Rants and Raves

Opinion, commentary, reviews of books, movies, cultural trends, and raising kids in this day and age.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mark your calendar! I defend Obama.

Mark it on your calendar - today I defend Obama!

A few days back Obama went on Leno - causing my wife to remark, "What's the president of the United States doing on Leno?"

Understand, she loves Leno, but not being American she has certain assumptions about the dignity of the office, but never mind.

Anyhow, after the usual political verbiage with intellectual content as close to zero as doesn't matter, Obama made a self-deprecating joke about his bowling prowess, "it's like - like Special Olympics or something."

The audience laughed. The PC lobby was not amused, and surprisingly did not excuse one of their own this time.

Once given permission, Republicans jumped on him too.

Mark Steyn said, "He might be "a fairly sensitive and compassionate man," (in the words of a defender.) Alternatively, he could be a mean, self-absorbed S.O.B. who regards anyone other than himself as intellectually disabled."

“I was shocked to learn of the comment made by President Obama about Special Olympics,” Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, mother of a child with Down's Syndrome, said. “This was a degrading remark about our world’s most precious and unique people, coming from the most powerful position in the world."

After the show, Obama phoned Tim Shriver, chairman of the Special Olympics, to apologize.

Shriver later said the president expressed regret "in a way that I think was very moving."

However, the foster-mother of Kolan McConiughey, a Special Olympics athlete from Ann Arbor, Mich., was not the least bit offended

McConiughey has an IQ somewhere around the 50s. He never learned to read or figure, but holds down a job just fine thank you, and evidently shows signs of savantism.

Idiot savant is a French term, pronounced "ee-dee-oh sah-vaunt." It describes the phenomenon of people who appear to be of sub-normal intelligence or autistic, who display remarkable talents of memory, calculation, or sometimes music.*

McConiughey's talent it appears, is bowling. He bowls an average score of 266 and has bowled three perfect games.

And now he wants to take on the president, according to the TMZ Web site.

Now here's my suggestion:

You critics, need to LIGHTEN THE FRACK UP!

Don't feed the PC beast!


And if you want to do something for Special Olympics athletes, and show you're a good sport - take Mr. McConiughey's challenge and let us watch him wax your ass at bowling.

* The most famous movie depiction of savantism, was of course, "Rain Man" with Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman.

The question of why these talents don't appear more often among people of more normal or high intelligence is an interesting one. Or perhaps they do - some have suggested more socially adept people quickly learn to hide such talents.

On that note, my grandmother had the "play by ear" talent. When her older sister finished pracitising her piano lessons, my grandmother could sit at the piano and repeat everything she'd heard - before she'd ever had lessons herself.

My great-aunt told me how mad it used to make her.

Perhaps such talents just aren't very useful or are even, dare we say, handicapping.

People with perfect pitch or the play-by-ear talent rarely, if ever, become great musicians. I've heard perfect pitch can make listening to an orchestra an excruciating experience.

People with phenomenal natural memories often have problems with attention and focus - as I can attest.

Lightning calculators - how handy is that in normal life?


  • At 6:46 PM, Blogger Pro said…


    In addition, someone who claims to have experienced prejudice and stereotypes throughout life, and has written about them in great detail, should be more sensitive and refined from life’s lessons—especially since he used them to call for the firing of Don Imus, after the shock jock made a racial remark.

    Obama said, “but I would also say that there’s nobody on my staff who would still be working for me if they made a comment like that about anybody of any ethnic group. And I would hope that NBC ends up having that same attitude.”

    “He didn’t just cross the line,” Obama said. “He fed into some of the worst stereotypes that my two young daughters are having to deal with today in America. The notions that as young African-American women — who I hope will be athletes — that that somehow makes them less beautiful or less important. It was a degrading comment. It’s one that I’m not interested in supporting.”

    “What we’ve been seeing around this country is this constant ratcheting up of a coarsening of the culture that all of have to think about,” Obama said.

    Obama continued, “Insults, humor that degrades women, humor that is based in racism and racial stereotypes isn’t fun.”

    “And the notion that somehow it’s cute or amusing, or a useful diversion, I think, is something that all of us have to recognize is just not the case. We all have First Amendment rights. And I am a constitutional lawyer and strongly believe in free speech, but as a culture, we really have to do some soul-searching to think about what kind of toxic information are we feeding our kids,” he concluded.

    Though every major presidential candidate has decried the racist remarks, Obama is the first one to say Imus should lose his job for them.¹

    Therefore, the lack of reaction from Obama’s remarks suggest Americans have a set a rules for race, class and gender: If you touch them you will pay.

    And another set of rules for individuals that have a mental or physical disability: If you touch them, it’s ok if you apologize. Oh, and by the way, it’s okay to laugh at the jokes that come at the expense of the latter.

    Obama claimed he was going to have the world think ‘highly’ of America. Will this joke help?

    For someone who spoke of equality as a creed. Does this joke match that philosophy?

    For someone that said he would stand for all people. Does this stand up for those that participate in the Special Olympics?

    The fact is Obama claimed a higher standard. He resides in an office that requires a higher standard. He resides in a country that demands a higher standard.

    To much is given, much is required.

  • At 4:12 AM, Blogger Steve Browne said…

    Yeah, that's what makes it so delicious to actually defend Obama's right to free speech!

    He stands revealed as a sniveling weenie - and is just starting to suspect that the Left he thought he owned - owns him.

  • At 4:02 AM, Blogger Ted said…

    Much ado about nothing...Like everything else the fish-wraps and talking heads make of The O.
    Obama is the smokescreen: The guy the medianuses are going to hype, parade around and generally glorify/whine about for a distraction tecnique while Congress lays the "wood" to U.S. and that's all he was ever meant to be.
    EX: Don't fear Obama's budget...By the time it gets through the Senate and House, it'll be the pork-laden, tax-increase-demanding, double-wide bloat nobody wanted.


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