The formerly formidable St. Louis Pamphlet, I mean Post-Dispatch has a plethora of nuggets from its nearly empty mine today.
First up, for those of you located in distant climes, is the follow-up to yesterday's local story about a boy beaten up on a school bus. The entire sordid episode was videotaped by a security camera. Yesterday, the thrashing was termed 'racial' by the local police, amazing in light of the fact that it involved at least two black youths beating a white schoolmate while others cheered on from the cheap seats. Today, of course, the story has been downgraded from racially motivated to 'bullying'. Police Captain Don Sax said his original comments about the attack were "premature". My take on this about-face is simple: An attack on a white kid by black kids cannot be 'racially motivated' by definition. Such a thing as reverse racially motivated mugging doesn't fly. Apparently it cannot exist, at least not in Belleville, Illinois. But perhaps I'm being 'premature' in my comments. Oh, and the school district's response other than booting two of the miscreants: suspend the bus driver. What a country.
Next up in the continuing series of "Too Much Time On Your Hands" are candidates Lori Weinstock of suburban St. Louis, surpassed only by D.J. Grothe, vice president of the Center for Inquiry, whatever the hell that is. It supposedly promotes "science, reason, freedom of inquiry and humanist values" according to Grothe, an apparent atheist who lives next door to the store. As a sidebar, what exactly are "humanist values"? Psychobabble. In any event, these two are upset bordering on apoplectic because Tom Collora, a 40-year employee of local grocer Schnuck's Markets dared hang a crucifix on the wall of the customer service area in a store he manages. Just to be clear, I don't own a crucifix and I'm neither Jewish like Ms. Weinstock nor Catholic like Mr. Collora nor atheist as is Mr. Grothe. Frankly, like Rhett Butler, I don't give a damn what any of them are. My question is why this entire episode is considered 'news'.
Ms. Weinstock was "startled" when she saw the offensive religious object. She opined that grocery shopping "should be welcoming to all and exclude none." What a revelation. And here I thought grocery stores wanted everyone to come so they could make a profit. Mr. Grothe, however, ratcheted the rhetoric to new heights (or lows as the case may be). I'm not kidding with this quys quote: "It's just another example of the disrespect that those without religion . . . get in our society. It's bad taste and bad for business. Who wants to (shop) where someone else's faith is being pushed down your throat?" Is this guy for real? What, did Mr. Collora try to give Grothe a sample of some nice brie with a rosary tucked neatly inside? What happed to his voice of "reason"He says it's "another example". What's the first one? My suggestion to Ms. Weinstock is to lighten up. For Mr. Grothe, perhaps he should have an 'A' tatooed on his forehead. Then we can see him coming and hide any religious paraphenalia so as not to offend his righteous sensibilities. Oh, and shop somewhere else, Mr. Grothe. I suppose Andy Warhol was right. The two of them just used up their fifteen minutes of fame.
Then of course, the event for which we've all awaited on the edge of our collective seats: The official reprimand of Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) who foolishly lost his head and said "You lie" in response so some spillage by the president in his lecture to Congress last week. It was clear that it would come, but once again someone had to make it a racial issue. Just had to. Henry Johnson (D-GA), the highest ranking black member of the House of Representatives castigated his colleague saying in part "there's a fringe element that has staked out a racial position towards (Blacks) that never has been open for public display". What? I don't in any manner defend Wilson's boorish behavior, but racial? What kind of inductive argument is that? Is Johnson's view that it is somehow ethically or morally wrong to declare a black person a liar under any circumstance without it being racially motivated? Or perhaps only if it's about a black president. Good grief.
Finally, was the 2008 election the swan song for ACORN? The avalanche has begun, but I'm not certain it can be sustained. The Census Bureau has turned its back and the Senate has voted to prohibit HUD from giving any more housing money. Partisanship aside, ACORN is apparently riddled with thugs who used just about any means to help secure the election of President Obama. The voter fraud it perpetrated was widespread, but a blind eye was turned by those who sacrificed their ethical responsibility to shine a spotlight on such behavior. I'm less than convinced that the organization has a stake through its heart yet. Until then, it could germinate into another tree. Beware.