|February 20, 2013||Ill-informed opinion vs. inconvenient facts||5 comments|
|February 11, 2013||Pebble Beach "salutes" military, showcases economic disparity||11 comments|
|February 08, 2013||Senate endorsement: Dr. Paul Broun||7 comments|
|January 31, 2013||First Beck, then Boortz, now Palin||13 comments|
|January 22, 2013||Why gun nuts are deluded||8 comments|
|January 21, 2013||Boortz, Borden and Bashing||4 comments|
|January 15, 2013||James Yeager, tough guy patriot (not)||1 comments|
|January 11, 2013||NRA’s “Hollywood Guns” glorifies movie gun violence||8 comments|
|January 07, 2013||Borden suffering from gun derangement syndrome||8 comments|
|January 04, 2013||Patriot Apocalypse||3 comments|
Over-the-top patriotic demonstrations at sporting events reached a new low this weekend, when servicemen and women were on exhibit at Pebble Beach during the PGA tour stop there.
There was something vaguely obscene about watching an enlisted person earning a little more than the poverty level standing at attention while a bunch of rich kids played golf for a $6.5 million purse.
We're supposed to feel humbled by these young people who "protect our freedom" on the sunny shores of the Monterrey Bay, where some of the nation's wealthiest 1 percent enjoy undisturbed splendor in their heavily guarded and gated enclaves.
We're supposed to pay homage to the sacrifice and dedication of those service personnel while, at the same time, we watch people named named Brandt, Keegan and Tag smack a little white ball around for the entertainment of corporate swells ensconced in their hospitality pavilions swilling fine wine while whining about paying a few percentage points more on their income taxes.
We all know how these guys really feel.
Mitt Romney gave voice to their disdain of the 47% who don't pay taxes. That number includes, by the way, most of the same enlisted men and women they were "honoring" at Pebble Beach.
As long as he breathes, CBS seems determined to trot out the doddering Clint Eastwood as the face of the tournament, who eclipsed his performance as the Man With No Name with his shamefully embarrassing Obama chair-talking shtick during the Republican National Convention last summer.
Like Romney, Clint evidently has it in for the president and those working poor and disabled folks who don't make enough to pay income taxes, let alone afford the price of admission to cruise 17 Mile Drive through Pebble Beach.
I wonder how those enlisted men and women felt about being used as props by a giant TV network making a pile of advertising dollars, or if the sad irony ever occurred to any of them.
Maybe they should have asked for a slice of that CBS pie, but that's not how it works in Carmel, where such uniformed folk are perceived the same way the gardener or delivery man are regarded, hired help to be seen but not heard.
Those servicemen and women, you see, have an important role to play in the CBS show when the camera cuts away and we see them, naively unaware of being exploited, shaking hands with a series of millionaire golf pros who were instructed to recognize them, look grateful, and then move on to the next tee. Thus, the PGA, CBS and the viewer all bask in the reflected glow of their selflessness and heroism. Meantime, their commanding officers and entourages enjoy free admission to the shindig.
Ostentatious military displays have become de rigueur at televised sporting events. We used to sing the Star Spangled Banner and let it go at that.
Now, we must have fighter jet fly overs, American flags the size of the field, the singing of God Bless America at half time, and, of course, soldiers, sailors and marines in uniform to remind us that "freedom isn't free," never mind that all the jingoistic showboating renders real patriotism cheap and real courage meaningless.
But the offensive travesty at Pebble Beach gets first prize for its naked hypocrisy not to mention its showcasing of the symbolic economic wall between the have mores and have almost nothings.
I love Paul Broun. I dearly hope he wins the Republican senate primary in 2014. I'll even vote for him because there are very few politicians in these parts who could make Phil Gingrey and Tom Price look positively moderate.
"God's word is true," said Dr. Broun. "I've come to understand that. All that stuff I was taught (at the University of Georgia and Georgia Health Sciences University) about evolution and embryology and the big bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell. It's lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior."
"F*** that! I’m telling you that if that (sensible gun safety measures) happens, it’s going to spark a civil war, and I’ll be glad to fire the first shot," he barks into the camera. "Load your damn mags!" and "get ready to fight!" Then he adds this: "I’m not f***ing putting up with this. I’m not letting my country be ruled by a dictator. I’m not letting anybody take my guns! If it goes one inch further, I’m going to start killing people!"
"I said some pretty volatile stuff which I apologize for. I do not in any way advocate the overthrowing of the United States government, nor do I condone any violent actions towards any elected officials. It's not time to shoot anybody. What it is time to do is to organize politically, contact our elected officials and help steer the ship the direction that we want it to go.The way to do that right now is via letters, via emails, some phone calls to your elected officials."
When he doesn't like what I write, Pete Borden likes to call me a liar. He has again leveled a charge that I lied in my recent column on the need to make gun safety part of the public safety discussion.
Here's his incendiary statement (emphasis added):
"Foley makes the erroneous statement that you can walk into almost any gun show and buy 'assault weapons', high capacity magazines and ammunition, no questions asked. I will not dignify that by calling it an untruth. I will call it what it is. It is a bald faced lie. Dealers at gun shows are bound by the same regulations requiring background checks, as they are when they are in their places of business. Since Foley is only parroting something he has heard, I have no way of knowing whether he is aware of that or not. But, I repeat, the statement is a lie."
Again, Mr. Borden, unlike you, I am far too good a writer and commentator not to do my research before speaking out on an issue.
I didn't say "every gun show." I qualified my statement sby aying, "almost any gun show," but that's beside the point.
From the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence web site, here's the breakdown on the so-called "gun show loophole":
Though commonly referred to as the “Gun Show Loophole,” the “private sales” described above include guns sold at gun shows, through classified newspaper ads, the Internet, and between individuals virtually anywhere.
Unfortunately, only six states (CA, CO, IL, NY, OR, RI) require universal background checks on all firearm sales at gun shows. Three more states (CT, MD, PA) require background checks on all handgun sales made at gun shows. Seven other states (HI, IA, MA, MI, NJ, NC, NE) require purchasers to obtain a permit and undergo a background check before buying a handgun. Florida allows its counties to regulate gun shows by requiring background checks on all firearms purchases at these events. 33 states have taken no action whatsoever to close the Gun Show Loophole.
Mr. Borden again shoots himself in the foot playing ready, fire, aim. Nice try, Peter. I'm waiting for my apology.