Thursday, September 26, 2013

Biker Permit vs. "Million Muslim March"

Hello, folks.  It's been awhile.  I've missed you.

I suppose that getting used to a more physical form of employment means that I need to adjust to how one goes about writing blog entries.  After all, I can no longer luxuriously write various things when my 3rd shift work is done, can I?  No, now I must slip in a commentary edge-wise when I am not working overtime or being dragged to yet another karaoke show to spend money I shouldn't be.

So what's prompted this entry? Could it be that hyper-extremists are yet again threatening a government shutdown over trying to repeal that which they have no choice but to accept? Oddly enough, no. Such temper-tantrums are things I've written about often enough before (sigh!), and I've grown rather tired of giving what little attention I have left to give to crybabies. No, this time, it's something rather different.

You see, a good friend of mine recently mentioned to me how she'd been a complete Obama fan, but now hates him. Wounded and heartbroken, I asked why. And then she proceeded to tell me a fantastic story. Apparently, Obama denied a permit for a million Harley bikers to ride non-stop, funeral-line-style through Washington, D.C. on the anniversary of 9/11, but on the same day allowed a Million Muslim March to be held in D.C. on the very same day on the White House lawn.  The outrage!

Of course, as soon as the words "Obama" and "Muslim" are said in the same phrase, I instantly become suspicious. How many times have we heard stupid mistakes like this before, where our president is purportedly a Muslim born in Kenya who was planted behind American lines in order to subvert Christianity from within like some sort of Manchurian candidate. I immediately pointed this out to my young lady friend, telling her that I'd research it, but that it was likely bullshit.

Well, I kept my promise, tried to look up the story, and immediately found it - via Fox News. Naturally, my B.S. detector was red flagging me full-blast at this point, but as it turns out, there turned out to be a nugget of truth to the story. Yes, Harley riders were denied a permit to ride unchecked through every stop light and over every pedestrian crossing for hours on end, snarling traffic and preventing grieving families from even reaching their 9/11 memorial sites, while the motorcycles themselves were revved up to a high-decibel-level, window-rattling, alarm-triggering, ear-splitting maximum. I don't blame officials for the denial. At the same time, a permit was granted for the "Million Muslim March," which quickly changed its name to the "Million American March for Peace" or some such silly euphemism, because even die-hard Muslims remember the sting of Louis Farrakahn's embarrassing nonsense. The permit was for a rally in the National Plaza - a place away from traffic and held in a wide-open meeting space near the Washington Monument (NOT the White House lawn!), where rallies are routinely approved for everything from neo-Nazi rallies to banning dish soap. So yes, there's a little truth to the story, and in major pissed-off response, hundreds of thousands of Harley bikers roared through D.C. anyway, obeying traffic laws, red lights, and merely making a lot of noise - you know, the way Harley bikes are supposed to - while not significantly snarling traffic. By contrast, the number of Muslims who showed up on the National Plaza could be counted by two kids on their fingers and toes.

Big dud!

Okay, now my take on all this. Holy shit is this ever a municipal issue! It got decided at the city level, not at the federal level, of government! (Duh!) Traffic permits are granted by the local police department, not the White House! And rally permits are decided by the National Parks Service. The people to blame for this are the mayor of D.C., the chief of police for the District of Columbia, and possibly the Parks Commission. Obama had nothing to do with it! The fact that D.C.'s city government and the federal government are separate is demonstrated by the fact that everything at the national level is so pristine while surrounded by an urban landscape composed of the worst neighborhoods where drug-infested public schools and gang-shootings are common. I know it's common to mistake everything that goes on in Washington as being the president's fault, just as its common to mistakenly blame the president for pretty much everything else.  But Obama is not the mayor of D.C.! And we would do well to remember that. It would be like blaming Obama for Tom Barrett allowing a similar debacle here in Milwaukee!

So let's all just remember what our president's job is, shall we? The president is a bully-pulpit with a veto pen, nothing more. Congress and the Senate run the show. That means we cannot expect Obama to fix everything overnight. He is not a king! (Thank heaven!)

By the same token, we cannot lay the blame at Obama's feet for everything, especially not a permit dispute that some silly mayor fucked up.

And Fox News, you are again full of shit!