So many absurd things are taking place around the world on a weekly, daily and even hourly basis that there's simply no way to stay on top of it all. If one man can barely keep up with the lunacy occurring in America, you can imagine what a Herculean task it is to also keep abreast of foreign follies. But I am not one to shirk my responsibility.
For instance, in Afghanistan, the farmers recently called for a meeting with U.S. Marines in order to alert them to the fact that they will be in their fields at night harvesting opium poppies. They wanted to make sure that the Marines didn't take them for members of the Taliban and shoot them by mistake. Like the farmers, I also don't want our Marines to shoot them by mistake
In Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, the Soviet-loving president of the country, who came to power as the leader of the left-wing Sandinistas, insists it's America's obligation to bail his country out of the current financial crisis. I might have voted to award him the Chutzpah Prize for 2009 if Brazil's President Luiz Incio Lula de Silva hadn't already copped the Prize by announcing that the world's financial collapse was entirely the fault of "white people with blue eyes." Even though that left people such as myself, white people with brown eyes, off the hook, I took it as a personal swipe at my blue-eyed wife.
That brings us to the United States, a country that under Obama is rapidly becoming a place that would be unrecognizable to the freedom-loving architects who framed our Constitution and pledged their very lives and fortunes to creating a nation of, by and for the people. It was a nation dedicated to the rights of the individual and based on Judeo-Christian principles, and not one that views Castro's Cuba through red-colored glasses.
A recent poll found that 80% of so-called independents favor Democrats over Republicans when it comes to national security. That, in a nutshell, tells us all we need to know about most people who identify themselves as independents or moderates. For if there is any one issue on which sane people would give Republicans the edge, it would be national security.
As I have always contended, anyone who doesn't regard himself as a conservative or at least a Republican is nearly always a liberal in sheep's clothing who simply doesn't wish to be pigeonholed. I have an acquaintance who kept insisting for years that he was an independent. When I finally pinned him to the wall and demanded he name the last Republican he had voted for, he admitted it was Richard Nixon in 1972! Which makes him just about as independent as Howard Dean or James Carville.
It is my belief that by a huge margin independents and moderates go along with Obama's plan to eliminate charitable deductions from the tax code. It isn't that these people are necessarily opposed to charities, they are merely opposed to individuals, particularly those of a religious bent, deciding for themselves which ones to support. They prefer that the decisions be made by left-wing politicians. So, while they would be happy to see hundreds of millions of dollars going to ACORN, abortion clinics, the National Endowment of the Arts, National Public Radio and AmeriCorps, they hate to see a dime go to churches, the Boy Scouts or the Salvation Army.
Speaking of abortions, I saw that a Kansas jury found Dr. George Tiller not guilty of any crime for performing a large number of late-term abortions for $5,000-a-pop. That reminded me that years ago, I bought a female hamster for my 10-year-old stepdaughter, not knowing that she -- the hamster, not my stepdaughter -- was pregnant. By the time I woke up one morning, my wife reported that the animal had given birth to four or five babies, and promptly had them for breakfast. And that, in turn, reminds me that I recently read that a rare clouded leopardess had given birth in a Virginia zoo to a pair of cubs. The zookeeper had to immediately rescue the newborns because these animals apparently have all the maternal instincts of an axe-murderer or a mother hamster and will often kill their offspring. Which certainly helps to explain why clouded leopards are as rare as they are.
The reason I am sharing these particular, seemingly unrelated, stories is because it occurred to me that, if only she had been able to garner some publicity, my hamster could easily have been as great a heroine to the pro-choice movement as Jane Roe (aka Norma McCorvey) and how shocked I was that the ladies of NOW didn't hold a candlelight vigil on behalf of the feline whose inalienable right to commit infanticide was denied by a paternalistic society.
This brings us, inevitably to Washington, D.C., one of the few insane asylums on earth where the walls are made of marble and so are the noggins of the inmates. First of all, in the spirit of fair play, I need to make a public apology to Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner. Like most misinformed people, I leapt to the conclusion that he was a tax cheat. But after watching him spend several weeks bumbling around the Capitol, babbling about spending trillions of Monopoly dollars in order to restore America's financial stability, I have come to realize he isn't a cheat, after all; he simply has no more grasp of financial matters than Curly, Moe or Larry.