Whatever happened to truth in advertising? People and institutions say and do odd things these days, and they try to cloak them in such obvious euphemisms. While it is certainly their right to do so, it is also the responsibility of everybody else to recognize and point out that behind the lipstick is a pig.
For example, Arizonans just voted by a 3-2 margin in favor of a proposition to ban affirmative action in the state. It wasn't particularly surprising considering Arizona's rightward tilt, and I even know some people of color who feel that it might be time for the concept of affirmative action to fade into history. However, the backers of the proposition had the nerve to call it the Arizona Civil Rights Amendment.
Really?! Losing out on a government construction bid because the other company may or may not have benefited from the hiring of minorities is not the same as facing fire hoses, attack dogs and police clubs in an effort to gain basic human and American rights. The misappropriation of the imagery and message of the American civil rights movement is about as cynical of a political move as I've ever witnessed. And it's just another example of the overriding Tea Party theme of the poor downtrodden white male attempting to reclaim his God-given spot at the top of the food chain.
• Former Heisman Trophy winner Tony Dorsett used the most inappropriate allusion ever. For those of you who don't follow sports, the big story these days concerns Auburn University quarterback Cam Newton, and whether Newton's preacher father tried to extort $180,000 from another university in exchange for young Newton's services. Not surprisingly, the sports media have been all over this story like flies on dung.
For some reason, Dorsett refers to the public scrutiny as a "lynching." So, having some reporters look into whether the much-adored quarterback of the nation's second-ranked team has a scumbag for a dad is exactly the same as dragging someone from his home, throwing a rope around his neck and hanging him from a tree until he dies a horrible death—all because of the color of his skin.
I hated it back when Clarence Thomas used that weak-ass "high-tech lynching" remark. He was up for one of the most prestigious positions in the world, one that he can hold for the rest of his life, and he used lynching to try to deflect attention away from legitimate questions as to whether he was a porn perv. Real solid, manly move there.
• From now on, no charter school that has at least three kids sitting out front, smoking, at any hour of the day or night, can call itself an "Academy."
• Tucson City Councilwoman Regina Romero has introduced a "Five-Year Plan" for Tucson's economic growth. Could somebody please tell her that she probably should have gone with four or maybe six years? That whole "five-year" thing has such a negative cachet about it, not only because of who used to promote those things, but also because they never worked!
• Finally, I would really appreciate it if Jon Kyl would stop representing himself as a senator from Arizona. (I would really appreciate it if he would stop being a senator, period, but that's probably asking too much.)
I've never had a real problem with Kyl, except that he's wrong about everything. He's one of those guys who gets re-elected because he's able to balance the needs of his two major constituencies—the super-rich and the mega-rich. In general, the super-rich are individuals and/or families, while the mega-rich are corporations (often created and milked by the super-rich in an effort to become super-rich-er). To Jon Kyl, the middle class is made up of people who only have one yacht. But that's OK; we need people like that in Congress so we have a real point of reference for "out of touch."
Back when Kyl was just pimping for the rich and powerful, he was merely annoying. Now he is putting the entire world at a little bit bigger of a risk of extermination just so he can throw a little more dirt on President Obama's political legacy.
Kyl is trying to paint himself as this stalwart who is taking a stand against the New START Treaty (that would get mutual nuclear-arsenal drawdown, with verification, back on track)—but a stand against whom or what is the real question. Just about every nation in the entire world supports the treaty. The vast majority of Americans support the treaty. Both Presidents Bush and every former secretary of state still alive support the treaty.
But Kyl doesn't want this Democratic president to have any victories whatsoever, no matter that it's a victory for all Americans and the world at large. Kyl claims that he wants even more money for the modernization of the U.S. nuclear arsenal (as though we're to believe that there isn't a constantly gushing secret fund for that purpose that dates back to Harry Truman).
The treaty could help make the world a demonstrably safer place, but Jon Kyl prefers to play petty Republican politics, if you'll pardon the redundancy.