Commentary and Perspective from Samuel O. Lemon Jr.

14th August 2009

Who to believe?

Our country faces some big complicated problems and there is no shortage of gurus and self styled experts offering  advice on all sorts of issues day after day. And there are all kinds of periodicals citing their own expertise on everything. You name it  –  foreign policy,  taxes, medical reform, same sex marriage, sex scandals, Social Security, baseball,  trillion dollar deficits, political appointments, judges, etc etc etc. But for most of us, the problem is always who to believe?  Is it fact or another con job?

Some years back, a canny old timer gave me some good advice  —  advice that I have followed faithfully. He said “The best OP/ED pages in the country are in the Wall Street Journal. When in doubt, follow the WSJ”.  Pretty good advice  –  they don’t go wrong very many times. We have survived Slick Wille and now live with BamBam and company. Any time we want to fix the educational system, just make the WSJ required reading. Maybe not for Fashion or Sports but everything else. Especially in election years.

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20th July 2009


The watchword of the Obama campaign was “Change”  –  BIG change.  And his efforts are now being put to the test. “Change ” is a good word. It conveys a positive connotation. ” I am for change, change is good, so vote for me”. And he rode the wave of change all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Gotta hand it to him.

Fundamentally, there are two ways of achieving major political (governmental) change. The quick route is by force. Overthrow the status quo  –  seize power by force –  suppress or suspend individual freedoms  –  enhance the role of big government  –  limit the power of the press  –  create the police state.


The second way to implement major change  is more gradual and more peaceful but just as devastating.  Control Congress and the court system.  Enlist a friendly media. Downplay individual freedoms and rights. Stress the “common good”. Dominate the TV and written media sources.  Attack the successful people and criticize wealth. Apologize for our competitive successes. Share the wealth and redistribute income.


Sound familiar?  We are witnessing a major try at Choice # 2

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19th July 2009


It was a surprise when Sarah Palin resigned as Governor of Alaska.  It was not a surprise when Big Media jumped all over her and her family for doing the wrong thing at the wrong time.  Still acting on the campaign strategy of  “Destroy Sarah at all costs” they could not resist the temptation to further attack and belittle her and her family members in the press and TV.

All people do things for a reason.  Sometimes a good reason, sometimes not.  Sometimes several reasons  –  good ones and bad ones. Maybe she cited all of her reasons, and maybe we will have to await  further explanations from her.  In the meantime our public word merchants continue to criticize and show that their main source of exercise is jumping at conclusions.   But we haven’t heard the last of Sarah. Lost among all of the criticisms of the Lady is the plain fact that she struck a responsive chord in much of the populace –  women and men, and Reps and Dems.

I think I”ll wait. Time is on my side.  Sic em,  Sarah.

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8th July 2009

Goodbye, Michael

To many people, Michael Jackson was a larger than life entertainer and public figure and the ceremonies and rallies following his death are understandable  –  at least up to a point. While conceding his talents, there are many others who think that 5-6 days of saturation TV are a bit much.  To many of us who can either take or leave his showmanship, a week of glorification is about 3-4 days too long. At best, his legacy will be a mixed bag, notwithstanding the current attempts to smokescreen his eccentricities.

Let’s all give him his due, and bring down the curtain.

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8th July 2009


A few days ago I ran across an interesting article on the Business Page of the AM newspaper.  It seems that Valero, the largest refiner of oil in the USA, has made a sizeable investment in a windmill farm to generate electricity. For years the Greenies have sung the song of clean power from air –  windmills. And recently, T Boone Pickens spend a small (maybe not so small) fortune exrolling the virtues of wind power.  So, the Greenies would understandingly support the idea of a member of Big Oil investing in wind turbines to generate electricity.

But it turns out that there is more to this story than meets the eye. The power to be generated by Valero wind turbines is not for general utility purposes; rather, the wind turbine power is to be used to supplement the needs of the refinery and thus make the refining process more efficient. Imagine  –  Big Oil using wind power to supplement the electricity produced from fossil fuel.

Most energy experts consider wind power as a supplememt to our basic sources of energy. Not a replacement  –  just a supplement. The Valero experiment would seem to make the case   –  at least to most sensible people. Oh yes, wind turbines now provide maybe 2% of our current energy needs.  If the Greenies are cheering, what are they cheering about??

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17th June 2009


Sometime back I offered the thought that the one term most despised by left wing liberals is “Re-distribution of income, or wealth”. While dreaming up their great social schemes they are frequently challenged (rightly so) by the simple question  –  how do we pay for all this?? And in an effort to avoid that ultimate question, the like to play semantics. Think about it.  “Fairness, equality, affirmative action, sharing the wealth, upward mobility, diversity, affordability, and the list goes on. But when you cut through the fog, it all comes down to taking from some citizens and giving to others. Now, the Democrats deeply despise admitting that  –  so they look for other ways to describe the process. Imaginative semantics.

