, you can cut 'em off. The town hall meetings on health care reform had plenty of conservative lemmings showing their bad-boy (and girl) @sses with inappropriate behavior and outbursts, which is exactly what these pulpit-puppeteers wanted people to do.

Dr. Martin Luther King talked about the "Truth" setting you free. The fault of individuals is that they don't bother to discover the truth. People sadly hear what they want to hear, and if they want to hear fearful negative information about how Obama will care for the illegal immigrants regardless, well, that's enough to get ya wavin' your flag, thumpin' your bible, and pulling out the ol' reliable Winchester carbine.

Manipulated 'truth' will only enslave someone, not set them free. I could berate the individuals that delight in drumming up this knee-jerk behavior in the masses, and chide them for misrepresenting the truth at hand. But I have to place the ultimate responsibility on each and every one of us. It is our responsibility to make our own decisions. No one makes us do otherwise. We can't in all good conscience say, "well, that's what they were saying, so it's not my fault." It is your fault if you don't bother to dig deeper for truth instead of going with the easy 'he said-she said-they said' attitude.

And so we have an elected official in a highly responsible position in a very public setting perform one of THE most disrespectful stunts I've ever seen. Regardless of your personal vitriol on record, you do NOT talk and behave in that manner to the President of the United States. You really shouldn't do that to anyone, but especially "The Man." As he gives a televised speech to his peers and the nation, no less.

To his itty-bitty credit, he did apologize 90 minutes after the speech for his outburst. "I let my emotions get the best of me." That's not a reason, that's an excuse. And a really, really lousy one. If that's all the self-control and forethought he has, he needs to get out of the political biz.

Maybe South Carolina should adopt the raccoon as the official state animal instead of the White-tailed deer...after all, it does have two black eyes...

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