Let’s face it, you can’t get a lot of money from people who don’t pay taxes anyway. That leaves the rest of us who do. I’d feel a lot better if we just called a spade a spade rather than the flimsy lingo clearly intended to disguise the arithmetic facts of life.  And then we have a Prez who likes to tell people that they have the RIGHT to enjoy largess paid by someone else.   So when you see these catch words listed above, just remember that when the code is broken, redistribution of wealth remains  the goal of Obama economics. All of this under the umbrella of “change”. They would have you believe that redistribution is a kind word. Think again.

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17th June 2009


David Letterman is a bright, intelligent, articulate entertainer. To many, he is the ultimate entertainer  –  never mind the element of news. He likes to be out in front of his competitors, so he and his writers are always on the cutting edge of decency vs indecency or class vs crudeness. Always looking for anything new that they can get away with on prime time TV. A week ago he went overboard with his disgusting swipe at the daughter(s) of Sara Palin.  Now, give Sarah credit  –  she put him in his place. He has retreated to a public apology, but it has been lost in the uproar that is not likely to evaporate any time soon.

When Sarah burst on the national scene at the Rebublican  convention last year, the Dems were caught flatfooted. Their carefully scripted game plan was in jeopardy, so the war cry went out to their left wing legions  –  “Sarah Palin must be destroyed!” Go after her, her husband, her kids, anyone. And to a degree they succeeded. But Sarah hasn’t gone away and if anything, Letterman’s gaffe enhanced her popularity, especially among women.

Maybe Letternan’s popularity and ratings will remain high, but I think he will pay the price for his atrocious commentary   –  in his parlance, a “joke”.  Better keep laughing, Dave.  And be sure to read the scripts before delivering your ho-hos.

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3rd June 2009


As far back as I can recall, the Secretary of State has been a horsepower member of our President’s cabinet, and our history books are full of famous names of SecStates. Now, Hillary Clinton follows a distinguished list of predecessors. Well, sort of. It is time to ask, “Where is Hillary?”.

Obama really is in love with the vertical pronoun  –  “I”, and there obviously is little room for sharing at the top. He has appointed his guys as the lead spokesmen in most of the key nations of the world and specifically the “hot spots”.  Hillary has all but disappeared.  When it comes to headlines Obama is in the lead with no one in 2nd place. Just think  –  a year ago she was close to being the most powerful woman in the world. Now she is a figurehead and little else.  We have N Korea, missiles, test blasts, Iran, Nukes, the UN, Israel, Airplane crashes, droughts, floods, the Russians, the Chinese, etc. etc., but no Hillary.

She is no shrinking violet and won’t be silenced forever. If her fuse is short, it won’t take long.

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29th May 2009

An Obama Memorial

America is a great country when it comes to memorable events or speciall people. We have a national anthem, a national flag, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, A National Bird, and the list goes on and on. Now we are on the verge of a National biscuit or cookie. Obama has us well on the way. Just think about it  –  we now can see the fruits of Presidential equivocation,

I will end the Iraq war and bring the troops home  —-  except for the 50,000 who will remain.

I will close Guantanamo  —–  If we can figure out what to do with the “worst of the worst” prisoners.

I will urge the bad guys to behave    —   based on clever persuasive rhetoric rather than muscle  —NO really doesn’t mean NO

Government will be open and we will share information with the people. Transparency will be the watchword  —  except for the data and info we choose to keep secret.

When the newscasters accuse Obama and the Dems of using weasel words,  I think of a national breakfast favorite —–  the WAFFLE. It seems to fit the Democrat’s favorite rock hard position  –  waffling.  Hot off the gridle!  With or without the syruppie camouflage.  Fresh waffling every day!

A national cookie  –  The waffle.

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17th May 2009


Last week the Prez hosted a dinner for the Press corps and there were numerous offerings from the invitees. One of the speakers was a relatively obscure black comedienne named Wanda Sykes who offered the lowlight of the entire program when she hoped that Rush Limbaugh’s kidneys would fail.  The death wish brought laughter from the left wing press as well as the Prez. Pretty sad, really. But as her supporters said  –  “remember, it is only a joke”. If so, it was very sick humor.

Why not take it as a joke and give her the benefit of the doubt. But humor cuts both ways. Maybe our advice (and response) to Wanda would be “to fly your left wing colors and participate in a same sex marriage. That way you can’t contaminate the nation’s gene pool.  But remember , Wanda, ho ho ho it’s only a joke. Got that??  Tee Tee  Ho Ho. Joke, right??

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